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By Lotus Finch, Apr 25 2018 01:35PM

I hope this post finds you well, and that you're enjoying our lighter evenings. I love the Spring with all its vibrant energy and sense of hope. It reminds me that another year has passed, another cycle is beginning and I am grateful for the life that I have. This brings me to the subject of this month's post, which is possibly a bit less cheery when viewed from the perspective of the media and medical profession, though there is light at the end of this particular tunnel. As well as being IBS Awareness Month, April is also Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, so I thought it might be a good time to let you know that there are options available that might put your mind at ease around the subject.

There are some pretty grim statistics for bowel cancer and these I've taken from the Bowel Cancer UK website:

- Over 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK.

- Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK after breast, prostate and lung cancers.

- More than nine out of ten new cases (94%) are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and nearly six out of ten cases (59%) are diagnosed in people aged 70 or over. But bowel cancer can affect any age.

1 in 14 men (7%) and 1 in 19 women (5%) will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime.

There is a whole host of related information on their site but I thought those stats are enough to get the point across. The good news is that bowel cancer can be treated quite successfully if detected and diagnosed early enough. Unfortunately though, the NHS doesn't start screening until you reach 60 years of age and whilst there are plans to introduce an earlier screening from age 55 (whereby a doctor or nurse will insert a thin flexible instrument into your bottom to have a look around), it doesn't seem to qualify as a standard procedure in all areas of the UK yet, so your eligibility for this might be dependent upon where you live.

Many people we see in the clinic are afraid they might have cancer of the bowel. They might comment that there has been a history of cancer in the family, and it might even be the reason that they've come for treatment. It seems to make sense that a clean colon might be a happier and healthier one, although I am required to clearly state that there is no evidence to support that colon hydrotherapy is a preventative measure to cancer. However, if you're really concerned and would like some peace of mind on the subject, it is possible to perform a stool test to find out more about the health of your bowel, prior to you reaching 60 years of age. The test kit can be ordered and performed in the privacy of your own home. The sample is discreetly sent off to a laboratory for analysis and the results will be received a couple of weeks later. Please email me for the cost of this service.

I'm sorry to bring your awareness to this difficult subject, but so many lives are touched and affected by cancer these days, we cannot afford to deny its existence. And like I said previously, bowel cancer is one that can be managed with great success if it's identified quickly.

Of course, I'm pretty bowel focused and many of our family conversations revolve around poo, but I imagine we're in the minority. Some folk are embarrassed and uncomfortable around the subject, but please don't let that be a reason to not seek help if you've got some fears or doubts in this area.

By Lotus Finch, Mar 26 2018 04:58PM

So you might be wondering, what has the title "Mind the Gap" got to do with colonics and gut health? It's a fair question, although I do often refer to "having a train in the station" when I need a poo!

I often ask myself, "what is it that makes a person book a colonic appointment that first time?" "What drives them to pick up the phone or drop me a line?" I concluded that whatever their symptoms, whatever is happening in their worlds, what they're looking for and wanting is change. They want to feel different, better, more comfortable, less restricted - but whatever way we describe it, ultimately, they want change. And a colonic is a tangible change isn't it? It makes sense to rid yourself of a load of unwanted rubbish.

And following on from this the other morning I woke up pondering another question, "what does a colonic actually do?" I can come up with a long list of benefits that my clients enjoy; better sleep, improved bowel function, easier periods, abdominal comfort, good digestion etc, but what does the treatment really do? I meditated on this and the answer came to me... it creates space, but what is the relevance of this in the bigger picture of our lives?

When there is no space, there can be no movement, and what does a lack of movement lead to; stagnation, pollution, feelings of stuck-ness, frustration, resignation and overwhelm. Let's consider this for a moment, keeping the focus on the physical body. How much do we persistently stimulate our digestion. Do we ever give it a proper break? Think of the word, breakfast - break the fast. In an ideal world, our bodies would have a wonderfully luxurious rest in between our evening meal around 6pm and breakfast the next day around 8am, but I expect most pick at snacks until they retire to bed, or drink alcohol or stimulants like tea and coffee into the late evening. Because of our busy lives that start at silly o'clock in the morning, we end up eating on the hoof all day, and then probably have our biggest meal somewhere between 7 and 9 o'clock at night. On top of that, we are nearly permanently in a state of low grade stress because of our busyness, which further impedes our digestive function and our ability to heal, and then we wonder why we get sick!

Mentally/emotionally we brood on a particular problem because we must have an answer. The uncertainty surrounding the problem is almost unbearable so we leap on to the first solution we can come up with, whether it's right or wrong, because at least then we are "doing something about it!" But what if instead we could just learn to take a deep breath and have some faith that a better solution will come - the right solution probably, if we just calm down and open the windows in our minds. Minds are like umbrellas - they work best when they're open! If we can just hang out in the "not knowing" space, if we can bear the uncertainty of that for a little bit (minding the gap), we will quieten and be able to hear the wisdom of the heart, not the incessant chattering of the monkey mind.

It is essential that we create space in our lives; space for ourselves, space for quiet contemplation and reflection, space to breathe, space to process, space to "be" not "do", space to allow for change. So I conclude that one of the most important functions of colon hydrotherapy is to create space for our physical organs, giving them time to process their wastes more efficiently. I was re-reading some notes on the Large Intestine (colon) from my acupuncture degree recently. It describes this wonderful organ as the "Drainer of the Dregs". The text mentioned the importance of keeping this critical organ free of debris and waste as much as possible as it is responsible for handling the wastes of the entire body. Liken it to a car exhaust - if your engine can't remove the gases via the exhaust system, it will stall, and you won't be going anywhere... same with the Large Intestine. So don't stall, come and see us at The Healthy Gut Clinic and we'll give you a transformational experience that will keep you moving forward!

By Lotus Finch, Nov 20 2017 01:41PM

Well here we are again, perched on the edge of Winter, after what might be described as a fairly mediocre summer from a weather perspective, but this summer I did something that I've never done before and I'd like to share it with you as it struck me as a great metaphor when it happened.

As you can imagine food, being very closely linked with our health, is something that's quite important in our household. So, despite the fact that we have a very tiny garden space, this year we thought we'd dabble in a bit of "grow your own.' Maybe for you that's no great shakes, but it can be pretty daunting when you look on the internet and discover how complicated it can be when learning to grow your own produce; soil types and moistures, temperatures and greedy creatures, to name a few. I was very nearly put off, but instead I thought, hey, this is nature; a seed, soil, sunlight and water and I'm sure it can make its own way. I embarked on this project many weeks after it should have started according to "the experts", so I didn't anticipate much success.

Several weeks after stuffing a few potatoes in the ground the shoots started to appear, and as the weeks went by, they grew stronger and taller and nearly blocked our view from the window. It was very exciting actually, but still inside me, despite the physical evidence above ground, I held little hope that the family would be dining on succulent new potatoes any time soon! The time came to dig some up and I was very proud of myself and my achievement as I placed my perfectly formed, baby new potatoes in front of my family that night. They tasted divine! I gradually pulled all the plants up and we enjoyed a few meals with these dear little potatoes on the side. Then a few weeks later we decided to plant something else where the spuds had been, and we dug the soil in preparation. And here's the surprise. Beneath the surface and down quite deep were loads of larger, beautifully formed potatoes that I had previously missed. I was over the moon of course, but the metaphor hit me hard.

With my lack of experience, the fact that I'd started so late, and that all the experts seemed to say that home growing could be peppered with problems, I had expected to fail. I was content with my very small harvest of spuds and I had not allowed myself to believe that I could do any better. Yet this glorious heist (half of them pictured) could have gone to waste, and very nearly did. I saw the links between this and how so many of us live our lives, and in particular, view our health. In our society, we have come to expect ill health and restriction, and many live in fear of contracting some hideous disease or disorder based on the latest batch of scary statistics. Sometimes, the very idea of that causes us to give up on life before we even start! But no matter where you are on your life's journey, please remember this; your body is a very intelligent creation which is hard-wired to heal, and it will always try to do so, provided it is given the right environment.

I'm not much of a one for trying to persuade someone to have a colonic as I'd rather they come to the idea in their own way in their own time. Lots of people say "oh I don't need that, nothing wrong with my bowels" or "nah, I go six times a day". Hmm.. that's all very well and good (though frequency is no indicator of good bowel health), but here's my point. How do you know that how you feel today, in this moment, as you're reading this, is as good as you're capable of feeling? What might you find out about yourself if you dug a little deeper? Sometimes the prospect of that alone can scare people; especially those with skeletons in their cupboard but truly, if you want to live a fuller life, you have to be prepared to go beneath the surface and dig about in the depths, otherwise you'll live a life of small potatoes.

For me, colonic hydrotherapy has always been about helping people to become more of themselves, by clearing out the rubbish and giving a fresh perspective. Many times I've received emails from clients who have been stuck in their lives, only to find that post treatment they've sorted out their affairs, like leaving an unsatisfying job, clearing out a garage, or making an important decision that they've been avoiding. Is it time for you to make a fresh start and clear out some rubbish from your system? This is how it was for me thirteen years ago when I had my first treatment. My system had been polluted for years with the effects of my poor choices; alcohol, cigarettes and some pretty nasty food, but my first couple of colonics cleaned me up in body, mind and spirit, and changed the course of my life for the better. I never would have believed such a simple treatment could have such an influence on my life's direction, but I see it too often in my clients for it to be a coincidence.

Other News in the Clinic

We've had an overwhelming response to the recent offers that we've put out to help Kiran develop her client base. We will no doubt be running another tempting offer in the new year, so keep reading our newsletter to keep your finger on the pulse. Or just follow us on Facebook where you'll regularly find me posting interesting gut related articles and pieces of research, and occasionally last minute cancellation deals too.

Christmas is Approaching

The clinic will be closed from Friday 22nd December and will reopen for business on Thursday 4th January, although Kiran ( and myself ( will still be behind the scenes managing our diaries, so feel free to get in touch if you need to make a booking for the new year.

By Lotus Finch, Oct 9 2017 01:29PM

As always, I hope this post finds you in fine fettle. I've never been one for pushing colonics as a weight loss solution and I don't even own a set of scales (other than in the kitchen!), but I do know that a colonic treatment can make you feel lighter, cleaner and healthier on the inside.

If we take care of the inside, it will reflect on the outside. Radiant skin, glossy hair and bundles of energy are all external indicators of vibrant health, but have you ever thought about looking in your toilet bowl after a No. 2 to get some inside information? I realise I might be in the minority with this one, but if you're not checking this out, you're missing a trick. I'm not asking you to poke it with a stick but a casual glance and check on the consistency and cleanliness of your movements will give you lots of valuable information.

Hopefully we've all enjoyed the pleasures of the amazing ghost poo.. you know, the one that pops out and disappears around the toilet bend before you know what's happening. No evidence of this guy on the paperwork either. Perfect. Aside from the disappointment of not being able to celebrate your poo (for those that look), this kind of effortless pooping experience is the gold standard!

Seriously though, greasy, slimy poos that require an inordinate amount of paperwork and leave skid marks in the pan are an indication that things are not so happy on the inside. A decent poo should make itself known and give you adequate time to find a loo, present without pain or discomfort, not require pushing or straining, and need only one cursory wipe of the bottom to ensure it's clean. Those that suffer with piles might need an extra wipe as, if external, they can make the anus uneven and therefore present more of a challenge, but you get the gist.

If you're having to spend ten minutes on the paperwork your gut is trying to tell you something, and it's not just that you're depleting the rain forests! It's likely that your diet is seriously lacking fibre, or you're producing a large amount of mucous in your stool. Some mucous is normal, but excessive amounts can indicate a problem, and if you ever notice bloody mucous, I'd advise you to visit your GP. Some foods, like dairy products, are actually mucous forming so you might try to avoid these and watch for the difference in your movements.

Increasing natural fibre in your diet gives the bacteria in your gut something to live on, which in turn supports a myriad of other essential functions in your body, not least your immune system. Fibre also bulks out the stool, making it easier to move cleanly through the intestines, keeping them clear and healthy, but remember, if you're increasing your fibre, don't forget to keep your fluids up too.

One of the most effective things I have found for the perfect, glossy, one plop, no wipe poo is flax bread. Flax bread is made with milled flax seeds. It's really easy to make with a prep time of no more than five minutes. Even if you don't fancy yourself as a chef, you'll be able to pull this off. It's not really a substitute for normal bread in that you can't make a sandwich out of it, but it's a very good accompaniment to soups and can be used as sweet or savoury snack, depending upon what you put on it. Linseeds, particularly in their ground form, are a great vegetarian source of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). Our bodies can’t make ALA, so it is essential that we get them from our diet. These essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, offering health benefits to a number of chronic diseases such as Heart disease, Diabetes and Arthritis.

You'll need the following ingredients and a lined 2lb loaf tin:

160 gms of milled flax seed

80 gms of olive oil

5 x eggs

large pinch of salt

squirt of honey or maple syrup (optional)

Mix everything together in one large bowl and pour it into the lined loaf tin. Bake in the oven at about 180 deg C for between 20 and 30 minutes. Leave to cool, then slice and munch away! You can get creative by adding different seeds and possibly raisins too, or recently I experimented with hemp seeds. It was delicious!

Lots of people these days are having restricted diets and many try to avoid traditional bread and pastries, so finding an easy alternative that is gluten free, wheat free and yeast free has been a real boost for me. It might not be advisable to those suffering with diverticular disease because of the small seeds, but otherwise, try it out and let me know how you get on. I'm sure your bowels will be over the moon!

By Lotus Finch, Oct 9 2017 01:19PM

So as the title suggests, this post is all about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS as it's become known. If you’re someone who suffers with this debilitating condition, then you’ll know what a pain in the backside it is. It’s such a commonly used term nowadays that any kind of abdominal discomfort or bowel irregularity can attract IBS as a casual diagnosis, and those that don’t understand can sometimes dismiss it as being unimportant, or not worthy of sympathy. How wrong they are?!

We all get gut symptoms from time to time, but people with IBS get them more frequently and more severely. At any one time, between 10% and 20% of people (that’s 1 in 3 living in western countries) fulfil the diagnostic criteria for IBS. Symptoms include abdominal cramp, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and what’s called “frustrated defecation” which is a great description for needing to go to the toilet but not being able to go when you get there. Other symptoms associated with the disorder are tiredness, nausea, heartburn and indigestion, backache, headaches, muscle pains, anxiety and depression.

Anyone who lives with IBS will tell you that they spend a large part of their time trying to deduce what their own specific triggers are; sometimes it’s food related, sometimes the triggers are more emotional, or the condition commonly arises after an attack of food poisoning. But the bottom line is that whatever the symptoms are, they are generally different for each person.

Living with this disorder isn’t life threatening, but it is quality of life threatening. The inability to plan for a future event can be very frustrating. Going out to work in the morning in clothes that feel comfortable, only to find that by lunch time you’ve bloated out so much you’re having to walk around with your zip undone really isn’t much fun. Being the person that can’t eat out with friends and is always finding an excuse to avoid restaurants undermines your self confidence and ruins your social life. And because of the nature of this disorder, it’s not something that people feel comfortable openly sharing and so consequently, they become even more isolated, and nothing and nobody thrives in isolation.

You may already be aware if you're a follower of The Healthy Gut Clinic's Facebook page (if not please click this link and like for up to date news and last minute cancellations that I recently attended a training day in Sheffield, sponsored by the IBS Network, which is a charity offering support to those suffering with IBS. It was an informative day, and I came away with a great deal more understanding of the disorder, and a strong feeling that I wanted to do something more to help, both the charity and those that suffer with IBS.

Therefore, I've set up a support group in Chippenham, open to anyone who wishes to attend that has a diagnosis of IBS. Meetings will be held monthly, commencing Friday 6th October at 7.00pm at The Rotary Club, Station Hill, Chippenham SN15 1EG, and will last about one hour. From thereon it will be the first Friday of every month, same time, same place. My intention is that the group will provide an opportunity for people to explore their own thoughts and feelings around their particular set of symptoms, enabling them to help others and be helped too, in a relaxed and informal environment. Hopefully group members can openly and safely share what works for them as individuals (and what doesn’t) with regard to their IBS challenges (no pressure to contribute though) and as the group grows, perhaps we can invite an occasional guest speaker. At the heart of it for me, it’s about connection not isolation; helping folk to realise that they’re not on their own with this and there are other people that understand too. After a couple of meetings you'll be invited to join the IBS Network where you can enjoy the many benefits that the charity offers including:

- access to telephone helpline, to speak to IBS trained nurses

- medical advice from a range of healthcare professionals, including Gastroenterologists, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Hypnotherapists, GPs and complementary therapists.

- Can’t Wait card and Travel card (worth £5 if bought separately)

- Gut Reaction, our quarterly magazine

- a wide range of factsheets

- access to our online community of support

- personalised symptom tracker

- recipes tailored for people with IBS and a sensitive gut

- IBS support group access.

Therefore, please can you help me spread the word by clicking the link to the IBS Network Chippenham Support Group Facebook page and share it, even if it's not something that's relevant to you personally. Or if your place of work has a notice board that could display a poster, please let me know and I can send or email you something to put up. The thing is, not everyone talks openly about their bowel habits so you might be sitting opposite someone at work who is really struggling and suffering and who could benefit from this support. If you want to contact me directly with reference to the group, please email me at

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