#83 Colon Hydrotherapy - with Zhenya Gerson

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


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"My recommendation is always a minimum of three Colon Hydrotherapy treatment sessions that are done relatively close together. If we spread those appointments out too long, then the colon muscle kind of forgets what to do. So if we keep those three treatments within two weeks, as soon as you walk through the doors, your colon already knows what it's doing. "

Zhenya Gerson | Colon Hydrotherapist & Holistic Nutritionist Tweet This!

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In Episode 83 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and her guest, Zhenya Gerson (Colon Hydrotherapist & Holistic Nutritionist), discuss Colon Hydrotherapy benefits and what comes out during a colon cleanse.

  • Zhenya’s journey into colon hydrotherapy
  • Colon hydrotherapy 101
  • What ACTUALLY happens in a session
  • Different types and what to look for
  • Who should be getting colonics
  • How often you should go
  • Can you go too much?
  • Tips on finding a good colon hydrotherapist
  • Contraindications and cautions 
  • HOW we should be pooping
  • The power of footstools
  • The best footstool on the market and how you can access it

Zhenya Gerson
Colon Hydrotherapist & Holistic Nutritionist

Intro 0:00  

Hello and welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, with your hosts Natalie K. Douglas, Thyroid Healer, and Kate Callaghan, The Holistic Nutritionist. Nat and Kate are degree-qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors. If you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers, and authentic heart-sharing, then we are your ladies! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and get ready for our latest tips on living your healthiest life possible. 


Natalie K. Douglas 0:38  

Hello, beautiful friends. I am so excited to bring you this interview with the lovely Zhenya. Before we get started, I wanted to give you a little bit of a background on her because I think you guys know how much Kate and I love talking about poo. But I believe we have met our match in this guest which is really exciting. So, she is an I-ACT, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist with level two study and certification, a holistic nutritionist, wellness consultant, and yoga instructor with 16 years in the wellness industry. She is driven to empower people to be aware of their own bodies to live a healthy life and make conscious decisions about their own health and for their personal well being. Zhenya is also the co-founder of PROPPR, which is an elegant Australian design footstool to get you in the proper position for your next trip to the bathroom. Which I am so excited about this product. I mean, I am not the creator or co-creator but I feel like this is just the best thing ever which you’ll probably hear when we start talking about it how excited I am. So let’s jump straight in, shall we? Where I thought I’d start is just with what, like how you actually got into this world of gut health and colon hydrotherapy? Because I feel like something must have happened because I can’t imagine someone just wakes up and thinks I want to be a colon hydrotherapist today, but correct me if I’m wrong? 


Zhenya Gerson 2:22  

Not exactly how it happened. So, it was way back when I was living in California. So, this would have been around I’d say 2002. I was living sort of what I believed was already the healthy lifestyle of starting to get into my yoga and you know, living in California, fresh food is an abundance, that was always visiting the farmer’s markets. But I was still constantly bloated and trouble losing weight. And my bowels weren’t you know, didn’t move every day. And then I just so happened to be on training with for something else totally unrelated to gut health. And I met a woman there. She’s part of my training group and she was a colon hydrotherapist. So we were at lunch, you know, a couple of times and I said she offered me something. I’m like, oh no, I can’t eat that, it makes me bloated, blah, blah. And she’s like, girl, you need to do a colonic. It’s like, what’s a colonic? 


Natalie K. Douglas

What’s that, yeah.


Zhenya Gerson 

And so she was a colon hydrotherapist. This was in Southern California at the time. And so she goes, I’m gonna bring you everything that you need to know. So, she immediately put me on the 7-day Bernard Jensen colon cleanse. Now if people aren’t familiar with that, I say go look it up. It’s very intense. He was one of the pioneers of colon cleansing. Bernard Jensen, David Gerson, and Harvey Kellogg were kind of like those three pioneers of colon cleansing. So Bernard Jensen had this intense 7-day program. It was no food. It was these like psyllium bentonite and apple juice shakes that were so gross.


Natalie K. Douglas

Oh, I can imagine.


Zhenya Gerson 

Yeah, and then you took these supplements that were like, one was like a greens tablet and other one was a beetroot tablet. There was a Flex-C, vitamin C, something else. So that’s all you do for seven days. And you had a colonic every single day.


Natalie K. Douglas

Oh, wow. 


Zhenya Gerson 

So, yeah, I definitely jumped off the deep end when I got introduced to colonics but at the end of those seven days, I was like I had completely reset everything. And in those seven days what was crazy was that every single colonic I had, there was still more stuff coming out. It’s like I haven’t eaten for four or five days, where is the stuff coming from? So, that was pretty interesting just to see how much stuff came out, like my skin looked amazing at the end, my eyes were super green, I had tons of energy. You know, you would think that not eating for seven days would give you tired but it was the complete opposite. So, then at that point, but what was important and same as what I do with my clients, what’s important is after you finish the cleanse, so after I finished the cleanse that was really careful with what went back into my body so that I could monitor oh, yeah, this didn’t work. I thought this was good for me food, but it wasn’t good for me. So it’s good food, but not for me. So it kind of worked all that out. And yeah, it changed everything. And then my colon hydrotherapist at the time, Clarissa in San Diego, she was my first one. She goes, one day, you’re gonna be doing this Zhenya. But I know it. And then there you go, you’re. 


Natalie K. Douglas

And here you are. 


Zhenya Gerson 

Yeah. So, I saw all the world of difference. And you know, that was 2002. So, 17 years ago, where we didn’t have all this information in the mainstream media yet about gut health. And you know, how much gut affects the rest of our bodies. But I got the proof from just doing it myself.


Natalie K. Douglas 5:51  

Yeah. And sometimes that’s the way, isn’t it? Like just giving it a go yourself and seeing how you feel? Because I think, I mean, at some point, there wasn’t enough information. And now it’s like, there’s almost too much. 


Zhenya Gerson 



Natalie K. Douglas 

And for every argument for there’s one against and it’s just, it’s overwhelming for people. And I think that, you know, with colon hydrotherapy, there is plenty of people saying it’s amazing. Everyone should do it. Do it all the time. There’s other people saying never do it. You know, it’s not necessary, we can clean things out ourselves. And I like, I like the middle ground, which we’ll get into a little bit further. But before we go any more in-depth into all of the nitty-gritty of it. Can you explain what colon hydrotherapy is just on a really basic level for anyone who is like you and is like, colon, what?


Zhenya Gerson 6:42  

Yeah, so the wag I often start describing it is as a glorified enema. So, we know what an enema is. An enema is just that gentle infusion of water into the colon. And if you’re doing it at home, you’d put some water into the rectum. You hold it for a little while, and then you go and sit on the toilet. And you might do that a couple of times. Whereas a colonic or colon hydrotherapy in several different, there’s different ways to do it. With the closed system, you’re on the table, laying on a table very comfortably. And we put then we fill and release the water several times. So, it’s kind of like having the enema but you don’t really have to do anything but everything all the wastes matter will come out through the tube and then out through the machine. So basically, I’d say, and the key point to that is that it should be gentle. We should not have any cramping. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Things should move pretty easily when we’re having a colonic in a clinic. But if it doesn’t, it’s the therapist responsibility to recognize that and let the person go and sit on the toilet so that they’re not uncomfortable, so there’s not cramping but yeah, yeah. So but basically that is it. Enemas have been around. So the first recorded enema in history. So we do this, we learn this when we do our colon hydrotherapy certification through I-ACT, is that the first recorded enema was 1500 BC. 


Natalie K. Douglas 



Zhenya Gerson 

Though. Yeah. So if you look through, if you look through history, you will see that, like, Cleopatra was known to do enemas at the time. The yogis ages did enemas and that sort of it’s one of the cleansing kriyas, they did it in a very different way through sort of some circular breathing and cleaning out. And then, you know, then it was almost then calling hydrotherapy, or colonics, or enemas at the time are only for the rich and the aristocrats. So you can see it through history. And there’s if you ever want to, if you’re going to look, I have my manual, some of these apparatus back then it worked pretty scary probably no one wants to get on but yeah it’s pretty interesting. So it’s not new. It’s not a new concept at all.


Natalie K. Douglas 9:08  

Yeah. Wow. And you mentioned there like a closed system, which makes me think there must be other types of systems that are used. I’ve personally heard of the gravity method and I know other people have heard of that. But what other different types of systems are there and why do you choose to use the one that you’re using?


Zhenya Gerson 9:31  

So the gravity system and a closed system, which is what we have at the clinic are relatively similar where the therapist is in the room with you, they’re sort of controlling the flow of water. With the gravity system, the water goes in a little faster than the closed system. I have more control over the paste and the speed of the water going in and out. The open system is totally different. So the open system, you are pretty much left alone in the room, the therapists will show you how to do the insertion. And then you’re kind of laying on this bed that some plastic so bathtub material and it’s like a gigantic bedpan. So the insertion paste goes in, and the water flows in. And when you feel like something needs to release you push, just like you’re sitting on a toilet. 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

It’s very different. 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

There’s plenty of videos online. If you just Google, do a Google search for a, watch a couple of YouTube videos. There’s a few places that have done it. 


Natalie K. Douglas

Yeah, right. Interesting.


Zhenya Gerson



Natalie K. Douglas 10:39  

Okay. And is the advantage of the water going in slower just that it’s more gentle?


Zhenya Gerson 10:46  

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. 


Natalie K. Douglas 10:48  

Okay, cool. So the other thing that I know that when I, whenever I suggest to a client that I want them to go and do some colon hydrotherapy sessions, and if they’ve never done it before, I often like to explain what exactly happens because it can be for some people a little bit intimidating, going into that situation, and not knowing what’s going to happen. So can you walk us through what a session would look like, for you, for example, so if someone listening was to come and have a colon hydrotherapy session at Exhale Wellness and what would happen, what happens?


Zhenya Gerson 11:28  

Okay, so with our new clients, we schedule 75 minutes. So the first 15 minutes or so is just a little mini console. So we go through the form that you filled in before you’ve arrived or as you’ve arrived, and just to kind of get a picture of sort of what’s been happening in the past and what has brought them to Exhale, and into having a colonic. And I mean, those are a million different reasons, you know, we can be anything from constipation, to loose bowels, to staph infections, parasites, to stress and anxiety that’s causing something, to you know, they’ve just had surgery, and they’ve been pumped full of lots of drugs, and they’re constipated. So the reasons are endless but it gives us a good background and some understanding of what’s going on and who the person is that we’re talking to. And then I show them the equipment that we’re going to be using. So this is all done in the room in the treatment room. Then I show them the equipment that we’re going to be using, and I walked them through. I show exactly, there’s three different pieces to it, the insertion piece, and then two tubes, I showed them all that and then I turned to the machine, and then I tell them exactly that we’re going to be doing fills, and we’re going to be doing releases. And the way I describe it is this, sometimes you have cooked something, and that pops a little sticky, and you’re not going to scrub it straight away, you’re gonna fill the pot with water, you’re gonna let it sit, you might go and do something else. And then you rinse that water out, and then all of a sudden, you start to see that sort of scummy bits coming out of the pop. And you haven’t even had to do anything, all you’ve done is let it sit and soak. Colonic is exactly the same. The water goes in really slowly, really gently, they’re getting a light belly rub when the water is going in. And then the machine tells us when it’s time to release, we released that water and we start to see the little the dirty water coming out. And then eventually as the water then continues to soak again, the hard bits start to come out and then that’s when we start to see solids. The very first time people come in, everyone is nervous. 


Natalie K. Douglas

Yeah. Of course.


Zhenya Gerson 

Yeah. Of course, the fear of the unknown. And the colon is a muscle. So just like any other muscle in the body, when we feel tension, or anxiety, or stress, it can tighten up just like shoulders, backs, etc. But the colon is very quick muscle to learn what’s going on. So towards, sometimes middle, towards the end of the treatment the colons kind of like, oh, I know what’s happening. 


Natalie K. Douglas

Sounds safe. Oh, yeah.


Zhenya Gerson 

They’re getting good belly massage. They’re getting reflexology. They’re getting a little acupressure, so it’s a really relaxing treatment. I’ve got music on, there’s. I have moms come in and go. I can’t remember the last time I got to sit until.


Natalie K. Douglas

So true. Yeah.


Zhenya Gerson 

Yeah. So the moms especially love it. No one’s slipping toys underneath the door, you know? Mom, stay with me here.


Natalie K. Douglas 14:36  

Are you finished? Yeah.


Zhenya Gerson 14:38  

Especially, especially like they can just lay down.


Natalie K. Douglas 14:41  

Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s. Yeah, definitely. Because I’ve heard that from so many of my mom friends that I can’t even do a poo in peace. So there you go, you just need to go and get a colon hydrotherapy session. 


Zhenya Gerson 14:54  

Yeah. 40 minutes. Doors are closed, no one is coming in. Yeah. And it ends up really relaxing. And every person who finishes is like that was nothing like what I expected it to be. 


Natalie K. Douglas 15:05  

Yeah. And I think like something else to point out for people is that you do have a towel over your lap. So it’s not like you’re laying there absolutely bare naked. Like you have a towel over your lap and that’s.


Zhenya Gerson 15:19  

Yeah. And you’ve still got your top on and yeah, you’re well covered. Well covered. I mean, yeah. And my male clients as well. Yeah.


Natalie K. Douglas 15:27  

Yeah. And I think, like, what I remind my clients, all these that colon hydrotherapist are doing this every day. It’s not like you’re going into someone’s clinic or space that they’ve never stuck a tube up someone’s butt before like this. This is what happens like, this is the service. So I think even reminding them of that reality helps just be like, oh, yeah, right.


Zhenya Gerson 15:52  

It’s something that we see every day and it’s not something that we hold in our memory bag. We, you know, forget about it as soon as it’s over. And it’s, you know, my friend, a girlfriend of mine does waxing and we always sort of have this funny little banter back and forth. I go, girl you see way more than that do.


Natalie K. Douglas 16:12  

Yeah. Totally, right? But again, to them. It’s just like, it’s just wax a vagina. This is just what I do.


Zhenya Gerson 16:18  

It’s just hair and skin. Yeah. But for me I see way less.


Natalie K. Douglas 16:23  

Yeah, yeah, it’s crazy how we can get in our heads like that. But, I don’t know, maybe I’m just too comfortable of a person. I just don’t find any of it all that intimidating. But I know a lot of people do. Definitely. It’s the same.


Zhenya Gerson 

Oh, for sure.


Natalie K. Douglas 

And which is, I would say on the abnormal. I’m not, not the common one. And I think that it’s just important to remember that this is their job. Like this is your job. This is the colon hydrotherapist job. There’s not like we all have but we all poo. And it’s all fine. 


Zhenya Gerson 



Natalie K. Douglas 

So moving on to, like you mentioned a little bit in terms of when people might come to see you. But when you think about people who perhaps could benefit or even need a colon hydrotherapy session or a few sessions, who pops to mind first for you?


Zhenya Gerson 17:18  

The very first that pops to mind is anyone who’s had surgery because we’re pumped for so much medication during surgeries, so much antibiotics, so many painkillers. Anything that has to go through the system, as you know has to be filtered through the liver, the liver and the colon have a very close relationship to another. So whether it’s been pharmaceutical drugs that we’ve taken, or it’s in recreational drugs, and that includes coffee and alcohol, you know, then it has to go through the liver. The liver cleanse that blood and sends all that dirty blood out to the colon and says, this is a very basic explanation clearly. 


Natalie K. Douglas 

Yeah. No, we like basically.


Zhenya Gerson

Sends it down to the colon says, okay, I’m done with it, I’ve cleaned it, it’s your turn, you go get rid of it. But all those medications sometimes will slow things down. So then all of a sudden, the colon has been feeling sluggish, and he holds on to all those toxins. And that then if it doesn’t clear out, and then it goes back out into the bloodstream, then the liver has to clean it all over again, the kidneys have to filter it through. So it’s just this sort of vicious cycle that starts. So, we need to sort of clean that out as soon as we can. Clearly like lots of constipation. There’s so many people that don’t move their bowels every day and don’t realize that they need to move their bowels every day. 


Natalie K. Douglas 18:42  

Right. I found that really fascinating that people don’t realize that, like I think a lot of people have the thought in their mind that constipation is when you don’t go for like several days. 


Zhenya Gerson



Natalie K. Douglas

I think constipate, if you’re not having a daily bowel motion that’s well-formed and fields for your vacuolated I’d call that constipation. I don’t know about you.


Zhenya Gerson 19:05  

Yeah, and especially for seeing a little rabbit poos.


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

No, we don’t want to be seeing rabbit poos. We want to be seeing good sausage like smooth piece.


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

And the perfect poo, people always ask me, what’s a good poo? And the perfect poo is it doesn’t break off, comes out in one solid piece, doesn’t break off until it hits the water, and when you wipe the toilet paper is clean.


Natalie K. Douglas 19:28  

Yes. And poophoria is real. 


Zhenya Gerson

Yeah, it is.


Natalie K. Douglas

You’re like, yes. I wish I could show everyone.


Zhenya Gerson 19:36  

I know. Get proud of myself and like oh, nice.


Natalie K. Douglas 19:41  

Same and I actually have a history like when I was really unwell when I was in my late teens I had chronic constipation, and from parasites and all this different stuff. And I remember the day I did the best poo I had done in years. Like honestly, best day of my life.


Zhenya Gerson

I know, it’s so.


Natalie K. Douglas

It’s good. 


Zhenya Gerson

It’s so good.


Natalie K. Douglas

So I think it’s really important that people know what is normal frequency and what it should look like.


Zhenya Gerson 20:09  

It is.


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

Look and the other, the other types of people that come and see me, which I think is fascinating when I get to help them is those with some with any mental health issues. So you know, severe depression, anxiety, I have clients that are on some heavy sort of bipolar medications, and you know, we work with their counselors and their therapists and things. And it makes the biggest difference. And then once we start to understand how not only things need to come out, but when we look at a plate of food, we start talking about that, you know, making sure we’re looking at plates of foods that are happy and colorful, rather than beige, and how it affects the mindset. A lot of that, and I also have a lot of clients with PCOS and endometriosis and irregular periods, and it makes the biggest difference for them.


Natalie K. Douglas 21:05  

I find that so fascinating. 


Zhenya Gerson

Yeah. It’s so amazing.


Natalie K. Douglas

And it’s so much sense. Because, you know, we need to remove ways to remove excess estrogen to, you know, decrease inflammation, all these different things, but it’s again, another one of those things that unless someone connects the dots for you, it’s really hard to think, oh, yeah, I could do some colon hydrotherapy to help with period pain or irregular cycles.


Zhenya Gerson 21:31  

Yeah. When I’m seeing new clients, I, one of the things I always ask is, where are you at in your cycle, and I note that down. And then once we start to get into a regular routine of colonics, whether they’re coming in monthly, or every two months, we try and book them in, so that they’re a couple of days, two to three days before their period is supposed to start. And it makes a world of difference for when I do start to bleed. It’s amazing.


Natalie K. Douglas 21:59  

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, there’s so many different things that are available to us that we can use. And I think taking a really holistic and multifaceted approach to dealing with conditions like PCOS, endo, mental health, is just so important. So I love that there’s another thing that people can add to their toolkit in that way. The other thing that I wanted to just add in because I know some people listening will be interested is when I personally recommend people go and do some colon hydrotherapy session. So everything that you said I agree with and would definitely recommend. And on top of that, I’d say that I use it a lot in my patients where we’re treating parasites and SIBO because in both of those situations, particularly SIBO, there’s often this buildup of, you know, basically old stool in the gut, and or in the colon rather, and we need to clear that out. And I find that doing that alongside antimicrobials, diet therapy, all the things that we do in the treatment of SIBO is definitely improves the outcomes that I’m able to achieve with patients and makes them feel like a lot better. I mean, we all know what it feels like to be constipated. It feels like I don’t want to say like shit, because it’s too obvious, but horrible, just horrible. And yeah, and I think one thing I’m really passionate about, which I know you are, too, is using colon hydrotherapy, and also asking, well, why am I constipated? Why do I have these issues? So, I don’t think that it’s a get out of jail free card. And I also love that you don’t approach it that way. Before we get into that side of things. I know, a question that comes up a lot for me, and also would come up a lot in your clinic as well is, how often should people go, and can you go too much?


Zhenya Gerson 24:02  

You definitely go too much. So when we see new clients, the recommendation is always a minimum of three treatments, depending on you know, before I see for that first appointment. I don’t book anyone in past that first initial appointment. But the reason why we want to do three is the colon is anywhere from five to six feet long, right? So and we’ve got years, you know, we could have, I could have a 45-year-old client come in who’s never had a colonic before has been constipated since they were in their 20s. And one colonic is not gonna move that stuff that’s been sitting in there for a long time. So what we say is, with each treatment, we’re working on about a foot to a foot and a half of the colon. But if we’re nervous it can be less, if there’s lots of blockage it could be less, if there’s lots of gas could be less. And when we do those initial three, we want those three to be relatively close together. I have a very gentle approach. Some clinics are very different. I say if we can get through within two weeks, awesome. If we can get through within three weeks, great. Some other clinics want you to do three within one week, but I have a realistic approach that people are busy. So I really try and work within their timeframes. And so then again, so again goes back to colon as muscle. Colon muscles have muscle memory. So if we spread those appointments out too long, then the muscle kind of forgets. And so if we keep them close together, so that three within two weeks, as soon as you walk through the doors, the colon already knows what it’s doing. And oftentimes people say, I just moved my bowels right before I got here because it knows that sort of was like, okay, this is where we’re headed. I know, where we’re going, this is what’s gonna happen. We’re calm, we’re relaxed, we know exactly down last time. And then we can really start to get a little bit further up into the colon and clear that stuff that like you said, with SIBO, that old waste that’s been sitting there on the sides of the colon, and it’s like, stuck kinda like plaque. 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

So it softens that and that’s the start to come out nice and easy. And then, you know, that gives us a good picture of how we’re feeling in between treatments. And then everyone gets homework, you know, from me, whether it’s just having more water, or whether it’s, you know, I might give them the happy bowels to you from over to have every night, which I love. Something really gentle. I try not to overwhelm them in those first couple of appointments, I just kind of have to say, okay, can we add a little bit more fruit and vegetable to the diet or can we go for a walk? You know?


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

Turn the social media off, go for a walk. Those are the types of homework I’m doing in the beginning. So yeah, so then that gives us a little bit of a better picture after the three. Then if I’m going to do that fourth follow-up, I’ll probably give them a week to two weeks. 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

And then really see what’s going on. And then lots of clients are on maintenance. They like to come in once every four to six weeks. I have clients with chronic Lyme disease, I have clients with rheumatoid arthritis, I have clients with MS, again my PCOS, my endo clients, they’re a bit more on a regular basis. Thyroid, my thyroid clients, especially if I’m working with a naturopath, that might be a little bit of a different, different schedule, because sometimes with different thyroid practitioners, they’ll do two weeks sort of, they’ll change the routine every two weeks. So, they’ll send them in before the next regimen starts. Yeah and my IVF, I have a lot of IVF clients that come in in between rounds of IVF, they get sent to me by a few different naturopaths and said, yeah, I need a clean slate.


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

So, we’ll do a couple of rounds in between their IVF treatments.


Natalie K. Douglas

Yeah, amazing.


Zhenya Gerson

That’s a little different but once you’re once you’ve gone through those initials, then I would say the majority of clients are on that four to six weeks, once every four to six weeks.


Natalie K. Douglas 28:02  

Yeah. And is there, I know the question that will come out there is, is there any concern of becoming dependent on colonics? If you’re spacing them out that far?


Zhenya Gerson 28:11  

If you’re coming once a week, yeah, you’ll become dependent and I won’t let you book in. I’ve had, I have had clients I’ve said no too because they’re coming in too much. So yeah, I don’t allow for that to happen. If you’re coming in once a week that’s too much. But if you’re coming in, there’s a few there’s maybe three to six relatively close together, that’s fine. And we give it a break. But yeah, once a month, or once every six weeks is fine. It’s not doesn’t become dependent. It’s like a facial from the inside.


Natalie K. Douglas 28:40  

Yeah, I like it. I liked my kind of facial from the inside. I like that.


Zhenya Gerson 28:44  

Yeah. And everyone’s skin looks better. Everyone’s eyes are brighter. Everyone has more energy, it literally is a facial from the inside.


Natalie K. Douglas 28:52  

Yeah. Well, it’s just amazing how much, I mean we talk about on this podcast all the time. And I know you would as well just how the gut affects everything, there’s a link to the gut and everything you can possibly think of because it is the gateway to so much and looking after it is so important. I know that there is no way I can heal someone’s thyroid, for example, if I don’t address their gut health. So I love that, you know, there are all these tools available to us to make use of and I love that the way that you’re practicing. I really respect that because I have had other people have not amazing experiences with colon hydrotherapist and not approaching it in the way that you have. And that’s why I’m really passionate about the way that you’re doing things and why I wanted to get you on the podcast. And I think that’s probably actually a discussion to maybe have like what would you recommend to people in terms of how to find a good therapist? Obviously, if they’re in Sydney and close to Cronulla then they can come and see you but what other questions they should ask. Are there, you know, different things they should look out for? What would you recommend?


Zhenya Gerson 30:05  

Yeah, I get asked this question all the time for my clients that maybe are moving to a different area or coming in from overseas or my friends over in other countries are asking me who should I work for? So there is an association called I-ACT in America, that’s pretty well regarded. I-ACT certified therapist myself. And so I would go onto their websites. It’s I-Act.org and then you can see who’s been accredited.


Natalie K. Douglas 



Zhenya Gerson

But that’s not the only thing. We want to pick up the phone, we want to call the clinic and we want to ask them, how they do their treatment. Do they do massage? Do they spend, you know, 15 minutes in a consultation beforehand? What the qualification is of the therapist? Do they have any nutrition or naturopathy background or nursing, nursing nurses make great colon hydrotherapists. Yeah, just to kind of understand how long that business and that practitioner has been practicing. And, you know, kind of their background because unfortunately, and I literally just heard the story yesterday, a client, a new client came to see me she was Mon Gong. So she knows she did the 45-minute drive to come see me. And the place that she was going to before was a different style of colonic. And, you know, she said nobody spoke to her. Nobody spoke to her about, you know, her health or her background. They, she was very crampy. She was in the room on her own. And the clinic itself colon hydrotherapy wasn’t the focus, they did more beauty, beauty treatments as well. So that would probably be the type of place I would avoid. So we kind of want to go to a place that is holistic. So it doesn’t have to be just colon hydrotherapy. But, like for us, we’ve got kinesiologists that work there. We’ve got massage therapists, naturopath, nutritionist. So if you’re in a clinic like that, where there’s lots of holistic and complementary health care services, great. I would probably avoid the ones that have sort of laser and beauty stuff and Botox, this place did Botox. So yeah, so ask questions to people on the phone as long as you need to. I will spend 10, 15 minutes on the phone with a new clients sometimes when they have lots of questions.


Natalie K. Douglas 32:26  

Yeah, yeah, mind as to your colon, you should ask all the questions you want. That’s what I say.


Zhenya Gerson 32:32  

If we’re gonna, if we’re going to a closed colon hydrotherapy clinic, we want to ask them if they do a slow fill. So slow fills, belly massage, are really important. Not a lot of places will do the reflexology like we do but belly massage and slow fills are important.


Natalie K. Douglas 32:50  

Yeah, and the belly massage is so nice, like. And I also think it’s really good because you also educate people on how to do it for themselves as well, which I think can be really powerful because a lot of us don’t realize that you can actually press quite firmly and then you need to make things happen. So there’s a mix of you know, soft belly rubs, and then like I’m moving shit kind of belly rubs and both have their time and their place. So I think it’s, it’s a way to even be educated, which I think it’s why it’s so good that someone is in the room, doing that talking to you, explaining what’s happening, and it’s just such a better environment to do it in. The other question I have for you is that is there anyone that or any people who shouldn’t go like that colon hydrotherapy is not appropriate for them?


Zhenya Gerson 33:43  

Yeah, there’s contraindications for colon hydrotherapy for sure. A big one is Crohn’s disease, active Crohn’s disease is a big contraindication, colon cancer, severe painful bleeding, hemorrhoids, pregnancy is a contraindication and I send my clients to become pregnant and I send them to reflexology, which is really good to move their bowels once they’re pregnant. Clearly anything like appendicitis, recent any sort of recent surgery on the abdominal area so you know if we’ve had a fibroid removed or a gallbladder or anything like that, we need to give it some healing time. After you’ve given birth, especially if we’ve given birth C-section we’ve got away several couple of months. Yeah, so there are definitely some contraindications for colon hydrotherapy, also colitis. Yeah, so anytime that there’s, so anytime there’s inflammation in the bowel. Once the inflammation we’ve gotten control of the inflammation either what from working with another practitioner, then you know, we’ll go for another test, another ultrasound, or whatever it might be to check the inflammation. If the inflammation is all clear then yeah, we can go ahead and come on in.


Natalie K. Douglas 35:03  

And this is why a conversation with someone is so important because how many people would know that like, that’s why I think it’s so important that you want someone who is going to ask you questions before you just book in and have a tube up your butt and get your colon cleaned because there are so many, I can think of so many people in situations where there are contraindications that would think oh, no, this would be good for me. So really important to have that conversation. 


Zhenya Gerson 35:32  

Yeah, pregnancy is one of those ones that gets a little heated, sometimes some colon hydrotherapists, there’s hydrotherapists will do a colonic on people that are pregnant. I have done colonics on people that are pregnant, we didn’t know that they were pregnant and nothing was wrong, you know? 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

But just to keep things safe. I generally say to them, get an at-home enema kit. Do it that way, that’s totally fine. And years ago, interesting. I have a lot of clients that are nurses. Years ago, they used to give you an enema as soon as you were in labor, the first because they wanted to clear that end of the colon. So then when we are pushing, it’s a clean bush. And then for some reason they stopped that. So enemas are okay.


Natalie K. Douglas 36:19  

Yeah, okay, good to know. And when someone would do an enema then would it just be water? Would they use coffee or? 


Zhenya Gerson

Oh, no, only water. For pregnant only water. 


Natalie K. Douglas 



Zhenya Gerson



Natalie K. Douglas 

Good stuff. And I think the next thing I’m really excited to talk about because I’m so passionate about it is pooing properly and what you can do. And in particular, you’re beautiful footstool that you’ve created called the PROPPR. So, let’s start with pooing properly and how to actually do that. What is the setup because so many people don’t realize that there’s a way to poo properly.


Zhenya Gerson 36:57  

Yeah, well, they say the creation of the modern toilet has been the worst thing that’s ever happened to humanity for our bowels. So for act of sitting at 90 degrees, so sort of knees and then shins down at 90 has been the worst thing for us. If you look through history, if you look at toddlers, I love looking at toddlers. You know, when they’re still, they still have their nappies or diapers. But there’s you know, there’s walking around there, sort of image right getting on your poo chain, you will find them hiding underneath the dining room table in a smart position doing a poo. And you know, that is the way we should we do it right.


Natalie K. Douglas 37:36  

Absolutely. Maybe not, maybe not under the dining room table.


Zhenya Gerson 37:41  

Not under the dining room table. Even you look at animals, they’re squatting, so we have to go back and look at kids and animals. The clearly they’ve got, they know intuitively how to move, how to get things going, how to move things out. And so, but we sit in chairs all day, we are not as flexible unless we’re doing you know. We’ve got a great yoga practice or we’re a gymnast or a dancer or something, our flexibility is not going to allow us to squat. And we should not squat on a modern toilet anyway, I mean feet up on the seat because it wasn’t made to withhold that weight and that pressure. So what we have is called a proper so, it’s a footstool, PROPPR, there’s no E in that. And what it does is you pull it around, you put your feet up to the stool as you’re sitting on the toilet. Sitting on it with your bum, feet on the stool. 


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson

And it lifts the feet so that your knees are above the hips. And that’s what’s important. So, if you think about a squat all the way down, knees are above the hips. And then what happens is we have the sigmoid colon at the end of the colon. And the sigmoid colon kind of is an S bend when we’re sort of walking around or we’re just sitting on a toilet normally. And the S bend are kind of like a sink or a toilet holds in what should be there so it doesn’t sort of release and flow out. But when we’re moving our bowels, we want that S-bend to become more like a slide. So, when we lift our knees, knees above the hips, the S-bend, sigmoid in colon comes a little bit straighter, and acts as a slide and things can literally just slide out. And to be honest, if people could just put their feet onto a stool, it would make the world of difference better than any laxative that you could go buy over the counter. And so many people have told me that. So many clients have said, this has made a world of difference. Yeah, so one thing I’ve done, it’s the one thing I’ve changed. And now I can do every day. Also great for emptying the bladder more fully, especially for hemorrhoids, relieving wind. So it has lots and lots of benefits.


Natalie K. Douglas 1:02  

And is there a certain like height that a footstool needs to be in order to create the optimal angle or is it that as long as your knees are above your hips, period, that that’s enough,


Zhenya Gerson 1:16  

As long as your knees are above your hips, that’s enough. In Australia, our toilets are more of a standard size and height. Whereas, you know, I was just in America in June and July. And of course, now you know, because it’s my business. And because I’m thinking about it. And because we’re entering the US market, I was really paying attention to all the different toilets there. And whether I was in a hotel, or in somebody’s house, every toilet was really different as far as height. So yeah, you just have to think as long as the knees are above the hips. So like kind of those little kiddie stools that you can buy at Kmart and Walmart are generally not tall enough. 


Natalie K. Douglas

Hmm, yeah. 


Zhenya Gerson 1:58 

And they’re really bulky.


Natalie K. Douglas 2:01  



Zhenya Gerson 2:02  

Yeah. And they cause like a tripping hazard, which is ours is quite sleek and slim. And so you can just sort of put it off to the side. Nobody trips over it. Kids aren’t gonna.


Natalie K. Douglas 2:12  

Yours doesn’t even look like a footstool. Like, it looks like a piece of art in the bathroom.


Zhenya Gerson 2:18  

Yes, well, we won a good designer award actually. Yeah, the good Design Awards in Australia. We won one this year. For our sleek design form and function. They gave us kudos for.


Natalie K. Douglas 2:30  

I love that. I love that. That’s so good. It’s gonna be funny when people ask you in the future, like what do you do? Like when they when they’re not in this industry? Hey, what do you do?


Zhenya Gerson 2:43  

My husband is an engineer, IT engineer, he works for a satellite company. So, whenever we go to his Christmas parties or his work functions, they’re like, what do you do? I’m like, let me tell you.


Natalie K. Douglas 2:59  

Yes. Yeah. Oh, that’s so good. I love that. What a great conversation starter.


Zhenya Gerson 3:03  

Yeah, and they all think I’m bizarre. You know, these guys are all like, nerdy IT dudes.


Natalie K. Douglas 3:10  

Yeah. I mean, I don’t know about you but I forget that most people don’t talk about poo every day. Whereas for me, yeah.


Zhenya Gerson 3:19  

What was wrong with them?


Natalie K. Douglas



Zhenya Gerson 

They want to talk about it. As soon as they yeah, everyone’s talking to me about it. And it’s fine. It’s just great that it’s like, it just takes one person to start talking about it. And then next thing you know, there’s like five people around me going, what do you think about this?


Natalie K. Douglas 3:32  

Yeah, yeah. What does this mean? What does it mean if my poo floats? What does it mean if this happens? It’s yeah.


Zhenya Gerson



Natalie K. Douglas

I bet so many people google it.


Zhenya Gerson 3:38  

Go to the bathroom every day. What do you mean there’s residue in my water?


Natalie K. Douglas 3:43  

Yeah. Right. What do you mean I’m, you know, supposed to have my knees above my hips. It’s, it’s crazy, isn’t it? But I agree with you like getting a footstool is just such a good step in the right direction, whether you currently have what you would call gut issues or not, it’s absolutely something that everyone should have in their home. And I love that you’ve designed one that looks good. Isn’t you know a huge trip hazard and is designed really really well and I think there are two, are there two designs at the moment?


Zhenya Gerson 4:18  

Well, they’re two materials. So we have a timber one that comes in a Tasmanian oak as well as a whitewash and a black matte. And then we have an acrylic version that comes in three different colors as well. So they’re a different price point. Some people just want the acrylic one because it’s you know, they’ve got kids or whatever and they’re worried about it getting you know damaged or whatever. The timber one is really beautiful. Looks so good in the bathrooms. And yeah, people walk in and the clients tell me they go yeah, my friends, you know, they come to use the bathroom. They want to know what that thing is. They think it’s a shelf for candles. My friend’s husband put his beer on it. 


Natalie K. Douglas 5:05  

Oh, that’s funny. Multi multitasking kinda for. Yeah, that’s awesome and.


Zhenya Gerson 5:10  

It looks good. It’s good conversations.


Natalie K. Douglas 5:13  

Exactly. I really like that. Where can people buy it and find out more about the PROPPR?


Zhenya Gerson 5:20  

Well, you can buy it online. The website is ThePROPPR.com, PROPPR. I sell them in the clinic at Exhale. There’s a couple of other clinics in New South Wales that sell it. There’s one in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, Sally Hawkins sells there. We’ve just been listed on Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s come in at Goop.com. They’re currently selling the Tasmanian oak one in the US and come January the acrylic versions will be available on Amazon in the US as well.


Natalie K. Douglas 5:54  

So, good. Amazing.


Zhenya Gerson 5:55  

If anything, we have a stockist page on our website so you can always look on the stock at this page. Oh, we have another clinic in Adelaide that sells them. So yeah, there’s a few.


Natalie K. Douglas 6:03  

Okay, awesome. And I will put all of those links in the show notes for people. Last question is a little bit different but what’s one thing that you’re loving right now? Absolutely anything.


Zhenya Gerson 6:19  

In love in the footstool.


Natalie K. Douglas 6:22  

There’s something to footstool.


Zhenya Gerson 6:24  

Yeah. I’ve been like evangelical about a company called SuperFeast. They are, they do medicinal mushroom blends. And honestly I love, I love their products. I know Mason and Tani and they’re just they worked you know, there’s they have different ones for adrenal health, for gut health, gut and immune tonic, they have a neural nectar for brain stuff. It’s they have a beauty blend that’s awesome for people with problem skin. So, they’re products I love. I’m a big huge, huge fan of their products. Um, food-wise, I always sort of, it’s interesting food. Sometimes, you know, I’m into like, I have to have tahini on everything, you know?


Natalie K. Douglas

Oh, my God. I go through that stage, every now and again. 


Zhenya Gerson

But it’s and then when you look at it, it’s going alright, well the body’s craving calcium. I’m not getting it from something so my sesame seeds have what I need. Right now, what am I eating a lot? I’m obsessed with things like little veggie patties. Sort of like, little veggie fruit or things. 


Natalie K. Douglas

Oh, yum. 


Zhenya Gerson

So I feel making some green carrot and zucchini and kale, whatever I have and then sort of thought today. Oh, no, no, I’m obsessed with those right now. 


Natalie K. Douglas 7:37  

What do you use to find them? Like how do you stick them together?


Zhenya Gerson 7:40  

I use an egg. I use an egg and I used a bit of spelt flour used to bind together. 


Natalie K. Douglas

So good.


Zhenya Gerson

Yeah. And what else? Spending a lot of time and it’s summertime here in Australia. So it’s nice to sort of get down to the beach with the dog every day. Not every day. Should like it everyday but you know, several times a week, three, four times a week we’ll go down this afternoon because it’s really hot today. So yeah, that’s what I’m loving at the moment.


Natalie K. Douglas 8:08  

Amazing. Well, thank you so much for teaching us all about colon hydrotherapy and for sharing your footstool with us that I will definitely pop all of the links in the show notes for everything that you’ve talked about. And if anyone listening has any follow-up questions, I’m sure that we can get you back on for another chat.


Outro 8:29  

Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, just submit them to [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friend. And if you’re looking for more info about how we can accelerate your journey to your optimal health, you can find me, Nat, over at NatalieKDouglas.com and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time! 


The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


Zhenya Gerson | Colon Hydrotherapist & Holistic Nutritionist

Zhenya Gerson | Colon Hydrotherapist & Holistic Nutritionist


Zhenya Gerson is an I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist, with Level 2 study and certification, Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness Consultant and Yoga Instructor with 16 years in the wellness industry, is driven to empower people to be aware of their own bodies, to live a healthy life and make conscious decisions about their own health and for their personal wellbeing.

Zhenya is also the co-founder of Proppr - which is an elegant australian designed footstool to get you in the Proppr position for your next trip to the bathroom.


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