By Jackie Rainford Corcoran Explore Big Sky Health Columnist

I recently tried something I never thought I would: colon hydrotherapy. My friend, Amanda Kimmel, opened Big Sky Cleansing Center in Bozeman in December 2014, and I was curious about her business.

Discussing digestion and elimination can cause squeamishness but it’s an important part of our health and very human.

Kimmel is a smart, sensitive and holistic practitioner. Not only is she a certified colon hydrotherapist who helps clean out the gastrointestinal tract, she’s a health coach who offers nutrition and lifestyle guidance. Kimmel is also a reflexologist who knows how to apply pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears to benefit corresponding organs and systems.

My session began with a 35-minute ionic footbath in her comfortable and professional office. As the ionically charged water turned a dark, rusty brown, it became evident that toxins were releasing through the pores in my feet. Black flecks appeared, possibly indicating the removal of heavy metals.

A 40-minute colon hydrotherapy treatment followed – the space is much like a massage therapy room with dim lights, calming music and soothing aromatherapy. Kimmel gave instruction on how to insert a small, disposable rectal nozzle before she left the room and when she returned, she showed me how to turn on the purified water at a slow, controlled rate. At first, I felt incredibly awkward and even embarrassed, but Kimmel’s warmth and professionalism melted that away.

“I want my clients to feel like they are in a safe, relaxing environment so privacy is very important,” Kimmel said. “My clients are always fully covered and their modesty is protected at all times.”

Kimmel uses a state-of-the-art “open system” called LIBBE that is plumbed into the building. The LIBBE has more than 3 feet of clear viewing tube, an exhaust system ensures the treatment room is odor free, and the client uses a rinsing sprayer to complete the session.

Alternative healing practices aren’t new to Kimmel, who was raised in Kalispell, Mont., by a mother who had her own colon hydrotherapy office and encouraged her children to cleanse regularly. Kimmel grew up to be intelligent, sensitive and tough enough to become a three-time contestant on “Survivor,” the reality game show where contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes.

It was after her “Survivor” appearances that she began having intestinal issues and returned to the cleansing therapies introduced to her as a child. Healing her own body inspired Kimmel to open Big Sky Cleansing Center.

It’s worth noting that the body has powerful cleansing organs. The skin, lungs, colon, kidneys and liver are all responsible for removing toxins. The problem is that if we have an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, and are exposed to environmental pollution, the system can become overwhelmed.

If you feel like your body could use a jump-start in internal cleansing, colon hydrotherapy might be an appropriate option for you.

Learn more about the Big Sky Cleansing Center.

Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach, an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a public speaker and health activist. Contact her at jackie@thetahealth.com, or find more information at thetahealth.org.