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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Monday, July 30, 2007

Treatment Room 4

So, I'm going for acupuncture twice a week these days. I'm not sure how long that will continue: it's just the teensiest bit tricky getting information out of Dr Hazel. I did manage to elicit the information from her at one point that I would be down to once a week by now were it not for the fact that I had asked her to work on my dodgy right ankle as well as on my back. But more than that she seems unwilling to reveal.

I'm getting a bit confused now about whether I'm having the acupuncture in order to be fit enough to work, or whether I've no option but to work if I'm to be able to afford the acupuncture, but I'm not really complaining. (Oh, ok, I am complaining: it's costing me a bloody fortune. However, as it's also doing me a lot of good, I'm just grumbling about the money rather than voting with my feet.)

Anyhoo. The clinic offers a variety of treatments of various levels of esoteric-ness. (That's my brand new verbal creation for today. Feel free to borrow it, and work it into everyday conversations.) There are four treament rooms, but really quite a few different practitioners using them, none of whom is there five days a week. Until today, I had only ventured as far as treatment rooms 1 and 2. These are nondescript little rooms. Each is dominated by a treatment couch, with a few sticks of MDF office furniture huddling out of the way next to the blue-painted walls. Room 1 has a coat hook. Room 2 doesn't. That's about the extent of the excitement. There isn't a lot to look at while you're waiting to be perforated.

Today, however, Dr Hazel sent me to Room 4. I'd never ventured that far before. Room 4 is up three rather tricky steps, beyond the loo. Room 4, I realised, almost immediately, is where they do the colonic irrigation treatments.

Reclining on the treatment couch waiting for Hazel and one of the osteopaths to finish their argument about the surname of the patient who had just phoned to book an appointment, I had little choice but to look at The Machine directly opposite. It's plumbed into the wall. It has black plastic dials. And chrome levers. And an integral bottle of disinfectant. And lots and lots of rather discoloured tubing. It has maximum and minimum temperatures, and the water pressure can go up to three pounds per square inch. And the only other thing in my direct line of sight was a large, colourful, and very graphic poster depicting Diseases of the Digestive System. Which, to be frank, wasn't a lot less disturbing.

I have No Idea why anyone would pay to have warm water forced up their rear end at three pounds per square inch. It really doesn't strike me as a fun way to pass the time. The fact that a variety of vapid "celebrities" endorse colonic irrigation as a beauty treatment cuts No Ice with me At All.

I found myself wondering how many people, having signed up for it, have taken one look at The Machine and run away as fast as their little legs will carry them.

And who wants a career sticking tubes up people's bottoms?? I mean, those tubes aren't even opaque. What sort of polite chit chat do you engage in with a patient the previously-impacted contents of whose bowels are rushing past both of you in a horribly visible manner?

Is it just me, or is the whole thing grim beyond imagining?

Anyway, you can, I'm sure, imagine Pop's response:

"I didn't quite get to yelldotcom in time to phone up and book you a colonic on my credit card, unfortunately. Which is a shame because you were already lying on your side anyway, so you'd've been in the right position for one. Still, at least that's solved the problem of what to get you for Christmas."

Laugh? I almost started...

The Editor


Blogger Kerrio said...

"esoteric-ness" ? nope - I am sticking with my very own "esoteric-ossitude"

The rest of the post I think I will not comment on cos of my underwhelming grossed-out-ossitude.


10:09 pm  
Blogger An Unreliable Witness said...

I am sorely tempted just to loiter in this comments box in order to discover what kind of Google searches you get as a result of some of the words and phrases used in this post.

But maybe I won't. They might scare me.

Sorry for lowering the tone. ;)

10:34 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Oh, curses! I hadn't thought of that!!

6:53 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Next time, ask to be in the aromatherapy room.

10:58 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

I am asking out of interest, not to make you envious, but why do you have to pay for acupuncture? It is a treatment just like pills or injections and therefore at least my health insurance is paying for it.
I will take care not to even come near the apparatus described in your post....

11:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Esotericity, surely.

12:08 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


If you'd ever met Hazel, you'd go where she puts you.

Anyway, they don't offer anything as namby pamby as aromatherapy.

I mean, you don't get to prod people with anything in aromatherapy...

6:31 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


It's fairly impossible to get alternative medicine treatments under the National Health Service.

Some Trusts offer things like osteopathy and counselling, but the waiting lists will be very long; you won't have a choice in which practitioner you see; and your treatment will probably be cut off after only a few visits.

I've always funded my own osteopathy, and have no major objections to doing so.

The acupuncture, at £30, is not unreasonably expensive. But it doesn't half mount up at two treatments a week.

Still, that's what savings are for, right...? (Well, no. Maybe not. But that's what I'm going to have to draw on.) And it is only a temporary situation, so it'll not ruin me financially.

6:36 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Kerrio, Abi,

My vote is for esoteric-ossitude :-)

6:38 pm  
Blogger fluttertongue said...

This had me chuckling to myself like a loon. My acupuncture clinic was more of a changing room affair with two beds and lots of curtains. The main problem was that it was absolutely freezing and the music was this insipid half English half Cantonese hybrid. No tubes fortunately but I did have my back cupped quite a few times without ever really knowing why. I emerged looking like I'd attracted a neat terrace of lovebiting fishes,

6:53 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Oo, no. No music. I wouldn't be keen on music. At all.

7:34 pm  
Blogger D Phoenix said...

I will reluctantly admit to having this procedure done many years ago. I was young and sick and impressionable. Now I am older, still sick and fed up with all the weird cure-alls and esoteric "treatments" offered, proffered and pushed. I don't know why someone would want to have a career that involved the back passage in this way, maybe we should ask the gastroenterologists as well?

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12:11 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Sounds reasonable. I suppose the problem is that our health systems are completely different. We have to pay for our health insurance every month. The rate is depending on one's income. For me that is £461 (684 Euros) per month. No matter if I actually see my doctor or need some treatment or not. Half of it is payed for by my employer, the other half is on me.
Therefore people tend to choose an insurance which is covering almost any possible treatment, as they do not want to have any additional costs on top of what they already pay for.

9:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Editor

With friends like Pop, who needs enemas?


2:58 pm  

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