Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - Jan 2013  

The Tunnel Inside

by Daniel Hertz

I recently completed my 5 year Colonoscopy follow-up and got a great tour of the tunnel inside of me.  In case you are not familiar with a Colonoscopy, it is Western medicine’s version of the Complete Wash that we do in Yoga.  Before the procedure could be done, a thorough cleansing of my large intestine (or colon) had to be completed.  At the start of the procedure, a physician trained in endoscopy inserted a lubricated scope in my anus.  The doctor then gently guided the scope through my colon.  The images of the magnified, well-lit tunnel were projected on a large screen TV.  If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of this experience, it is like seeing your own private Discovery Channel TV show.  This was my second Colonoscopy. I had my first one at age 50 and because at that time they found a polyp, even though it was benign, they highly recommended a 5 year follow-up.  That is how I ended up doing another Colonoscopy at age 55.  Each stage of it went well and this time the doctor did not find any polyps or other problems.

Since this was my second time, every step of the process was familiar and I was much more comfortable with the whole thing.  They have a new “lower volume” cleansing solution and offered me the choice of using that or the one where you drink a gallon of water.  I chose the lower volume method, and it worked well.  Just like the saline induced Yoga Complete Wash, the object is for the bowel movement to become a clear liquid.  That is how you know you have completed a successful cleansing (and Complete Wash).  The doctor complemented me several times as he was moving the scope through the colon on what a great prep job I did.  I have found that one of the keys to this is eating lightly for a couple of days before.  It is the same type of preparation you would do for the Yoga Complete Wash, so if you have experience with that, it is very helpful.

I was awake to hear the doctor’s compliments and talked to him and the nurse during the procedure.  Like the first time I had the procedure 5 years ago, I declined any sedation. This allowed me to remain fully conscious the whole time.  We discussed what the doctor was seeing along the way.  The whole tour took less than 30 minutes.  Normally they don’t let outside observers come into the room and watch the procedure.  The designated driver has to wait in the lobby, and that is what my wife Nikki had to do when she drove me 5 years ago.  But after that first procedure I was so enthusiastic and thrilled with what I had seen that this time Nikki wanted to watch it.  So I called the doctor’s office ahead of time and got approval from the doctor for Nikki to observe the procedure.  When the nurse called my name, she followed me into the back area and sat quietly in the corner of the examination room.

The doctor was like a tour guide leading a sightseeing expedition.  He gave us a detailed narrative of what we were watching on the TV screen.  The various sections of the large colon add up to about 5 feet long (1.5 meters).  The large intestine is smooth with ridges and you see the light colored blood vessels against the whitish/pink background all along the way.  The doctor could see that both Nikki and I were enjoying his detailed description so he went one step further than usual.  When he reached the point where the large intestine ends (cecum) and the small intestine begins (ileum) he moved the probe through the flap-like valve opening into the small intestine. This peek was enlightening.  The small intestine looked like an exotic fish at the bottom of the ocean with its bristling, soft brush-like projections that are called villi.  Wow!  That view alone was worth the price of admission.

I don’t know yet if I will decide to have another Colonoscopy 5 or 10 years down the road and I have some time to think about it.  But I am glad I tried it these two times and am elated for my clean bill of health.  It is a very satisfying feeling to empty your colon. It brightened my mood, energized me, and cleared my mind during my morning meditation.  I already have a plan to do the Complete Wash (minus the Colonoscopy) next spring.  I am looking forward to the emotional, spiritual, and health benefits it brings.


Editor’s Note:

Daniel Hertz (RYT 500 and Certified Biofeedback Practitioner) lives in Minneapolis and is on the faculty of The Meditation Center. He is the author of Swami Hari: I am a simple forest monk. It is available on Amazon .com and several other online sites. In India Swami Hari: I am a simple forest monk is available at the Swami Rama and SRSG Ashrams in Rishikesh, HIHT in Jolly Grant, and SRIVERM in Malethi.
Daniel has previously written these articles for the AHYMSIN Newsletter (to read, click on title):