Many are the "alternative" medicine therapies that I've examined with a skeptical eye over the years. The vast majority of them rest on concepts that range from pre-scientific to religious to outright pseudoscientific to—let's face it—the utterly ridiculous. Examples abound: Reflexology, reiki, tongue diagnosis, homeopathy, ear candling, cupping, crystal healing, urine drinking, detoxifying foot pads, "detox foot baths," and the like. The list goes on.
Of these, one of the most amazingly silly and ridiculous alternative therapies of them all, if not the most ridiculous—although, to be fair, it's really, really tough to compete with nonsense like homeopathy for that title—is the coffee enema. It's a staple of "detox" therapies the world over, as its entire rationale is that it somehow removes the fantastical unnamed "toxins" on which quacks of all stripes like to blame pretty much all diseases on. It's a particularly prominent component of a cancer therapy known as Gerson therapy, which involves many supplements, vegetable juices, and five coffee enemas a day. It's a treatment that, not surprisingly, doesn't work. People who rely on Gerson therapy (and coffee enemas) to treat cancer do not do well. Unfortunately, that has never stopped Gerson therapy believers and alternative medicine practitioners utilizing it for purposes other than cancer from claiming all sorts of benefits in "detoxifying the liver" and cleaning the layers of backed up feces claimed to be leading to "autointoxication" even though surgeons and gastroenterologists never see such a level of fecal buildup, except in patients with bowel obstruction or a lack of bowel motility that make them acutely sick.
I was reminded of this by this by a recent article, which was unintentionally gut-bustingly funny, on the quack website Health Impact News entitled The Powerful Health Benefits of Coffee Enema Therapy that Big Pharma Does Not Want you to Know by John P. Thomas, who evidently thinks that coffee enemas are such powerful medicine that big pharma is afraid of them:
Why does Big Pharma hate coffee enema therapy? The answer is that coffee enemas are a powerful liver detoxification tool, a pain relieving therapy, and a therapy for cleansing and healing the colon. Retention coffee enemas are a key part of successful alternative cancer treatment protocols, because they rid the body of toxins that cause cancer and eliminate the toxins released by dead and dying cancer cells. Coffee enemas do all this and more without side effects and at minimal cost.
Minimal side effects? I suppose that's true if you count "minimal" as meaning the potential for electrolyte imbalance, sepsis, colon or rectal perforation, and proctocolitis due to the coffee itself, among others, up to and including death. One notes that the proctocolitis is not necessarily due to using fluid that is still hot and appears to have something to do with the chemicals (yes, my quacky friends, there are—gasp!—chemicals in coffee!) in the coffee. Sure, the risk is relatively small, but when you're doing a procedure that has no demonstrated medical benefits, even a small risk is too much to countenance. I like to make an analogy to acupuncture, where the risk of significant injury due to acupuncture needles is indeed small—although, I hasten to add, not nonexistent, as its proponents sometimes imply or outright claim—but not worth it given its nonexistent benefits.
So what's a quack to do? Compare the adverse events of coffee enemas to real medicine, exaggerating the harms of real medicine, and then say:
However, if an alternative herbal therapy might have contributed to the illness or death of 6 people worldwide, then the quack alarm starts its high pitched quack-quack-quacking. That is the sound that conventional medicine and Big Pharma makes when a successful and unpatentable natural alternative therapy threatens their profit margin.
No, it's because six deaths are too much if there is no benefit to the treatment. A single death is too much if there is no benefit to the treatment.
It is, of course, rather interesting to consider how firing perfectly good coffee up one's bum and holding it there would "detoxify" anything. For example, it's believed somehow to "cleanse" the liver because of something called the portal circulation. Basically, there is a part of the circulation called the portal venous system whose veins drain straight from the GI tract to the liver, with the veins converging on the portal vein, before heading to the heart. To put it (very) simply, the function of the portal venous system is to send substances absorbed from the GI tract first to the liver for processing before they reach the general circulation. It's part of the reason why there is something called a "first pass" metabolism of drugs taken orally that can remove much of the drug from the blood before it reaches the systemic circulation. Truly the liver is an amazing organ, and in healthy (and even not-so-healthy) people a most amazingly effective "detoxification" mechanism.
In any case, there is an old concept mentioned before known as autointoxication. It's an ancient concept, dating back to ancient Egypt, that posits that our fecal wastes are poisoning us. Now, back then they had no idea of the portal circulation, but the idea was that the "unclean" stuff from the feces could back up and slowly poison the body. A more sophisticated version of the concept of autointoxication rose to prominence in the 19th century and persisted even in mainstream medicine until even the 1920s. The idea was little different, namely that putrefactive products of digestion remained in the colon, there to leech into the bloodstream and sicken patients. There were even surgeons—and prominent ones!—who advocated total colectomy for the autointoxication that was thought to cause diseases ranging from epilepsy to "lassitude." Indeed, I was reminded by this last season on The Knick, the Cinemax TV show about a surgeon from turn of the century (as in 1900) New York City, there was a storyline involving a woman with severe psychiatric problems who was treated by removal of her teeth and her colon. Although autointoxication was not explicitly mentioned, it was the rationale for such barbaric treatments unrelated to the actual pathophysiology. In the show, the doctor who subjected the woman to colectomy for her psychiatric issues came to be viewed as a quack, but there were others out there who advocated surgery who were not so considered. What's particularly amazing about this whole "autointoxication" concept was that, in the time before antibiotics, colon surgery, even relatively straightforward colon surgery, had a high mortality due to infection. It was pretty risky surgery.
By the 1920s or so, science had shown that the various symptoms observed in patients with chronic constipation were largely due to distension of the bowel and were not due to autointoxication. As is its wont, scientific medicine moved on from a failed hypothesis. Alternative medicine practitioners, as is their wont, never did, hence the continued popularity of coffee enemas, which are supposed to correct autointoxication both through their physical action removing fecal matter and "stimulating" the liver to produce bile through the absorption of the various substances in the coffee, such as palmitic acids, straight into the portal circulation. Of course, one of those substances, one of the main reasons people drink coffee, is caffeine; so symptoms of caffeine overdose are another set of potential adverse events due to this exceedingly silly alternative treatment. Amazingly, in contrast, Thompson claims that actually drinking coffee instead of doing enemas with it "impairs" liver activity. The evidence for that? The same as for the rest of the article: None.
All of this is not surprising that a "holistic" quack named Linda Isaacs, who worked with Nicholas Gonzalez, whose treatment protocol for pancreatic cancer also involved "detoxification" with coffee enemas as a prominent part, cites 19th century literature as a justification for coffee enemas:
Coffee enemas have long been in use. In a case report in the Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal in December 1866, M.A. Cachot, MD, described successful use of a coffee enema to treat a child dying from an accidental poisoning. (5) Articles from the late 1800s reported that coffee enemas were helpful in post-operative care; (6) at a medical meeting in 1896, Dr. W.J. Mayo, one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic, mentioned coffee enemas as a routine part of care for patients after abdominal surgery. (7) Coffee enemas were listed as a stimulant and as a treatment for shock in medical and nursing textbooks in the early 1900s. (1;8) In an extensive 1941 article in Uruguayan Medical, Surgical and Specialization Archives, Dr. Carlos Stajano described immediate improvement in near-terminal patients after coffee enemas, including a patient with cocaine intoxication and a patient with post-operative shock. (9) He elaborated on his extensive experience with coffee enemas in post-operative management and made a plea for their continued use.
Even if all of this is true, it's irrelevant. Many medical practices of the 19th century were abandoned because they were later found not to be useful. Yes, it's true that enemas were used in colon surgery. They're still used sometimes to this day, although better ways of cleaning the feces out of the colon in preparation for surgery and colonoscopy have supplanted them, such as the ever-dreaded GoLytely and similar solutions that patients drink to flush themselves out.
There's a lot of information about the detailed mechanics of actually doing a coffee enema, none of which I want to dwell on. It's an enema, after all. Yes, it's a good idea, if you subscribe to the madness that makes one think that shooting coffee up one's posterior is in any way a good idea, to make sure the coffee's cooled down to a temperature that isn't going to cause internal burns. I was, however, amused by some of the advice on selecting the actual coffee to be used:
Only use organic coffee. Conventionally grown coffee contains pesticides, which will defeat the whole purpose of the enema. The organic coffee must contain caffeine. The caffeine is necessary to stimulate the cleansing of the liver. Do not use instant coffee or decaffeinated coffee.
Good to know! No decaf for my colon, just as I refuse to drink decaf coffee. It defeats the purpose of the coffee. And, of course, avoid those nasty pesticides. Oh, and use light or medium roast and avoid the mold, too:
Some people believe in using raw coffee beans. Some use extra light roast coffee. Some prefer light roast, medium roast, and even dark roast. There are rather intense points of view about this. In general, raw and very lightly roasted coffee will be highest in caffeine content, but may contain a naturally occurring toxin. These coffees will provide the strongest stimulation for the liver and the least level of discomfort during the enema. Light roast, medium roast, and dark roast will have less caffeine. The Gerson cancer clinic recommends either light or medium roast drip grind coffee. 
Some people have an adverse reaction to the coffee if it contains mold. Many sources of coffee are not screened for mold content. If you are concerned, then seek organic enema coffee that has been tested to be mold free. Yes, there are coffees that are intended for enemas and not for drinking. Otherwise, a high quality organic coffee will work well for most people.
One wonders what coffee growers think about people making coffees specifically for the purpose of wasting it and sticking it up their butts. They probably don't care, as long as they get paid. But beware! You're not done yet. You must use very specific equipment for your coffee butt experience! You can ruin the whole "detox" experience just by using the wrong equipment. Really, you can:
The purpose of doing a coffee enema is primarily detoxification. You are trying to get the liver to release accumulated toxins such as heavy metals, plasticizing chemicals, and other toxic chemicals. This means you should not make the coffee in aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic containers or in equipment that has parts made of these materials. The best way to make coffee for an enema is to boil the coffee in a glass or porcelain lined pot. Once it has boiled for the needed time, then it can be strained with a very fine strainer or simply decanted by pouring off the liquid from the coffee grounds after they have settled to the bottom of the pot.
Do not use paper filters, because they contain chlorine and other toxic chemicals. Do not use chlorinated tap water especially if it contains fluoride. Once again, these are the kinds of chemicals that you want to detox from your body. Some people discourage the use of spring water that is purchased in plastic and others discourage the use of reverse osmosis (RO) water. There are many pros and cons to water selection, and they are worth investigating.
Oh, dear. Apparently this means you can't actually use the easiest means of all, a drip coffee maker. Too much metal tubing in the heating element and you have to use a paper filter (disposable) or a metal mesh filter if you're one of those people who have a permanent filter. Of course, inquiring minds want to know whether other forms of coffee will work. What about French press, for instance? Then there's the water. Of course, I figured before I ever read this that tap water would never do. That's just far too...ordinary. I suppose you need to use only the purest rain water collected in a glass or porcelain collector from the deepest, purest depths of the Brazilian rain forest or from deep in the Himalayans. Or maybe you have to find a pristine, crystal spring deep in the heart of the mountains, fed only by snow melting off the unspoiled mountain peaks. Whatever.
I've always viewed this fascination with enemas and "detoxification" as religious in nature, associated with concepts common in many religions involving how human beings are "unclean" and need to ritually purify themselves. Certainly there is no scientific justification for such treatments. The only things they're good for are enriching quacks, lightening the wallets of the gullible, and providing amusing grist for bloggers like myself.
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That 1866 citation is excellent proof that coffee enemas work, and are being suppressed by the Medical Establishment..
Out of morbid curiosity I checked to see what the oldest PubMed reference on coffee enemas is, and it turns out to be a Gerson paper from 1978.
Weirdly, the most modern reference (2014) is an apparently serious paper suggesting coffee enemas might have a place in preparing patients for video capsule endoscopy.
I'm disappointed use of a Bunn coffee maker was not suggested.
How about using kopi luwak?
It is not cheap, but it has seen the insides of a being once, which makes it more experienced. It seems not that tasty, so perhaps using it as an enema is the best use.
I have one experience with a real cleaning of my colon, but they didn't use an enema.
The Merck Manual mentioned coffee enemas up until 1977: http://www.coffee-enema.ca/merck.htm
They are recommended for their stimulative effect, no mention of detoxification or cancer treatment. Interestingly, the manual also recommends whiskey enemas for the same purpose.
Metropolitan Wellness's website** recommends using
" s.a. Wilson's Therapy Blend, Clinically proven, Lab tested 100% Cert, Organic enema coffee"
which has its own website detailing
" Gold Roast- the coffee professionals use".
They also sell equipment.
They ship their wares to the US, Canada, UK, France. S.Korea and China.
(Some commenters here, years ago, suggested "crapucinos, Crapbucks and @sspresso")
** Null's woo-fraught nurse, Luanne, health counsellor, co- practitioner, partner in fraud.
"It seems not that tasty, so perhaps using it as an enema is the best use." Coffee enemas may be tastier.
It's an excuse for caffeine addicts to get a dose that's as powerful as a snort of crystal meth. One more reason to regulate caffeine in a manner similar to alcohol.
Actually, I wonder about this:
The subjective effects of a number of substances differ to some degree as an outcome of the route of administration. For example n-n-dimethyltryptamine is active when inhaled as a vapor or when injected, is normally inactive via oral administration, but is orally active in plant form combined with certain other plants per Amazonian shamanic practices (science-based psychopharmacology should look into that).
So could it be that the caffeine in coffee has different subjective effects as an enema than as a beverage? Could there be other psychoactive alkaloids in coffee that are inactive orally but active when when absorbed via the colonic mucosa? Psychopharmacology should look into that too, and it would not surprise me if there were additional stimulants present that were normally broken down by stomach acid but subtly active when they sneak in via the back door.
Other than the caffeine, what's the supposed magic ingredient in coffee that that sucks out those toxins? Could this be a case of Big Coffee repressing other curative fluids to capture a functional monopoly on the colon cleansing concession? What's wrong with English Breakfast Tea, for the classicists, or energy drinks for the hip youth? How about Red Bull? Or Yerba Mate ("the 'strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate' all in one beverage.") Have the Gerson's folks even tried injecting a can of Bluephoria up their tuchuses?
If the idea is to dissolve bad stuff in your innards, shouldn't the obvious choice be Coca-Cola?
I've noticed that many alt-med types seem to be stuck in the 19th century (if not earlier). There's actually a grain of truth to the claim that science-based medicine has been suppressing things like coffee enemas. The reason is because they have been found not to work, and there are safer, more efficacious treatments. Science marches on. But not the alt-med crowd, who persist with this once common but now thoroughly debunked practice (among many others with similar histories).
@ Eric Lund:
I think that amongst the woo-entranced, there's a variety of romanticism about these backward glances:
it makes them *special*- not subject to what science in general today dictates-
a bit of 'not of this earth' - with their own rules and novelisation of reality.
It was - btw- a Golden Age of Woo.
Perhaps the world is too complicated for them having statistical analysis with its corrections for sub-groups, multiple variables and diagrammes like the ones Orac uses that describe how cancer manages to emerge despite mechanisms which prevent that biological calamity.
The Gerson Support Group on facebook comprises over 11k members- the Dunning-Kruger is incredible.
" unintentionally gut-bustingly funny"
I see what you did there Orac.
But but but (sorry) does this mean I can't use organic unbleached filter papers, because that's what I've been doing ...
One Internetz to Dr Hickie.
@Denice: Ah, yes, the Romantic Age. An era of great music, great poetry, and great suffering from diseases like tuberculosis and cholera. I'm happy to live in a world where we got to keep the first two and get rid of the last.
Something these 19th century fetishists forget is that the world they lived in was already heavily shaped by human interference. True, there were bad things about the move from farms to factories, which was part of what they were rebelling against. But farms aren't the natural state of things either. The British Crown had been managing forests for quite some time by then for a variety of reasons, among which was the need for large trees to turn into ship masts. That was considered a higher use than burning the wood for heat and cooking, which were having a serious effect on the extent of forested land in England (and continue to do so in other countries, most infamously Haiti).
OK, nobody apart from a wet baby likes change. But the "good old days" usually weren't so good.
Just finished reading a really good book "How to be a Victorian" by Ruth Goodman. Good old days, right. The only those were "good old days" were if you either a)had a lot of money or b)didn't mind living on a starvation diet in horribly polluted air, drinking water with crap (literally) in it.... No Thanks.
They're called "MAO inhibitors."
Why am I not eager to try this out?
Incidentally, I think Ibsen wrote a play about this, called "An Enema of the People".
I should have mentioned Ibsen's most famous and tragic work, about his pet turkey, called "Hedda Gobbler".
For any gamers, you can save some of your pharma shill dollars and get this game on sale for the next 18 hours or so:
I'm hopeful the game creators will release some DLC, e.g. "Epidemic - Rise of the Vaccine Conspiracy Theorists", "Crapshoot - Invasion of the Unpatentable Coffee Enema People", "Pharmville - Expand your herd of sheeple" and "Pharmalization - Build an empire while fending off hordes of health freedom fighter and wine sodden warrior mom barbarians".
Yes, I agree coffee enemas as total woo. But I am curious about this old idea of autointoxication. You say "It’s an ancient concept.. that posits that our fecal wastes are poisoning us... the idea was that the “unclean” stuff from the feces could back up and slowly poison the body" and "that putrefactive products of digestion remained in the colon, there to leech into the bloodstream and sicken patients." I suffer from chronic constipation due to opioid painkillers. The longer the time between 'going', the lighter the color of the feces. Usually by day 4, I start getting really sick. If it's been a week (or more), the feces are almost white. All the color has leeched out. What's going on? I have always wondered if some waste was leeching out of colon and back into the body...
#21 CuriousCat: I'm certainly no expert but from what I recall from my human physiology coursework decades ago is clay colored stool is an indication of reduced bile production... Some sort of problem may exist in your biliary system (liver, gallblader, pancreas). Perhaps it should be checked out?
Arrrrrrrgh. Quite apart from all of the medical silliness of coffee enemas, it drives me absolutely nuts that the alt-woo crowd can't understand (or won't acknowledge) that organic farmers also use pesticides. Not only that, but "organic" pesticides are typically less effective and more poisonous (to humans) than synthetic ones, certainly much more so than that horrible boogeyman chemical, glyphosate.
In fact caffeine is more toxic than the vast majority of pesticides. Indeed, you can use caffeine as a pesticide. It has quite good efficacy against slugs. However, be careful about the amount you apply, because at high concentrations it is also a herbicide.
The fact that people want to squirt a pesticide up their butts, but want an organically grown one is characteristic of the silliness of this activity.
The best way to make coffee for an enema is to boil the coffee in a glass or porcelain lined pot. Once it has boiled for the needed time
After that barbarism, you might as well use it for enematic purposes; it surely isn't fit to drink.
the doctor who subjected the woman to colectomy for her psychiatric issues came to be viewed as a quack, but there were others out there who advocated surgery who were not so considered
IIRC, the most vocal exponent of surgical bowel-streamlining to cure all the symptoms of self-intoxication was Sir William Arbuthnot Lane. He did eventually come to be seen as a crank, but more because he went *even more overboard* and become a crusader for frugivory, whole foods and Naturism; also "his plan to foster health and longevity via three bowel movements daily".
James Whorton's history of "Inner Hygiene" is a fun read.
I am not going to bother going to the effort of firing up the Krups espresso machine if all I am going to do is fire the coffee up my bum. I can hardly expect the coffee enema cranks to do something I would not be prepared to do.
However, given they boil the coffee, I don't know why they bother with all the other Fairtrade, organic, light roast nonsense.
@ Chris Preston:
But but but..
according to woo-meisters, toasting or browning foodstuffs- including coffee- produces the dreaded *acrylamides* which would then be absorbed by sensitive tissues.
Note: you must admit, I know this crap
Vaguely related - I have recently been experimenting with cold-soaked coffee, served hot. Just coarse grind, soak overnight in the fridge and then filter (easier said than done if you grind the coffee too fine), heat and serve as preferred. It makes a smooth, less bitter, less acidic brew than a hot brew. I like it, it's far too nice to administer rectally. YMMV.
Totally O/T, but possible fodder for Our Esteemed Host, is an article in the New Yorker that arrived today, by Malcolm Gladwell, entitled "Tough Medicine", about a book by Vince DeVita, a former head of the NCI. The book is entitled "The Death of Cancer".
It's an interesting read, though ever since the Igon Value Problem, I've taken Gladwell with a bit of a grain of salt.
Oh, I'm aware. It might be fodder for my not-so-secret other blog on Monday. Or not. it depends on my mood. :-)
MORE OT but when re woo-meisters' grandiloquent grandstanding about politics
EVER truly OT @ RI, I ask you?
Some "radio" hosts of Mikey A's Talk Network ( internet radio) will be staging a "mock" mass shooting at the University of Texas Austin on Saturday, Mike will be reporting. I wonder if he'll be carrying his weapon.
Leaving out the "served hot" bit, cold-brewed coffee ("concentrate") got me from Chicago to Seattle in 40* hours in a Ford Escort way back in the day.
* And 40 cold White Castles. One of those and a shot of the coffee on the hour, every hour.
@Eric Lund #15:
I thought these two links from "Cracked" would amuse you.
In the name of science, I thought I'd give this a go. I discovered two things:
1) It's possible to get a large Starbucks latte up your arse if you pour carefully and use a big enough funnel.
2) I'm barred from Starbucks.
@ Rebecca Fisher
Thanks goodness I was not having coffee - from one end or the other - when reading your post. I would now be busy cleaning around my desk :-)
You know, for a proper scientific study, the experience should be repeated.
Pictures or it didn't happen!
wearing short trousers with no socks
Yes, but are they wearing sandals?
@Rebecca Fisher (#35): thanks for the laugh.
@Julian Frost (#34): Ah yes, the good old days that weren't. I actually am amused at the couple in Washington state who are "living the Victorian life". Yeah, they live the Victorian life while there are few diseases, the air is clean, roads are paved. Send them back to true Victorian times where many children didn't live to see their first birthday, women died young due to childbirth and lack of medical care, and people of all ages died of bacterial infections. See how fast they clamor to return to the 21st century.
I only trust water I make myself from liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Rainwater is too contaminated with chemtrails.
I've learned that the only way to interact with these arrogant little fckers is to be more arrogant and self-possessed than they are . Thus I stand up straight, look them in the eye and DEMAND - "One MEDIUM ( never stoop to use of their idiomatic terminology describing size) ice tea/ tea, black, unsweetened and a biscotti- no chocolate".
This brings to mind a commercial I already have issues with. I believe it's Nabob, and they're showing the reactions of various "down to earth" Columbian coffee-growers to various fancy coffee drinks (ie, [translated] "This is coffee?"), versus plain ol' Nabob, straight. Now I'm imagining one of them holding a plastic bag filled with coffee in one hand, and the business end of the hose in the other, and a mixture of expressions on his face as he figures out what it is...
(As an aside, the OT* issue I have with the commercial is that all the coffee drinks started with plain ol' coffee, which could even have been Nabob.)
Forgot about my asterisk...
*off-topic. Rather awkward that OT can mean original, on-, or off-topic...
I have two stories in my family of women who married into the family as replacements for a woman who died in childbirth. It's amazing how often that happened back then.
My maternal great-grandmother had 17 children, which was not unusual at that time (1880's-90's) or that place (Texas). What was unusual is that 14 of them survived to adulthood.
Apparently a 'barrista' is not a kind of medieval siege machinery. Imagine my embarrassment.
Would a barrista be a lawyer from Brooklyn?
@ Denice Walter #42
Maybe you should try going at the Coffee of Doom .
Well, they don't go for pretentious terminology for size either, but as for being arrogant and self-possessed....
(warning, sometimes NSFW webcomic, especially the language)
It happened the other way, too: a man would die of some injury or infection that would be treatable today, and his widow would go and marry some other man (because in those days it was difficult for a woman without a husband to get by). A genealogist friend of mine tells me that this, rather than the mythical milkman, is the most common scenario behind what are called non-paternity events: the new husband effectively adopts his wife's children.
Once in a while, both the bride and the groom would be replacing deceased spouses, and both would have children from the previous marriage. Blended families were around for centuries before anybody heard of the Brady Bunch.
Anyone imagining 'the Victorian life' as the good old days along some version of the naturalistic fallacy has some serious ignorance of history. The Victorian era was absolutely a product of Modernity, employing the technologies of the industrial revolution in a vain attempt to assuage the social and cultural ills that came along with it. Pre-Modern design was largely functional as it had to be hand-crafted. The elaborate decoration employed in Victorian design was only made possible by industrial manufacturing. e.g. the hyper-classical architecture of The White city at The World's Columbian exhibition constructed of short-life plaster on steel skeletons. Victorians imagined themselves looking to the past 'great civilizations' to tame the harsh realities of urbanization and the uncouth immigrant working class that gathered in the cities. But it was mostly fake (a turn to simulacra, and hyper-reality, as JB would put it). The masses didn't go for it, but it was embraced by the haute bourgeoise. In the words of Wolfgang Schilvelbusch. "As incontrovertible and palpable as indistrial experience is, everything is done to reduce it." The paradigm for Schilvelbusch, is the popularity of overstuffed ornate upholstered furniture built on stamped steel frames and steel springs. The spring and padding technologies had originated to cushion the bodies of railway travelers from the mechanical shocks of the train's "peculiar jerking motions" (The Lancet, 1862). In transplanting upholstery to the living room, and making it even more over-stuffed "the jolt to be softened is no longer physical," says Schivelbusch, "but mental: the memory of the industrial origin of objects."
I wonder if taking coffee enemas is a kind of post-industrial upholstery, a virtual cushion to soften the mental jolts of life in the 'information age', to cover over consciousness of the increasingly manufactured nature of everyday experience, to let people continue to imagine themselves as autonomous subjects unbound by the ubiquitous shaping technologies which surround them. Of course, coffee enemas are as simulacral as The White City: a 'new medical discovery' activating the power of an ancient mythic substance, ballyhooed via social media, availed by purchases made via a web-store using Visa, PayPal or Bitcoin...
FYI they perform these at one of the Breast Cancer Centers in Southeast MI. Part of their integrative medicine program. A family member of mine was doing them after she finished chemo to remove the "toxins". The thing is, how do you argue with someone who just finished cancer treatments? I couldn't. Luckily she is cancer free and doing well, but they still give her a lot of misinformation.
There is one example in my family where the husband died, the wife married again and then she died. The woman's second husband married again. The children from the original marriage were brought up by their step and step, step parents.
There’s talk about the price of coffee will skyrocket thanks to climate change and plant diseases. If that happens the solution could be to genetic engineer more resistant coffee plants or even take a classic coffee substitute like chicory, and engineer that plant to produce caffeine - biohackers talks about doing this kind of stuffs themselves at home. I wonder if they would accept genetic engineering to bring cheap buttcoffee - or a artisanal gmo chicory - to the people.
@Steven St. John
You're drinking rocket fuel straight up? How can chemtrails possibly harm someone so tough?
The article cites a Lawrence Wilson, MD. He quacks it up all over the web.
His MD comes from Centro De Estudios Universitarios Xochicalco, Ensenada, Mexico. That's not necessarily a bad thing - any number of dedicated and talented American physicians have gone to Mexican schools, but many of the students call it a moneymaking machine, and it's ranked pretty low among Mexican med schools.
He is connected with a thing calling itself the University of Natural Medicine. It's not only a hotbed of quackery; the only accreditation it appears to have comes out of the same place the coffee goes into.
I note on his website that "This website offers a discount for members of the US Military, NRA, Oathkeepers, Smart Girl Politics, Students For Liberty, Second Amendment Foundation, CCRKBA and Tea Party members". Do you think the Tea Party members get Tetley enemas instead?
Incidentally, Smart Girl Politics is about as right-wing as it sounds from the condescending name. It also seems to be supportive of the Center for Medical Progress.
It's been said that you can know someone from the company they keep; to me, at least, he's definitely someone to avoid.
Did it again, typoed my handle.
I have some important questions about coffee enemas:
Arabica or robusta?
Regular or decaf?
Hot or iced?
Cream and sugar?
Can I get it done at Starbucks? Is it in the hidden menu?
Is a Frappucino okay? With whipped cream?
After the initial insertion will the waitress come around with the pot and ask "Heat that up for you, honey?".
Can I get it to go?
If you are old enough to remember Juan Valdez who was "high in the Colombian Andes", did you ever wonder what he was high on?
@ Old Rockin' Dave #54
More or less in the order of your questions:
Some like it hot.
Rebecca #35 tried it already (didn't tell on herself or someone else), but she got kicked out. I think it was because she didn't know the freemason' secrete handshake.
Sure, but you have to bring your own whip.
Sure, but you have to bring your own whip.
I heard Starbucks is planning to propose a drive-thru service.
Do you mean the tea, or the beer?
(the Whackyweedia informs me with a straight face that Tetley's Smoothflow -- the nitrogen-fizzed version of the canned product -- is "alarmingly smooth").
Sadly, this bullshit has landed here in our country. Two graduates from the medical school I went to (oh, the shame) actually run an "Integrative Medicine Clinic" where they claim to integrate conventional and alternative medicine. Funny how in their website, all the listed services are quack diagnostics/treatments (including Coffee Enemas!) and there isn't a single science-based modality offered. The enraging thing is that our school appears to be proud of them for doing this.
I'm reminded of an ancient SLN skit where, after conducting scores of anal probes, aliens concluded that 15% of the population enjoys them.
I wonder if it's just an squeaky-clean excuse for a$$play. But I'm a sick puppy sometimes.
If I remember from my bachelors and God that was a long time ago, it goes back at least to the time of James first or second of England. The only problem is you run into Brandolini's principal when you try to research it. The first God knows how many pages are about how to administer the damn things.
Jane Ostentatious (#62): I could have sworn that was a Kids in the Hall bit...
"I wonder if it’s just an squeaky-clean excuse for a$$play."
I don't wonder. It's an entire subsection of GayTube. :p
I will stick up for the dreaded Starbuck's, as a place that gave me full health benefits as a minimum-wage barista while I was trying to work my way through grad school. And in Seattle, at least, they had two weeks of training on coffee varieties, roasts, preparation methods, all of it, before going to work, and it made me a bit of a coffee snob when I was too dirt-poor to be a snob anywhere but at work (where I drank for free).
Now, we could take Dan Savage to Starbuck's and try to have a fully local go at coffee-fueled assplay...
Re.Old Rockin' Dave @ 56:
"I note on his website that “This website offers a discount for members of the US Military, NRA, Oathkeepers, Smart Girl Politics, Students For Liberty, Second Amendment Foundation, CCRKBA and Tea Party members”. Do you think the Tea Party members get Tetley enemas instead?"
I don't know if the T-partiers get Tetley up the Tushski, but one thing that website (and Lawrence Wilson MD's email) probably does get, is an occasional peek from the FBI. This because one of the groups Dave listed from the site, is in the domestic terrorism database. Here's to hoping the feds let Wilson stay in business long enough for his "treatment modalities" to work their wonders on that group.
FilipinoMD, you come from the land of "psychic surgery." You should not be surprised that another kind of pseudomedical practice has taken hold. If this nonsense shows no signs of being left behind in the supposedly better educated USA, Canada, and Europe, it will be a long time until it vanishes from the Philippines too.
This website offers a discount for members of the US Military
I can't see members of the military putting coffee in their >i>asses. Especially not senior staff non-commissioned officers.
Damn. Borked it again.
So I missed this lecture along the way, but why is coffee from one end of the digestive tract magically healing but it's "bad" from the other end? What IS that portal vein doing to the coffee that makes it therapy and not unhealthy? *scratching my head here*
And didn't any of these quacks ever learn about enemas, electrolyte imbalances, and how the body frowns on being robbed of said electrolytes? Cause five enemas a day, daily!?
I have to mention one last thing. Drink three or four cups of coffee, and you definitely won't need an enema. I've found that out from personal experience.
Some claim it works, others claim it doesn't. A fairly safe treatment as long as it is not hot (most injuries in the literature are burns), Electrolyte imbalances mostly theoretical without much documentation.
Your frequent name calling and appeal to ridicule with no evidence of harm make you come off as unscientific and merely a name caller. Granted there is no significant evidence of detoxification as studies have not been performed, however toxicity is rarely tested for in modern medicine.
However Coffee Enemas are probably no more harmful than any other kind of enema.
Very poor article in my opinion
#73 - Very poor comment in my opinion. For one, the reason why "toxins" are rarely tested for is beacuse woomeisters and quacks alike can't even agree on a clear definition of said "toxins" - it is all very vague (most likely intentionally so).
Oh and you think these enemas are harmless? I hate to use Wikipedia as a source, but
It is apparently so "harmless" that to do a clinical trial on the effectivness of it, you have to warn the participants that there is a risk they could die from it.