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August 27 2014

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Investigating The Other Cleanse

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While cleansing remains the style set’s preferred way to purge the system of toxins before (or after) big events, there is that other, less frequently cited “C” word that is many a front-row regular’s secret weapon for keeping the body looking and feeling its best: colonics. The process of manually flushing the colon with a mix of water and liquid chlorophyll rose to popularity in the early aughts, when cleansing hit its peak, but the treatment has received some bad press over the past few years that has taken it off the pages of Us Weekly and made it more of a covert affair. “There’s definitely a negative stigma,” says Tracy Piper, proprietress of Soho’s Piper Center for Internal Wellness, who blames colonics’ bad rap on botched colonoscopies and ill-advised at-home kits.

As far as Piper is concerned, though, colonics never went out of style. Just ask the impressive list of celebrity clients she has amassed since opening her treatment center six years ago, which includes more than a few A-list actresses, designers, and catwalkers (Piper likes to leave specific names off the record, but believe us when we tell you that you’d be impressed). “People keep it to themselves,” she says of acolytes of her patented Accucolonics, an acupuncture and colonic hybrid in which Piper, a trained massage therapist (she used to work with the New York Giants) and student of alternative medicine, stimulates certain pressure points to further increase the efficacy of the colonic machine. “The forehead directly correlates with the small intestine, the area around your mouth with the large intestine, your chin with your stomach,” she explains.

“But it’s not just for models,” Piper swears of the service, which reduces bloating, magically clears up the complexion, and can even help you drop a few pounds when you follow her post-procedure dietary recommendations, as we discovered on a recent visit (no more gluten or dairy for us). “It’s for your health”—a mantra that more and more wellness professionals are getting on board with. Alejandro Junger, a doctor of detox and a frequently quoted expert on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter, is a big fan of Piper’s work. Ditto organic skincare powerhouse Tata Harper and the brain trust behind New York’s Organic Avenue fresh pressed juices, both of whom will be a part of Piper’s brand-new retail concept at her recently expanded studio, which officially opens next week. “No one does colonics like I do colonics,” the supremely gentle Piper insists, which very well may be true. Complimentary add-ons like aromatherapy—”lemon oil helps with nausea”—and Piper’s three years of psychotherapy education make a session with Tracy unlike anything you’ll ever experience. “It’s not just about removing physical waste,” Piper says. “It’s about getting emotional waste out, too.”


The Piper Center for Internal Wellness, 73 Spring St., suite #304, NYC, (212) 925-0203.

Photo: Courtesy of The Piper Center For Internal Wellness

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