‘A banana a day makes your colon smile’ & other ways of healthy self-love

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. - The Philippine Star
�A banana a day makes your colon smile� & other ways of healthy self-love
The Farm at San Benito in Lipa Batangas offers rejuvenating holistic treatment.
Büm D. Tenorio Jr.

To love the self is to take good care of a masterpiece of God. Beyond conceit, self-love is knowing that one is a good steward of one’s body, mind and soul. It means being open to nourish-and-repair pampering. It’s about healing.

The Farm at San Benito, a 52-hectare paradise in Lipa, Batangas, is a 20-year-old healing destination. It was in this place last weekend that I woke up to self-love.

It started with a sunrise breathwork therapy where proper breathing was taught to keep one’s life balance. The sound healing at the resort’s amphitheater calmed the nerves and made one sharp and focused. The Acqua Pressure pool treatment made use of the force of water to soften the knots in the body.

And then a good massage.

Under the 300-year-old mango tree, said to be the spot in the resort with the highest vortex of positive energy, are the author and Paula Tenorio and Erick Fernandez.

In a hot pool with herbs, amidst a forest, I soaked naked for 30 minutes to cleanse my body of the VCO and sea salt, which were earlier rubbed all over me. The experience was both exfoliating and relaxing. Divine.

In an open-air shower beside the pool, where butterflies fluttered and cicadas crooned, I took a hot-and-cold bath. Every remnant of the herbs that clung to my body was washed away. But the scent of tarragon, oregano, Damong Maria, eucalyptus, basil remained. Heaven

Hilot Lakan, a deep-tissue massage, ensued next for an hour. Tina Camacho, my therapist, did my whole body ample kneading, tapping, pulling, stretching, flexing. I was in dreamland after five minutes of “spampering.” Healing.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, I was exploding with joy and contentment. Add to that the mouthwatering healthy meals I had the whole day at the resort’s restaurants Alive, Prana and Pesce. Yes, The Farm serves good food — chili poppers, phad Thai, stir-fried tofu, pomelo salad, sweet and sour lapu-lapu. (Though I must admit in my first visits to the resort in the mid-2000s, I struggled with the food.)

Jennifer Sanvictores, global head of sales, marketing and communication of The Farm.

The following day saw me at the welcoming clinic of the wellness resort ready for a day of pampering. To be exact, colon pampering.

I availed myself of “colema,” a hydrotherapy intended to clean and strengthen the colon using a warm solution of kapeng barako as flusher.

“The Farm is an eco-sustainable, socially responsible green destination. A business with a purpose and passion that supports regenerative tourism. Whether it is wellness immersion or a medically-supervised lifestyle program, The Farm ensures an environmentally and culturally conscious experiences with an authentic service delivery, that transforms and revitalizes guests inside and out,” said Jennifer Sanvictores, global head of sales, marketing and communication of The Farm.

Hara Puri treatment was first done on me before the actual colon cleansing. For 30 minutes, my abdominal and pelvic area was given the gentle and therapeutic massage to help the internal organs expel gases, to help the colon relax.

“A healthy colon is a healthy life,” said Dr. Jiji Franco, my witty and knowledgeable attending physician at The Farm. She is an integrative licensed medicine doctor, whose approach to healing is done through holistic and natural ways.

Dr. Franco said the gut — that includes the stomach, intestines and colon — is also responsible for the soundness of one’s body and mind. She mentioned that physical and mental illnesses are often connected to the health of the colon.

“People need to be reminded that they should love their colon, too. To love it means to eat fiber-rich food. Vegetables, for example. A good vegetable-based diet plus exercise. And don’t forget the power of good hydration — three liters of water at the most. And never underestimate the importance of quality sleep at night — seven hours. Seven hours of uninterrupted sleep makes the colon rest,” Dr. Franco said.

Wearing an immaculate white gown, I readied myself on a bed that had a partition that served as pristine toilet bowl. And with the 3,000 coconut trees at The Farm as mute witnesses to my treatment, I ventured into colon cleansing for an hour. It was the most calming, rejuvenating experience of self-love — with a “good harvest.”

To nourish the body is to repair it from toxins. Now, I feel light. All is well.

That much I learned from The Farm, winner of 90 prestigious international awards including “Best Medical Wellness Resort in the World” from Senses magazine, Germany.

To be at The Farm is to be ensconced in the sweet embrace of lush green environment, with the mesmerizing view of Mt. Malarayat, pure fresh air and refreshing life-giving energy radiating around the property.

Dr. Jiji Franco, a holistic doctor at The Farm.

How to take care of the colon

The following are some ways to take care of the colon, according to Dr. Franco:

1. “Fiber is important in your diet. Fiber keeps the colon healthy. A banana a day makes your colon smile. So do apples. Oranges, too. And black beans, brown rice, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, camote and more.”

2. “Hydration. Never underestimate the power of drinking clean, potable water. Three liters of it. Buco juice is also an alternative.”

3. “Limit red meat. Super limit it. Otherwise, abandon. You just don’t know, or don’t feel it but red meat stays in your colon.”

4. “Exercise. Move! Move! Move! The colon is happiest when you move. Walk. Bike. Run. You just don’t burn calories when you exercise. You also exercise your colon when you do so.”

5. “Eat your veggies and healthy fats. Fish oil should be part of a good, balanced diet.”

6. “Cleanse your colon. Start with colema. Or colon hydrotherapy. Prevention is always better than cure.”

7. “Limit alcohol intake. Liver is not the only casualty here. Your colon is loneliest when there’s too much alcohol intake.”

8. “Stop smoking. The lungs are affected by smoking, yes. But the colon also.”

9. “Watch your weight. Sugar is a culprit in gaining weight. The heavier one becomes, the more at risk is one’s colon.”

10. “Please, say no to processed food. Healthy eating is always the answer to colon problem.”

11. “Get ample amounts of vitamin D. That’s the sun. Sunlight is good from sunrise to 9 a.m. Good sun is not only good for the skin, lungs and bones. It’s also good for the intestines because the rays of the sun contain vitamins that prevent colon cancer. Good sun inhibits tumor-promoting inflammation in the intestines. Of course there are other sources of vitamin D — mushrooms, yoghurt, tuna, salmon, fresh orange juice, cereals.”

“The Farm’s mission is to provide guests with a life-transformative healing holiday by offering science-based, evidence-guided, and results-driven approach to optimal well-being,” Jennifer concluded.

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