I have a friend named Adrienne whom I trust implicitly in all things New Age-y. Adrienne was the only one in our group of friends to make good on the oft-mentioned – but never-enacted – threat of quitting office life and traveling the world. While the rest of us toiled behind desks (and still do), Adrienne waited tables, made more than all of us combined (still does), and the pretty much spent all of her 20s riding elephants in India before spending a month in Vietnam before jetting to South America. If I could do it all over again, I’d be Adrienne.

Which is why one day, when she tipped me off to a place in our neighborhood that was offering a deal on colonics, I didn’t question it. I’d heard a lot about this ritual? (procedure? exorcism?) but was nervous to try it for reasons I’m sure are fairly obvious (and if they are not, you are braver than I am.) I asked Adrienne if she had ever done it and she assured me it was worth it.  So I purchased the discounted session and booked straight away.

However, Adrienne and I had two wildly different experiences in this salon? (torture chamber? place where innocence goes to die?) And I would be doing all of womankind a grave disservice if I didn’t share what to do if you find yourself in a situation where your aesthetician? (woman who may actually be the psychopath from Saw?) doesn’t very clearly explain exactly what is supposed to be happening or why she hates you so much.*

Anyway, here are some helpful tips should you find yourself in this unfortunate (but kind of hilarious like three weeks later?) situation.

From, um, someone who has been there.

*Despite the fact that a small part of me very well may have died that day, my friendship with Adrienne remains firmly intact.

DON’T
under any circumstances buy yourself a colonic on Groupon, LivingSocial or any other “daily deal” websites. There are a few things in this world that should not be purchased at a discount and this is absolutely one of them. This list also includes offers for permanent makeup, tricky hair treatments and generally anything that involves an object that needs to physically invade your person.

DO
immediately walk out of an establishment if upon entering you see approximately zero humans outside of two vaguely Eastern European women who barely acknowledge your presence when you come in the door. Cut your losses. Even if your wallet can’t afford it, your soul very much can.

DO
speak up if you’ve ignored these first two pieces of advice and find yourself alone and pantless in a room with a blonde Russian, trying desperately to follow instructions you wholeheartedly believe are being given in a language you don’t speak. Ask several important questions when you see her insert a plastic tube into a tub of vaseline and then approach your pantless body – such as “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” and “WHERE IS THAT GOING?” even if you already, horrifyingly, know the answers.

DON’T
let the blonde Russian stare blankly at you if you are unsure what you should be doing as water flows into your abdomen through the aforementioned plastic tube, even though you told her this was your first time. She should be telling you what to do, how to feel, how to breathe and what happens next. Presumably, that’s what she is there for, but who knows?! You are alone and pantless! What can you do really besides lay there and hope for the best?

DON’T
forget to leave your phone beside you. At first you left it beside you to simply keep track of time. But soon, you may need it to Google the things that you think the blonde Russian may have told you, albeit in Russian, before she left the room and left you to die. I mean, cleanse! Cleanse. Through correct angling, the camera phone can also show you the things your eyes cannot. Soon, this view will be addictive – disgusting and repulsive, too – but you will be compelled to watch, particularly when your Google search hits pay dirt and you find out what you are supposed to be doing.

DO
become oddly fascinated when the things that probably should have been happening all along actually start to happen. Sort of understand why people may pay real money to do this, or more specifically, pay someone else money to help them do this. Curse yourself for being so cheap.

DO
hit the call button when the plastic tube falls out the bidet-like sensation ceases to be pleasant. Comply with horror in your eyes when the blonde Russian tells you that you are perfectly capable of re-inserting the plastic tube yourself. You did not know you were capable of this!

Turns out, you are.

DON’T
move too fast when time is actually up. Even if you have no idea of how much time has actually passed or if you are a real person anymore. You have done things in this room you did not know you had it in you to do and that type of realization takes some time to come to terms with.

DO
bring yourself to a frozen yogurt establishment once you have paid and left this godforsaken place; the kind where you can pile on your own toppings and control how much goes in your cup. Yes, you may have just cleansed your body, but the yogurt will come in handy when you…

DO
curl up in bed in the fetal position, eating your yogurt and staring blankly at the wall. What just happened was confusing and traumatic but also ultimately a little satisfying? These conflicting emotions mean that you need maximum comfort. Don’t move until you’re good ready and the yogurt is gone.

Then, go watch a ton of Bravo for the rest of the afternoon.