What on earth is a colonic? I imagine it's some type of colon cleansing. Is this something most Hollywood types have done?

By: Melissa, Kansas City, Missouri

A.B. Replies: Colonic therapies involve placing a tube into the rectum, flushing it with water and insisting to patients that, despite their eyeball-shattering screams, it does not hurt. Formerly known as an enema, the colonic is supposed to be about health--cleansing the body of impurities and ridding it of several pounds in the process.

Celebrities swear by colonics. One Vanity Fair report says, "Clients can weigh seven pounds less afterward." Last month's WWD Beauty Biz says colonics administered by the popular We Care Spa in tony Palm Springs can help eliminate 11 pounds in a single week. (No wonder Ben Affleck, Gwen Stefani, Liv Tyler and Gisele Bündchen have reportedly, er, holed up there.) The spa's price tag: $4,700 a week. That's just over $427 per pound, or roughly $3 per guttural moan.

Several reports, including those from the Associated Press and London's Independent, credit Jack Osbourne's recent weight loss to a regimen that included a twice-daily high tide through his bowels. Osbourne underwent two colonics per day at a camp in Thailand last year, the AP has said.

Another apparent colonic fan: Usher.

"Janet Jackson told me to do it," the singer told VH1 a few years ago. "I'm not too fond of having the stuff sucked out of me and a tube up my butt, but I've done it a couple of times to clean out my body. I hate it, but it's healthy for me."

Is that so? This B!tch has her doubts about this current rage--or at least about the bodily benefits, especially given that the procedure tends to shoot 20 gallons of water into a very, very narrow hole. Many docs say they don't get it either, and critics warn that colonic patients could lose too much hydration and throw their nutrients out of whack.

I suspect Hollywood simply enjoys placing things up its ass.

You see, children: Two decades ago, there was much talk in Hollywood about placing small rodents up in there. The legendary practice was called gerbilling, and it single-handedly fueled the celebrity rumor mill for much of that neon-colored decade. As the urban legend goes, people allegedly gerbilled as a source of pleasure.

No one ever admitted to this, of course, and it's likely a pack of nonsense. But all the noise clearly paved the way for more openness and honesty about in-butt entertainment and fads. Cut to 2006, and our celebrities are placing water and minerals into their asses without fear of scorn. They hold their heads high and even tell VH1 all about it.

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