One of Tashina Wilkinson's greatest joys is sharing her spiritual knowledge and health care experience with others.

One of Tashina Wilkinson's greatest joys is sharing her spiritual knowledge and health care experience with others. Wilkinson, a colon hydrotherapist at Hidden Springs Wellness Center, says she appreciates seeing people take steps toward feeling better in whatever way they need to.

"People come to me, to the wellness center, when they are working to improve their health in some way or another. It is a beautiful thing," she said.

The 51-year old moved to Ashland nine years ago. "I moved around a lot, lived a lot of places, but in Ashland there is so much to enjoy, and the community is wonderful."

Wilkinson talked with the Daily Tidings about her career in a little-known wellness field.

DT: What brought you to Ashland?

TW: My heart, really. We were looking for a place to land. A health-oriented community that we could settle in. It represents a real ease of being. Everything is just an arm's reach away — yoga classes, healthy food in restaurants and the co-op. There is nature, biking, hiking and swimming. Things I really value in life. Ashland is such a conscious community.

DT: What is colon hydrotherapy?

TW: It's a hydrating and cleansing of the large intestine, using a gentle flow of purified water. It takes several fillings and emptyings to clean out the large intestine. You are clothed, and the process is very respectful and private. The equipment is FDA approved, it's all sterile. I use a lot of relaxation techniques to help you prepare, warm towels and essential oils, sometimes I use reflexology.

DT: Why do people do it?

TW: I recommend colon hydrotherapy when people are doing a cleanse program to eliminate toxins from the body. But people are so beautifully unique, there is no specific time they have to do it, just when they need it. It helps the skin, helps people with chronic constipation, helps with weight loss, digestion. There is just overall improvement in health.

DT: Would you explain cleansing?

TW: There are so many different kinds of cleanses to detoxify the body, like using herbs, juices and medical foods. Also some people use saunas, massage and other healing modalities and some eat only raw foods. People also eliminate processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Whatever one does, colon hydrotherapy is helpful in getting rid of the toxins faster and easier.

DT: How did you get started?

TW: I actually had a skin condition when I was in my 20s. I was living in Colorado at the time and I was exploring different modalities of healing and cleansing. Someone asked me if I'd ever tried colon hydrotherapy. I went to someone and it actually really started to help my skin and change my life. I decided that was something I wanted to do and offer. That was 25 years ago.

DT: Did you go through a colon hydrotherapy training program to get started?

TW: No. There are different schools now, but at the time I started, this was so long ago, there weren't really any colon hydrotherapy schools. I went to a clinic in Colorado and learned from a woman there. Since then, I've had updated schooling. Now, there are all kinds of schools where you can go for certification. When I started, there just wasn't any place to go.

DT: Is there anyone for whom you don't recommend colon hydrotherapy?

TW: I wouldn't recommend it for women in early pregnancy, people who've had operations in the past six months, diverticulitis or hernia.

DT: Who inspires you?

TW: There are two people. My husband, Will. He really walks his talk and lives what he speaks and shares. We've been together 17 years. He is really such a love. Someone else I really admire is Brooks Newton; she and her husband, Rod, own Hidden Springs. Brooks is just an amazing being. She represents a real centered peace and calmness. She has a very generous heart, she's very giving.

DT: What are your future plans?

TW: Right now, I feel really happy working at Hidden Springs doing the colon therapy. I want to keep working on my garden, enjoy what we have and share the gifts we have been given.

Angela Howe-Decker is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach her at decker4@gmail.com.