New kind of cleaning business

Health issues inspired woman to start colonics clinic

  • Follow Local Business

Shanta Johnson's passion for healthy living inspired her to start her own business.

Shanta Johnson, the owner of Essential Cleansing Center, opened the business after undergoing colon hydrotherapy in Atlanta.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Shanta Johnson, the owner of Essential Cleansing Center, opened the business after undergoing colon hydrotherapy in Atlanta.

The owner of Essential Cleansing Center at 2045 Central Ave. was working as a correctional officer at a federal prison when she started having some health problems. She went to her doctor, but he wasn't able to diagnose the problem.

She wanted to be proactive about her health, so she started traveling to Atlanta for colon hydrotherapy. She was so impressed with the results that she wanted to bring the service to Augusta.

Johnson opened her colon hydrotherapy center four years ago, becoming the first to open a business of its kind in the area, she said.

Colon hydrotherapy, also known as colonics, is a procedure that cleans out the colon. Johnson, a certified colon hydrotherapist, performs the procedure, which uses water to flush out a person's large intestine.

To date, she has performed more than 5,000 colon hydrotherapy procedures.

Johnson advertises her business, but it's not that simple. Many people don't understand the service she provides.

"You really have to educate people along with the ad as much as you possibly can because this is new to the area, and it's also a medical town," she said.

During the procedure, a tube is inserted into the rectum. For 45 minutes, purified water flows into the person's system.

"This is a whole-body detox," Johnson said.

She acknowledged that she is not a physician.

"I don't diagnose, I don't prescribe, and this is not a cure for anything. But what this does is create a healthy environment inside the body so that the body can heal itself and do what God created it do," she said.

Lori Davis, of Augusta, has been a client for four years.

"I go once a month. For me, I think it's one of the best things that I do for myself. I don't mind spending that money because I feel like a new person. I think this is very important for the health of the person. The old saying is, 'Death begins in the colon.' I'm a believer in that," she said.

Before moving to Texas, former Richmond County school Superintendent Dana Bedden was a regular client at Essential Cleansing Center.

"I have actually continued trying it here," Bedden said in a telephone interview from Texas. "I think it's a quality procedure for health and well-being. Shanta personalized her service to her customers at a level that I haven't seen very often these days."

Entrepreneurship

Johnson grew up in Augusta with her older brother. Her mother, Ida Johnson, worked in food service at a state prison. Her father, Wilbur Johnson, was the manager of a nightclub owned by her grandfather.

"We've always had businesses in the family," Johnson said.

Her aunt owned Eleanor's Kitchen, a soul food restaurant, for more than 20 years. Her uncle owns a local club.

"Even since I was a kid, I've had this entrepreneurial spirit. When I was probably in the sixth grade, I sold candy apples. I was really good at making candy apples. My dad thought it was a joke, but I had people knocking on the door all day and night to buy my candy apples," Johnson said.

After high school, Johnson got married and had children. At age 25, she enrolled at Paine College. She attended college for two years, then took a job with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

"I got some real lessons on life. I was exposed to a lot of situations and people that I wasn't accustomed to dealing with," Johnson said.

She held the position for six years until she re-entered Paine College in 1997. One year later, she got a job offer from the federal prison in Edgefield, where she had applied years earlier.

"With it being a federal prison, they have an age limit of 35. I was getting near that age, so I decided to take the opportunity because once I graduated from school, I was going to need a job," she said.

She worked full time at the prison for two years while finishing her studies. It was difficult balancing her classes, work schedule and caring for her children, but earning her college degree was "a great accomplishment," she said.

Healthy choices

Johnson continued working at the federal prison after graduation. She started having gastrointestinal issues, which she attributed to her diet.

Her doctor found a sore spot, on the wall of her intestines, though it had already started to heal.

"I was in my 30s at the time, and I felt like if I have a sore spot, something is not going right. I didn't want to wait to have a bad report," Johnson said.

She started reading a book on natural cures, which mentioned getting regular colonics. A chiropractor also recommended the procedure. The service wasn't provided in Augusta, so she traveled back and forth to Atlanta.

"With the very first one that I did, I felt better. I was so impressed. I was sure that if I hadn't changed my lifestyle, I was going to be facing some major issues down the road," she said.

Johnson decided to make a career change. She started taking classes at Awareness Institute for Wellness in Marietta, Ga., to earn a certification in colon hydrotherapy. She wanted to give people in the Augusta area "another option for staying healthy," she said.

Unknown territory

Obtaining her business license was her biggest challenge, Johnson said.

She was the first person in the area to apply for a business license for colon hydrotherapy. She had to wait several months to be approved, she said.

Since then, several other centers have opened.

"I want to see people healthier and happier because that's what I want for my life. I think we all have that right," Johnson said.

Some of the inmates at the prison planted the seed for her to become a business owner.

"They would say to me, 'What are you doing here? This doesn't fit you. If you had your own business, what would you do?' The inmates were very instrumental because I had many come to me and tell me that same thing," she said.

Johnson enjoys her job because she loves serving people.

"This is a journey like I cannot describe. I have worked for somebody all of my adult life, and now I'm in charge of my own destiny. I look forward to waking up in the morning. My quality of life has improved tremendously," she said.

Shanta Johnson

TITLE: Owner of Essential Cleansing Center

BORN: Sept. 11, 1963, in Augusta

EDUCATION: Paine College, bachelor of arts in psychology; Awareness Institute for Wellness in Marietta, Ga., certification in colon hydrotherapy

FAMILY: Children, Chris Johnson and Calvin Sanders Jr.

CIVIC/EXTRACURRICULAR: Thankful Baptist Church, member; Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce

HOBBIES: Reading, running, exploring healthy living alternatives

Comments (14) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GoGators2010
0
Points
GoGators2010 11/15/10 - 03:01 am
0
0
It's too bad she didn't get

It's too bad she didn't get with Elvis before it was too late for him.

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 11/15/10 - 09:57 am
0
0
Article feels more like an

Article feels more like an advertisement...complete with political endorsements! Same Lori Davis who ran for mayor? And people say politicians are full of you know what....not her! Story proves it! haha

swcohen
580
Points
swcohen 11/15/10 - 10:55 am
0
0
Good for Shanta Johnson, I

Good for Shanta Johnson, I like to see ambitious folks make a buck in this tough economy.

That said, it utterly astounds me that people would pay for this... much less allow it to be done. Anybody tries to do that to me, there's going to be a fight.

So my reply will have to be "Uh, no, thank you. My colon is of the self-cleaning variety."

Lori Davis
905
Points
Lori Davis 11/15/10 - 11:04 am
0
0
Thanks bdouglas! This has

Thanks bdouglas! This has been a great thing for me, and Shanta is a top notch business lady and person. So glad I have gotten to know her these past four years! I'll be there this week. Come check it out!

LynxRHot
0
Points
LynxRHot 11/15/10 - 12:50 pm
0
0
How is this any different

How is this any different than a barium swallow?

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 11/15/10 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Personally, I prefer more

Personally, I prefer more "natural" methods...

Sweet son
10117
Points
Sweet son 11/15/10 - 02:09 pm
0
0
Lynx, the difference in this

Lynx, the difference in this "mess" and barium swallow is that they install it at the other end of the system. Can you imagine someone pumping water into your back side for 45 minutes. Stool softener, laxative, fleets. I wonder if this would take the place of a colon prep for colonoscopy. Sounds bad!! How much money does someone part with to be violated like this?

Lori Davis
905
Points
Lori Davis 11/15/10 - 02:30 pm
0
0
LOL.Boogaloo!.

LOL.Boogaloo!.

crossyourarms
211
Points
crossyourarms 11/15/10 - 03:20 pm
0
0
"This is a whole-body detox,"

"This is a whole-body detox," Johnson said.

This is actually a "load of crap" - pun intended. Even Penn and Teller did an episode on this whole colon cleansing nonsense. If you want to waste your money... I'm sure Ms. Johnson will encourage you.

Sweet son
10117
Points
Sweet son 11/15/10 - 03:53 pm
0
0
crossy, I wanted to say crap

crossy, I wanted to say crap but I was scared the AC police would chastise me.

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 11/15/10 - 11:35 pm
0
0
UMM! No thank you! I'll stick

UMM! No thank you! I'll stick to Activia. I can't imagine paying someone to give me a jacuzzi style enema that lasts 45 minutes. If she likes it and it is profitable for her- Great! I really didn't want to hear about Dr. Bedden being a good customer either-TMI

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 11/15/10 - 11:43 pm
0
0
Okay, did check out the web

Okay, did check out the web page. $79 for a single session, discounts for multiple sessions. Maybe she could advertise a Deal of the Day with the AC. I'll stick to the Salsa's deal of the day .

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 11/16/10 - 02:53 pm
0
0
@PUPPYMOMMA: Salsa's probably

@PUPPYMOMMA: Salsa's probably has the same cleansing effect as one of these "sessions"....ha

svjohnson
0
Points
svjohnson 11/19/10 - 01:06 pm
0
0
Educate yourself before

Educate yourself before commenting, www.coloncleansingaugusta.com

Riverrunner30909
149
Points
Riverrunner30909 11/21/10 - 06:22 pm
0
0
So I want to pay someone to
Unpublished

So I want to pay someone to put a pressure washer up my rear and say ahhhhhhhhhh that feels so much better. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest and once a year do your own butt flush, you will feel so much better.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs