Vaginal Steams. Yoni Steams. Pelvic Steams. Goddess Steams. Bajos. Chai-yok.
Some of the many fabulous names that this valuable practice is called.
My personal journey with v-steams began several years ago during my herbal apprenticeship. My mentor, the amazing Rosemary Gladstar, shared with us the practice of these healing mists and showed us their potential. I was instantly captivated! I returned home, ready to incorporate this healing practice into my life. I prepared my own blend, poured the water, sat down and that’s all it took to hook me forever. I knew in that moment that I needed to do whatever I could to help bring this tradition back into the mainstream among women. I set out on a path to create a beautiful line of reverently named, Goddess Steams.
The art of vaginal steaming has been a celebrated, and well-used practice in many cultures around the globe for generations. Dr. Rosita Arvigo, creator of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, studied directly with a Mayan shaman, and has done a most-fabulous job of bringing the Mayan rendition of the art, known as bajos, into the minds of the many women and men that she shares and works with. The Korean culture knows this tradition as chai-yok, and their native healers use it to help aid in fertility, organ and muscle maintenance, as well as the many issues affecting our reproductive organs.
Vaginal steaming works by warming and expanding the capillaries in a vascularly dense area, bringing a supply of fresh blood in, and moving stagnant blood out of the pelvic region. This expansion also allows for the healing components of the herbs to be more successfully absorbed into your body. Our vulvas (external structure of the female reproductive system) are optimally very similar to the internal lining of our mouths, in regards to the level of blood vessels and mucousal absorbency, also allowing for the herbal constituents to be absorbed more quickly and effectively.
Western healers and practioners have found steaming to be helpful to address a wide-range of needs. Some of the benefits of vaginal steaming...
• Promotes relaxation
• Aides in easing irregular and/or painful menstrual cycles
• Helps relieve uterine scars or adhesions
• Addresses menopausal concerns
• Helping with pain associated with PCOS, and uterine cysts
• Works as an aphrodisiac
There are several contraindications for vaginal steam. You shouldn't steam during the heaviest portion of your menstruation, or if you already experience excessively heavy bleeding during this time. You should not steam during pregnancy, or after ovulation if pregnancy is possible. You should avoid steaming if you have any of the following health issues: UTIs, cystitis, STDs that have caused blisters or that are caused from a fungal infection, as well as genital lice. You should also be aware that steaming while you have an IUD or genital piercing is generally NOT advised, as the metal can heat up and could be a potenial burn hazard.
There are a number of ways to do a steam ranging from bowls placed down in your toilet to $1800 steam saunas. No matter how you endeavor to steam the process is still basically the same...
1. Find a heat tolerant container (food-safe bucket, cooking pot, etc...)
2. Place 1/2 cup of dried herbs/2-3 cups of fresh herbs in container and pour 1 quart of boiling water over herbs and allowing them to steep and the steam to slightly cool. You need to exercise caution with the temperature of the steam, it should be warm and pleasant and in no way burn or cause pain.
3. Sit directly above the steam for 15-45 minutes. Once you are finished, wrap up and stay warm. Allow yourself to be calm and relaxed for at least another 45 minutes. Discard water and herbs.
Consider your steam time as you time. Journal, draw, meditate, or employ other techniques that keep you calm and present in the healing that is occurring.
This is a beginning look into the world that is vaginal steaming. Thank you so much for taking the time to learn. I hope this encourages you to give it a try, or even learn more about this healing practice. If you are interested in learning more, please check out my workshop schedule, subscribe to the website to stay up to date our future Yoni Steam blog posts, and watch our YouTube video available on the vaginal steaming page. I also invite you to check my batch blended steams here.
Thanks so much for reading!
Happy Steaming, Liz