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I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think this the very first time someone spoke to me about vaginal steaming, I’d never heard of it before and it conjured up lots of images in my head about how that could look!

I enjoy getting the same raised eyebrows from family, friends, and clients when I tell them about it also, because I know they are thinking that exact same thought followed by what the hell is Gem on about now and where are the cameras?!

So before you, negative nellies get your thumbs geared up to tell me how much utter nonsense this all is, have a read and then make your own mind with the full info because if you have never tried it you are in for a bit of a treat.

Now because I suggest this, people can assume that I’m some kind of crackpot with no experience in science or actual medicine, well here you would be wrong I worked as a nurse for 15 years and studied all the holistic stuff on the side bringing quite a bit of it into my nursing. I then took the plunge to do this full time because I love it and it saved me a hysterectomy. So although the knowledge we have in western medicine is vast it doesn’t always hold all of the answers and that is why there are many practitioners that offer an alternative to people. My niche is women’s health especially hormonal stuff and working with women who have endometriosis and adenomyosis.

So now we have that cleared up let’s crack on.

If you want to find the stuff that says this is a crock of shit you will, like anything you find what you want to see. This can be a bit marmite for some but the only risk this could pose to you is if you sit over the steam that is too warm – here I highly advise you exercise caution, nobody wants burnt bits and on that, I wholeheartedly agree with the naysayers.

To say that this is risky and can upset the balance of the vagina as a clear-cut argument to not do it may I point you in the direction of the female products aisle of any high street chemist and have a look at what people do suggest you put on or in your vaginas that no one bats an eyelid over. There are soaps, perfumes, talcs, creams, pessaries, not to mention all the shit that is in commercial sanitary products. If you want to talk about upsetting the perfect balance of your vag’s PH it won’t be a beautiful blend of herbs that gently release their properties through steam, it will be the vast array of bleaches, benzoates, and parabens that are stuffed in the non-weird products. Don’t even get me started on the fact that there are no cock spritz and ball scrub in the men’s aisle!

Vaginal steaming really does get some women’s knickers in a twist – which by the way if they aren’t cotton then I’m sorry they are a massive breeding ground for bugs that really upset your vagina  #justsaying

I was introduced to this when I did my Mizan training, Rosetta Arvargo is also big on using vaginal steams in her work with Mayan Massage. As a practitioner, I try everything that I would suggest to my clients, and I have to say the benefits this brought to me far outweighed thinking it was weird. I steam on the first day of my period and it made such a difference to my bleed, the warmth it gives to the pelvis is very soothing and more intense than a hot water bottle.

The quality of the bleed was better at the start as it encouraged a better circulation. It helped with easing cramps and was a lovely way to start my cycle. It’s a way of honoring your cycle and reconnecting with your body and your period.

The benefits of doing a steam are that it can reduce inflammation, bloating and cramps. It can help with persistent yeast infections, regulate your cycle and help bring on absent bleeds. Decrease the dark blood that can be present at the start and end of a period. It is helpful to use after childbirth and can help to tone the uterus. Above all it’s a really gentle process, that can be used alongside other forms of self-care to bring about great change.

How to do a steam… Do this on or as close to the first day of your period

  1. Simmer a handful of Brew for you Bits in about 500mls of water with the lid on for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat while you are preparing your space.
  2. Carefully pour the herbs and water into a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  3. Place your stem under a slatted chair or under a chair with your bum parked on the edge or you could put the bowl in the loo and sit over it that way.  The steam should feel warm on your skin, but not hot (if it feels too hot, stand up so as to avoid burns). Wrap blankets around your legs and body to hold the heat in making sure your feet are nice and snug. Staying warm through the process is essential.
  4. Sit on your vag brew and enjoy the gentle steam for 20-30 minutes as you meditate, read, journal, or check your phone 😉 allowing the steam to gently work.
  5. Afterward, lay down in a warm bed for at least an hour, or preferably for the entire night. This will give you a great night sleep. If you do this in the day tailor it as best you can to your schedule.

When not to do a steam…

If you are or could be pregnant. If you have an acute infection, illness or fever, or in the case of open wounds or inflammation. Never vag steam with a continuous heat source. Please be cautious of the temperature of the steam sit down gently and get up if it feels too warm then wait and try again. You know the same as you do when you get into a hot bath.

You can go as deep with this work as you choose, maybe you want to really send some loving vibes to your womb, maybe you are playing candy crush, but the intention to look after and nurture yourself comes from the very act of sitting your arse down over a vag tea and giving yourself some time out. Always trust your intuitive response and go with what you feel your body needs.

I can’t back this up with qualitative or quantitative scientific reports or studies because I suspect scientists have more important research to collate about cancer or something like that. If you need that stuff then I will leave it with you to find it, make your own mind up on what is right for you. If however, you are the teeny tiniest bit curious then I say go for it if nothing else it gives us a half hour break in the loo undisturbed and for most women, I reckon that would be bliss.