The best way I can sum up how I feel about the effectiveness of yoni steaming is to say that gynaecologists really should throw away their textbooks and just prescribe yoni steaming instead! That might sound a little extreme to some people – but once you have looked into this practice for long enough – and seen the results of this simple, gentle, non-invasive practice first-hand – you may well come to agree with me!
Yoni Steaming – sitting over a pot of herbs that have been boiled for 5 minutes or so on the stove, and allowing the steam to permeate up into the vaginal, cervical & uterine tissues, carrying the healing volatile oils of the herbs with it as it does so – is an ancient practice that seems to have its roots all over the globe. Mexico, South America, Korea, Sweden, Africa… this is a practice that crosses all cultures and borders. Seems like before the conventional medical industry came along, we women used to be in no doubt as to how best look after our most intimate health!
One of the main traditional uses for yoni steaming has always been for mothers, post-partum – the benefits of which are several and awesome:-
- Helps clear out left-over material (known as “lochia”) from the womb – blood, mucus and any other fluids (steaming speeds this process up to taking about a week, rather than the usual 4-6 weeks).
- Helps shrink uterus back to its normal size.
- Brings warmth and circulation back to the womb.
- Tones vaginal tissue.
- If there is any damage to the vagina (tears, stitches, etc), it aids in the body’s repair and recovery process.
- Can help heal haemorrhoids, caused by pregnancy/birth process.
- Reconnects women to their vulva/vagina – in a gentle way – before considering penetrative sex again.
- Reconnects women back to their womb and sacral centre.
- Perfect opportunity to relax… switches the neocortex off and oxytocin on! Oxytocin helps us release breastmilk and assists in the bonding process between mama and baba.
With Cesarean births, it is important to wait 4-6 weeks after the birth before steaming – or until the stitches are healed. But steaming can still be incredibly useful after this time, as there is typically more lochia left behind after a Cesarean birth than after a vaginal one.
Another post-partum condition that yoni steaming can help with a lot, is post-partum depression due to a lack of supportive practices (on all levels – emotional, physical, mental & spiritual) – offered to women following their birth. Yoni Steaming is a practice that nurtures in both a physical and emotional way.
Post-Partum Steaming Protocol
For vaginal births – women wishing to steam post-partum should start on Day 4 and steam for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. To steam for 30 minutes, you need a heat source (single-plate cooker) set to very low in order to keep the pot hot enough and the steam rising for this time.
For Cesarean births, wait 4-6 weeks or until the stitches are healed, then steam for 10-30 days in a row, for 30 minutes each time (using a heat source, as above).
Cleansing herbs are the herbs to use for post-partum steaming.
Yoni Steaming For Fertility
But let’s back up a bit… What about using yoni steaming in order to assist women in getting pregnant in the first place? Again, there are a lot of women who have used it to do just that.
One story I remember hearing was of a women who had been trying to fall pregnant for years. She had even tried IVF – but to no avail. When she gave yoni steaming a try, she was scheduled for her next round of IVF treatment a month later. Her steaming sessions brought out lots of old, black material from her uterus. She never made it to the next round of IVF as she fell pregnant before that could happen. It seemed as if her womb had been just too full of old, backed-up menstrual material to be able to support a pregnancy – until she used yoni steaming to give it a thorough, but gentle cleanse.
So that was quite a dramatic turnaround – and, although there are other stories like it, it is also worth noting that it might not be such a quick process for everyone. Before trying to conceive it is recommended to take 3-6 months to work on bringing about a healthy period (4 days, pain-free, fresh red blood) and a 28-30 day cycle – and this involves getting proper rest, the right nutrition, etc. Once you are ready to conceive, steam 3 times in a row after your period has ended. Have sex on days 14 and 15 of your cycle. Do not steam after that unless you get your period again. Follow this protocol until you conceive.
Women’s Medicine – For Women, By Women
This sums up the magic of yoni steaming for me. It is part of us taking back control of our own sexual health and using women’s medicine as a FIRST resort for women’s sexual health issues and a doctor as a LAST resort – not the other way around. And ancient women’s healing practices such as yoni steaming are powerful women’s medicine.
Of course, there are some incredible functional/integrative medical practitioners out there for when we do need them (and they are the ONLY kinds of doctors to ever consider going to in my opinion) – and drugs and surgery save lives every day, when used appropriately. But they have been used indiscriminately for women’s sexual health for far too long now – and the doctors who try to dictate to us, who try to make our health decisions for us – and who try to tell us that THEY know best – particularly about our sexual health – and then constantly over-prescribe drugs and surgery as “solutions”, are, I believe, both outdated and dangerous. BUT, as always, only WE have the power to say NO and make our own decisions about what happens to our bodies. There are no victims here, just a need for more empowered women to stand up for our bodies and exercise autonomy over them.
Starting with one beautiful, powerful, women’s medicine practice at a time! ♥
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