Yoni steaming, also called simply vaginal steaming, is a treatment that employs steam from a hot herbal tea mixture that is directed onto the vaginal area. It can easily be done at home on a special stool, or even just a slatted chair, by sitting over a steaming pot of herbs.
So many modern women are yearning for a mystical and magical healing experience. The closest thing to this may just be the yoni steam.
Yoni steaming has been touted to be a cure-all for women’s reproductive issues including infertility, fibroids, and painful menstrual cycles. There is much truth to this, for when the medicinal properties from the herbs blend with the heat from the steam, circulation and blood flow is improved. This balances coldness and stagnation within the vaginal area, which are often to blame for many of these problems.
Yoni Steaming And Ancient Medicine
Yoni steaming is talked about a lot in Mayan medicine. In Ayurveda, the ancient natural medicine of India, a practitioner looks for the qualities in someone’s imbalance, and aims to treat the client with the opposite qualities. This means that anything can become medicine, remain neutral, or be considered poisonous depending on those qualities one is trying to balance.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, steam has the qualities of being hot, subtle, and spreading. These are mostly qualities that we see in Pitta dosha. The herbs you use in the steam can change the qualities slightly, yet overall this is the energy of the treatment.
A Vata or Kapha dosha imbalance, can greatly benefit from this hot and moist treatment because the qualities of cold, slow, dull, or hard may be present. It is a rule in Eastern medicine that if there is pain, there is stagnation, so a warming, moving treatment like this would be indicated. Alternatively, if there is an infection, or already too much heat or itching, like seen with Pitta imbalance, yoni steaming would most-likely be contraindicated, though other natural treatments can certainly be useful.
There may seem to be infinite benefits to yoni steaming, but there are contraindications. It is important to find support to learn how to use this technique correctly. With proper guidance, this is a simple practice to use at home for self care and deep healing.
When You Should Not Steam: Yoni Steaming Contraindications
Time and circumstance plays an important part in when to yoni steam. And just as their are appropriate times to steam, there are definite yoni steaming contraindications.
One of the biggest contraindications for yoni steaming is an intrauterine device, or IUD. Vaginal steaming is not recommended if a woman is using an IUD, because the steam softens, warms, and opens the cervix. This is part of the medicine of the practice – if there is pain and trouble with flow of menstruation, the steam invites better flow. But in the case of an IUD, that should not move. If it does, it has the potential to get stuck in a suboptimal position, perhaps rendering it ineffective, or even allow for potential perforation of the uterine muscle or cervical damage.
Vaginal steaming is not to be done during menstruation. Depending on why one is choosing to steam, it may be more beneficial at different times of the month, but not during a bleeding time, including immediately postpartum.
Vaginal steaming is also not to be done during pregnancy, as the cervix must stay tightly closed to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Do not do a vaginal steam if there is an active infection, whether vaginal or UTI, bladder or kidney. Do not steam if there is a tender perineal tear or stitches. The heat may hurt and/or aggravate these conditions.
When To Yoni Steam
The following conditions are considered the best times of the month to yoni steam. To determine if yoni steaming is right for you and when to yoni steam consult your health care provider.
Yoni steam before ovulation or insemination, once, if you’re trying to get pregnant, but not if you suspect you are pregnant. This holds true for most Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART) treatments as well.
Yoni steam on the new and full moons, bringing awareness to the moon cycles, or to help bring back a late or lost period.
Yoni steam as a ritual cleansing, perhaps a few cycles post trauma or miscarriage. Be sure to keep a journal of your experience, and have a support person to reach out to in case of need.
Yoni steam to help heal painful menstrual cramping, if there is spotting or brown blood before menstruation begins, or if PMS is present. In this case yoni steam at a maximum of 1-7 times per month, the week before the period begins. (Think preemptive care!) The warmth of the steam helps with blood, nutrient and hormone flow.
Yoni steam post-menopause, seasonally, or as needed for pain or dryness. An important note, due to the heating quality of the steam, this can aggravate hot flashes. It is common to see some blood or discharge a day or two after steaming, even after a woman has entered menopause.
Yoni steaming is magical and powerful but it is not a miracle cure. It can aggravate some conditions and especially if there is a long standing imbalance. It’s important to know when to yoni steam and when not to yoni steam. Working with a qualified health practitioner will ensure it is done safely and effectively.