Vaginal Steaming has been in the news in the last few days and not in a good way. I am not surprised by the endless doctors saying that the practice of vaginal steaming has not been scientifically proven to work. I wanted to take the time to reference the recent incident that happened outside of the United States to a woman that tried vaginal steaming at home. My main concern in the incident is the method of how she steamed and the many questions that came to my mind while reading the articles written.
A woman that was experiencing uterine prolapse stage 4 was advised by a Chinese doctor (which I assume the article should have stated, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor) to steam at home to help support the prolapse condition. That recommendation is a great suggestion for this condition! This is where things took a turn for the worse, the article claims that the woman was told by her Chinese doctor to steam with the toilet method for a certain time length. The woman did this at home and suffered second degree burns to her vagina and cervical wall. Based on the article, she was treated at the hospital accordingly and gave her account of what happened to her.
Here are my thoughts on this horrible situation, I have not read a reply from the doctor that recommended vaginal steaming to understand the instruction the doctor gave the client/patient. I don’t know what she was instructed to do beyond vaginal steaming. Was she told to test the steam with her forearm prior to sitting down? We don’t know this much at this point. Either way, I hope this woman has a speedy recovery and continues to work with a trained professional to support her uterine prolapse condition.
What is the toilet method?
Women that do not have a vaginal steam sauna to steam on are often advised to steam on their toilet at home. It goes like this, prepare your herbal steam as you’d normally would then pour the blend into a separate bowl or pot. The bowl or pot is then transferred to your dry toilet that has no water. You place the bowl or pot in the actual toilet. Next, you put your toilet seat down and then sit over the top of the herbal steam. This may sound gross to some that have never heard of this method or tried it. I myself do not recommend the toilet method to anyone as I feel is if the water and steam are too close to the vagina. The squatting method is very similar which I no longer recommend to my clients or customers. Either of the two of these methods warrants caution and pose a risk of burning. This is just my opinion and I ask all women to please use caution when practicing vaginal steaming.
What method of vaginal steaming do I recommend?
My recommendation is to practice vaginal steaming by using a sauna to sit on. As you know or may not know if your here for the first time, I custom build wood steam saunas. I build them with natural pine wood and they are 15 inches deep from top to bottom. That's enough height for the herbal steam to travel upwards to the vagina. Any steam sauna you choose to buy for your personal use should be at least 14 inches deep. Lengths that are shorter than this, in my opinion, can pose a risk when vaginal steaming. There are many stools and saunas on the market that are way too short in my opinion. Please be mindful of this when buying a sauna or steaming at a spa location. Always test the steam with your forearm prior to sitting down on any sauna. The temperature should not feel much hotter than a steamy shower. The steam should be tolerable. If at any time it feels too hot get up immediately!
In closing, vaginal steaming is a supportive form of hydrotherapy. You need to use caution and listen to your body. Use the instincts that you were created with no matter what any doctor or practitioner tells you. If something feels off, seek the immediate advice of your medical doctor or certified practitioner. Try not to allow articles or news reports that are only giving half information to sway you on your decisions on how you support your own wellness. Ask questions to qualified practitioners. Practitioners continue to be mindful of the instructions that you are giving the clients at your business location and when you send them home with recommendations.
Unique Hutchinson, Herbalist