Turns out vaginal steaming is pretty relaxing
Ahhhhh….vaginal love. As a single woman without kids, I’ve perfected the art of self-luxuriating. Massages, wellness retreats, yoga, mani/pedis, and hair appointments are all necessities that keep me looking presentable and sane. But recently I’ve wondered if I’ve been overlooking my most sacred organ: my vaj!
Yes, the vagina puts in work. Hard work. Our little oven is indispensable, but sometimes we take it for granted. Of course we go for our check-ups, get waxes and wear 100% cotton crotch panties, but our vagina also endures weekly spin classes, daily commutes via Citibike, chemical imbalances from medications or foods, menstrual cycles, sex, babies… the list is endless.
Recently getting shoutouts on popular shows like Comedy Central’s Broad City, vaginal steaming is the new treatment some people are rushing to try. Gwyneth Paltrow preached about vaginal steaming and had everyone all in an uproar about the age-old practice. Does it work? What are its benefits? I went on a mission to find out.
Mission: “Yoni Love”
I started with research. Lots and lots of research. Vaginal steaming has been around for thousands of years. In South America it’s known as “bajo” and Koreans call it “chai yok” and in the western world it’s simply called a “v-steam” if ya nasty.
The treatment is exactly what it sounds like: a facial for your poom poom. An herbal blend that includes mugwort is steamed into the vaginal area for a short amount of time. The herbs and steam are supposed to help irregular periods, infertility, yeast infections, fibroids, and even help cramps. Sounds a little unreal, right? But, anymore unreal than acupuncture or Tibetan herbal tampons?
My research left me more intrigued. I mean let’s face it, if there’s one more high-maintenance beauty treatment I can add to my monthly roster, I’m all for it. When doing a quick Google search I found plenty of facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn that offer v-steaming, but I didn’t just want to arrive to a nondescript locale and give a witch doctor with a steamer access to my kitty cat. I needed to feel comfortable with this journey, I wanted someone with facts and a place that was attached to a doctor and most importantly I didn’t want to burn my vagina off. My explorations lead me to V Spot.
A Spa For What?
Praised as a “revagination spa,” V-Spot has a full menu of vaginal treatments like tightening, plumping, steaming and even an on-premise OBGYN for yearly paps. Founded by Completely Bare owner and Bravo New York Housewife alumni Cindy Barshop, V-Spot is the first of its kind. The premise of the spa is for women to feel sexually empowered, to stop making women’s issues taboo and have a sanctuary for all our vaginal needs.
I must admit, I was impressed and felt highly comfortable with getting my v-steam here. I quickly contacted V-Spot for an appointment.
The day of my v-steam appointment, I was nervous. I walked through the quiet Upper Eastside neighborhood amongst the high-end boutiques and bistros thinking how strange it was to be getting my vagina steamed like veggies. V-Spot is discreetly located on the third floor of a Madison Avenue building. There’s no huge neon blinking vagina in the window as I secretly wanted. Just a buzzer pad near the door that read “V-Spot.”
When I walked into the office I was surprised by the glam decor, comfortable atmosphere and airy feel. There were plush couches, glasses of champagne, and cool art on the walls. I was totally impressed. My nervousness subsided once I started chatting with my therapist, Tina Shala. She was completely chill and described V-steam like someone would easily explain a massage or any other spa treatment. She told me to go to the bathroom before we start because the procedure is fairly long.
After I went to the bathroom, I headed into a room with a treatment table. The lights were low and near the wall was a steamer. I got nude, put on my robe and laid down on my back. Tina said that vaginal steaming is usually executed by a woman sitting on a wooden box with a toilet seat attached to it, with steam underneath. At V-Spot, there is none of that foolishness. Creator Cindy wanted patients to feel relaxed and calm by lying down while steam flows between the legs. A sheet is place over your knees to keep the steam from “escaping” and staying in the vaginal region.
I laid on a table with my legs spread eagle laughing and chatting with Tina about our vaginas, the effects of the steam, and girl power. I never knew I’d feel so relaxed with a complete stranger in this manner, but I did. It was freeing and empowering. My steaming ended with a blue LED light therapy over my vagina to stimulate blood circulation and kill bacteria. That’s it! The entire treatment lasted about an hour and was completely painless.
When I left V-Spot my vagina felt the same, until a few hours later. There was an abundance of “moistness” that last for about 48 hours. A good moistness, not like a yeast infection or anything. I recently did a diet that included a hormone shot that completely threw off my menstruation cycle. Well, after my V-Steam, guess what came on time? My period. Not sure if it’s related to the V-Steam, but it didn’t hurt.
Is it worth it? I say YES! There are no side effects and an hour once or twice a month of your time is doable. If you are prone to yeast infections, irregular periods, odors, cramps or looking for a natural alternative to any vaginal issue, I suggest trying a V-Steam. V-Spot’s Dr. Carolyn Delucia says, “Steaming can help the vaginal bacterial flora and may help maintain the natural balance.”
Still, they “cannot make any medical claims at this time. It is a relaxing indulgence that increases blood flow to the intimate areas and has an enchanting aroma that some say may act as an aphrodisiac! I can say the aroma is intoxicating,” she said.
When asked what the biggest misconception about the vagina is, Dr. Delucia says, “The biggest misconception is that it requires no care. As it is often referred to as ‘a self cleaning oven,’ it does not require internal cleansing. However, as the changes occur as we age, maintenance may be required. We address the issues of decreased sensation, arousal and discomfort as well as dryness.”
Treating your private bits to a spa day is empowering and overall relaxing. It felt good to do something for my vagina that didn’t include stirrups or poking. As women we are under served. Many times we take care of everyone else but ourselves. V-Spot is a place to help you if you’d just had a baby and need tightening or maybe you’re getting older and down there is a little dryer than it once was.