Leave it to southern California’s spa-goers to start steaming their vaginas. Yes, that’s right: Vaginal steam baths, an ancient Korean tradition, are being touted as a cure for everything from low energy to infertility, but they’re only available at select spas (we wonder why). The Los Angeles Times reports that, though the treatment is getting trendy, there’s still no real evidence that it works:
What it is: Vaginal steam baths, or chai-yok, consist of a pot of steaming mugwort tea (blended with wormwood and other herbs) that’s placed below a nude woman, usually seated above the pot over an open bench which allows the steam to rise and make contact with female genitalia. (There are similar treatments available that target the perineal area, for the special men in your life.)
What it does: According to Korean medicine, the steam baths help treat stress, fight infections, clear hemorrhoids, regulate menstrual cycles and aid infertility. Niki Han Schwartz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa in Santa Monica, California, says that vaginal steam baths helped her get pregnant at the age of 45 after only five steams (she’d been trying to conceive for three years).
How it works: Unclear. The tradition is based on “folk wisdom,” according to the L.A. Times, and some rationalize that it’s logical for steam to help improve circulation and cleanse the tissues in and around the vagina. But others say that there’s no scientific evidence that it can resolve problems or improve health. (So if you’re having trouble conceiving, you might want to see a doctor in between V-steams.)
Where you can do it: Not very many places. The treatment is still hard to find, but is available at a growing number of holistic spas, like Niki Han Schwartz’s spa, Tikkun Holistic Spa. It’s also available at Juvenex Spa in New York City.
So would you try it? Tell us what you think in the comments section, below: