Along with massage, this is my favorite practices for feeling renewed, body and spirit. I encourage you to check out the chapter in my book on Herbal Pelvic Steaming and then come back to this lesson.
This is the most important thing to keep in mind with steaming: treat it like a ritual. Steaming with your phone in hand won’t make you feel as renewed afterward. Really visualize what you’re wanting to release being cleansed by the medicinal steam. This practice can be as sacred and healing as you create it to be.
Q: How does steaming work?
Steam is powerful and finds its way, like a geyser or even if you see steam travel under the crack of a doorway. The warm steam combined with the action of the medicinal herbs relaxes genital tissue and pelvic floor muscles, and helps cleanse reproductive organs through the cervix. Through the cervix, oxytocin receptors are stimulated, giving you that sense of relaxation, well-being, and even sleepiness after a steaming session. Healing steam also opens pores, softens skin and scar tissue, and helps with wound healing.
Q: Can you tell me about postpartum steaming?
It is up to you to decide how you feel about starting an herbal steaming practice after birth. Some women start within the first 3 days, and others wait until they are finished bleeding (generally at least a month).
If you had a true hemorrhage after birth (you passed out, needed a blood transfusion, etc.) or truly excessive bleeding, you might want to rest and wait more time to steam, as it could increase blood loss. Then, you could focus on adding more blood-stopping, astringent and toning herbs to your steam, such as shepherd’s purse, witch hazel, red raspberry leaf, and yarrrow.
Avoid too much circulatory-stimulating herbs, such as common kitchen herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary) if you are in the early weeks of postpartum. As always, trust your body! If steaming isn’t feeling right, stop doing it until you feel drawn to it again.
Q: Can I steam with an IUD?
Many women are told that they can’t, or shouldn’t, steam with an IUD because it can cause it to migrate. After consulting with my colleagues, other women’s health practitioners who do this work often, no one reported a negative effect from steaming with an IUD so my stance along with many others, is that it is a myth. I feel very comfortable suggesting steaming to women with an IUD, though not for the intention of uterine cleansing. I suggest it for relaxation, soothing, emotional healing, renewal, and a great yoni-healing practice. Herbs I suggest are more gentle, such as calendula, lavendar, chamomile, and I avoid stimulating herbs.
Q: What about steaming after menopause?
After reading the chapter in my book, you may have sensed my utmost reverence for the initiation that is menopause, and how steaming can be very supportive during peri-menopause. After a woman has stopped bleeding, she should still steam at least 3 times per year (it will not hurt to do it more if it calls to you) to support any uterine cleansing, and to maintain a juicy, vibrant yoni.
Q: Are there any side effects?
Due to increased oxytocin flow, you will probably feel very relaxed and might be ready for a nap after a steaming session. Many women notice changes in their cycles in a variety of ways, most often increased bleeding and cramping at first (though many don’t notice any changes). Any difference is a good sign that things are moving and flowing. Cramps are your uterus contracting, so when there is more cramping, there is more to move outwards. Rest more and allow this to happen, and as you keep steaming for another cycle or more, you will experience periods that are much less painful if this is the case for you.
Aligning with Feminine + Cyclical Rhythms
Trauma in the Pelvis
Discovering Your Womb Story
Energetic Pelvic Bowl Clearing
Root Chakra Meditation
Abdominal-Womb Self Massage Practice
Clearing + Awakening Yoni Massage
Herbal Pelvic Steaming for Clearing Trauma