~ My Story ~
Lately, I feel as though I am being asked to become a lot more comfortable (and transparent) with my own story of how I came into the practice of yoni steaming. And some interesting things are coming up. You see, for years I have humorously complained – how come I couldn’t have started yoni steaming to overcome painful menstrual cramps or … irregular periods, or … found yoni steaming as a part of postpartum recovery (haha folks, I don’t even have a baby!).
Something more “normal”. Something less “shameful”. I put these words in quotation because these are the words that I’ve been using in my own self-talk.
But the truth is, what led me to yoni steaming was HPV. Or more accurately, the healing process after having the HPV removed. This is done by what is called a LEEP procedure. Now, for any of you that have had to get anesthesia for a surgery you know it can be a scary time! I don’t think anyone wants to be operated on. Not only that but even though you are asleep, your body still registers all that is happening to it.
And then there is all the emotion tied up in it. For me, having HPV, some of the doctrines that were coming up were: it’s all my fault, I should have been more careful, I made a mistake, and … why didn’t my body heal itself. (Often, when a woman has an irregular PAP her body can correct this on it’s own and she does not need to go so far as to having to get the LEEP)
Basically – blame and shame. Pretty heavy stuff.
After the operation, curiously, I had no pain. My cervix had just been scraped and lasered of all the bad cells and yet I felt … nothing. I was numb. This definitely had me raising an eyebrow when I knew the anesthetic had worn off. It was actually very confounding to me at the time.
A short couple of months later, I found myself at a Womb Blessing attunement weekend (so fitting, right!). It was during this weekend that, for the first time ever, I heard of vaginal steaming. Not only did I hear of vaginal steaming, I also heard of a concept called Armouring; the idea that our cervix armours herself after years of pain, abuse, trauma, and neglect. This SO resonated with me and explained why I couldn’t feel any pain after that invasive procedure.
I knew right then that the practice of yoni steaming was something that I needed. It was a deep inner knowing and I got started immediately. The woman I was working with put me on a two-week steam plan and the idea was that it would help with the scar tissue on my cervix and ensure that there was no remnants of HPV when I went for my follow-up with my gynecologist. Both of these things happened. In fact, the surgeon took one look at my cervix at my follow-up appointment and literally exclaimed, “Your cervix has healed beautifully, you would never know I had been in there!”. I could tell she was enthused … yet perplexed.
Understandably, with my feet up in the stirrups I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to tell her about my amazing experience with vaginal steaming!
What I didn’t realize at the time is that, ultimately, what I was steaming for was trauma; the trauma experienced as the result of the LEEP medical procedure, the trauma of all the PAPs leading up this (including the appointments where vinegar was sprayed onto my cervix to highlight the irregular cells), and even the trauma of the one sexual experience that (I believe) led to me getting HPV in the first place.
Yes, the scar tissue disappeared and that was a wonderful result. But even more so was the feeling I experienced at the time of my steam sessions. To be able to sit down over the warm and fragrant steam with no other purpose than to simply enjoy the sensation and experience the peace was healing in itself.
I knew from the beginning that this was sacred time so I would create that container for myself by pulling the blinds down, lighting a candle, using essential oils on my wrists and temples, providing myself with tea to drink, and ensuring that I would not be interrupted during my steam.
I journaled, I wept, I went within.
On a more scientific and research side of using yoni steaming for trauma relief, let’s invite in The Vagus Nerve. The vagus nerve is the main nerve of your parasympathetic nervous system, the part of your nervous system that is responsible for all the things out of our conscious control; control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate.
Interestingly, “a study by the Department of Neurobiology at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has demonstrated that the vagus nerves conduct sensory information directly from the cervix to the brain. Since vaginal steam touches the cervix it’s very likely that this stimulates the vagus nerve. This is extremely relevant considering that stimulating the vagus nerve releases high levels of oxytocin –known as the “trust hormone” or “love hormone” which directly sends neurotransmitters to the brain to make someone feel happy and get the body’s nervous system out of fight-or-flight mode. One of the known side-effects of vaginal steaming is feeling relaxed and sleeping deeply afterwards which might further offer evidence that oxytocin release occurs while steaming.” [Excerpted from Keli Garza’s The Science of Healing Sexual Trauma with Vaginal Steam article]
Pretty amazing stuff, right!
I also believe that we can take this healing to an even deeper level by working with certain flowers, herbs and plants that specifically help with grief, heartbreak, trust, shame, and guilt. This will be next month’s blog!
I am currently working with Wild Rose to help me release and transform my own feelings of the shame that I have been carrying with me in regard to having had HPV.
So, that is my experience with yoni steaming and trauma. And I am still learning and discovering.
Unfortunately, too many of us women are carrying trauma in our reproductive space. It could be BIG trauma such as sexual abuse, rape, miscarriage, or an unwanted hysterectomy or other medical procedure. Or it could be less obvious trauma; infidelity in your relationship (past or present), having painful and debilitating menstrual cramps each month, having consensual sex with someone when you are not really into it, or being told by a lover that you are in some way ‘not good enough’.
There are many ways that trauma can show up in this area of our body. Even the collective trauma of our Mothers and Grandmothers past, I believe, have an impact on us today.
The physical act of yoni steaming along with intention can bring tremendous healing.
What so many of us women have forgotten – or simply do not know – is that our womb and yoni are our source of power. This is where all of our radiance, manifesting, and gifts reside.
Healing this powerful area of our body; the womb, cervix, and the vagina allows us to fully flourish in our life. It allows us to stand in our power, in fact, to BE EMPOWERED and to feel more at home and peaceful in our body.
I would love to help facilitate this healing journey with you. Please book your free call and we can talk about some different options for you to begin your steaming healing journey.