Written by Brittany Shenk

About a week ago, my younger sister, Cassy, looked at me and said, “Wanna go get our vaginas steamed? It could be really good for your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Apparently, it’s really healing and helps regulate periods.” At first, I laughed at the idea, but then thought, “Well, why not? Never tried that before.”

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome about two years ago, and recently decided I was going to use Mother Earth’s magic energy, herbal remedies, and research-backed functional medicine approaches to realign my body naturally. I’ve had a spiderweb of health ailments related to hormone imbalances and gut issues that are all tightly intertwined, and now, I’m ready to stop suppressing the symptoms with synthetic hormones and get to the root cause.

So, that’s how on Sunday afternoon, I found myself sitting next to my younger sister on a chair at a Yoni Steam spa, in a strapless dress that looked like a curtain, eating snacks, drinking tea, and steaming my vagina with a concoction of medicinal herbs.

The yoni is a woman’s entire reproductive system held in a sacred light. Ladies, all of us are sacred: our bodies are portals between worlds. We bridge souls into this world, we give them a safe body to grow their own body in. But, ironically, we’ve been taught that our bodies are not our own, that they are for serving others. I had an “ah-ha” moment a couple of months ago when I realized the men in my life had touched my boobs more often than I had, and that my own hands felt foreign to my body. This realization shifted how I connect with myself, emotionally and physically, because no part of my body should feel like a stranger.

The Yoni Steam was the first time I had ever focused both energetic and herbal healing on my own vagina, and although it, too, felt incredibly foreign at first, it was one of the most relaxing, calming, comforting things I’ve ever done for my yoni.

The spa environment was light and airy, white curtains hung from the ceiling, and natural wood accented the waiting room. Cassy and I were guided into the changing room, given a long, table-cloth like strapless dress and little lacey “goddess” socks to put on, which made me feel incredibly feminine. After re-dressing, we were introduced to our chairs, which had holes cut out of the center of the seat. Peering into the empty space, I could see my herbs slowly swirling around in something that resembled a crock pot. The bowl was filled with lavender, rosemary, mugwort, yarrow, rose petals, and calendula, herbs that were specifically chosen for me based on the medical and emotional ailments I had shared with the spa personnel.

We sat down at the same time. glanced at each other and exchanged little giggles. The steam slowly crept up between my spread legs and I immediately felt like I had to pee – a sensation, I was warned, most people feel during their first treatment.

I sat there for 45 minutes, chatting with Cassy, snacking on pistachios and green tea, pulling Goddess Cards from a deck and reading their meanings, flipping through a wellness magazine, while the steam cleansed my yoni and soul. There were a few flashbacks to previous partners, vaginal traumas, and current heartbreaks. Uncomfortable emotions swelled up and released as fast as they appeared. I felt teary. I felt safe. I felt grounded. I felt held. I sat in silence for a while, eyes closed, focusing on the warmth between my legs, imagining the herbs entering my body, and feeling the happiness building in my yoni. She was definitely smiling for the first time, sighing in relief and appreciation.

At one point it got a little uncomfortably hot. Cassy and I laughed, realizing we were both sweating and our lady bits were overheating. Just as we were discussing how to find relief without sacrificing the benefits of the steam, the herbalist pulled back our white curtain and presented us with icy, cold washcloths.

Eventually, our ‘crockpots’ were turned off, the steam dissipated, we changed out of our tent-dresses and returned home. For the remainder of the day my body felt lighter and sleepy, as if I had finally released energy that had been trapped inside me for years.

If you have time and a Yoni Steam spa nearby, I absolutely recommend this experience. It was gentle and loving, my yoni has never received such nourishment. It’s time we start caring for our yonis like we care for our faces, our hands, our hair, or even our loved ones. Our bodies are our own, and spending time improving the relationship with each part of ourselves is necessary for developing whole, balanced self-love. Take time to access your sacred feminine, and set that spirit free.