Hey y'all! I'm Essence, beauty editor here at BuzzFeed, and I recently got my vagina steamed.
V-steams have actually been apart of Eastern wellness for hundreds of years and are said to have a lot of benefits, like detoxing vaginal infections and easing menstrual cramps. My period cramps seem to get worse with age, so any possible natural remedy automatically peaks my interest. And I know birth control is a popular treatment for them here in the U.S., but several women in my life have suffered everything from mood swings to fibroids because of their B.C. so I've never wanted to try it.
I was pumped to give the holistic Korean treatment, originally called chai-yok, a try! I booked an appointment at Bloomfield Wax and Skin Care Center in Bloomfield, NJ, because the reviews were great and the spa looked super clean. The treatment is 20 - 45 minutes, depending on your consultation, and costs $45.
The spa owner Mel took me back to the private room to administer my v-steam. She first gave me a consultation to determine which herbs would best suit menstrual cramping, as my period would be coming on in about two weeks. She mixed mugwort, camomile, calendula, and rosemary into the steam pot.
She left me to get undressed from the waist down and put on the softest robe ever and this big blanket-towel skirt thingy. I sat my anxious tushy down on the sanitary cover, legs wide apart so that my vag was right over the opening and the pot. Since I was a V-steamed virgin, she started me off on medium so that the heat wouldn't be too much of a shock.
It wasn't long after she cut on the heat that I started to feel the warm steam rising into my lady parts. When I tell y'all, it was UH-FRIGGIN-MAZIIIIIING! I felt so at ease and swadled in what I imagine Black Jesus's warm, pleasant-smelling breath to feel like.
About 20 minutes in I asked Mel to cut up the heat because I wanted to feel how hot things could get, and the heat got REAL! It didn't feel like I was being burned or anything, though. To try and cool things down a bit, I opened the towel-skirt thingamajig, and woof, a visible trail of steam rose up into the air. I went back to the medium setting because it was more comfortable for me.
After about 30 minutes of being on the pot, my time had come to an end and I felt so relaxed.
But the real test would be when my period came on. About a week before it comes on my symptoms start: lower back pain, cramping in my uterus, and aching tits. The symptoms continue throughout the week of my period, which super sucks because it feels like my period is actually on for two weeks. SCREW. YOU. SATAN.
I can always tell a day or two before when it's about to come on because the cramping really kicks up towards the end of the leading week. This time, however, I didn't have my usual cramping or lower back pain. I'm so used to cramps telling me that the massacre (it's SO heavy, so that's what I've appropriately nicknamed it) is a comin', and when I didn't have any, I forgot that it was on its way. Literally the only reason I remembered is because I have a period tracking app on my phone.
I thought for sure that the week of my period I'd get some cramps, but still nothing. The only symptoms I experienced were tender boobs and a little sadness one day, probably because a squirrel stole another squirrel's acorn. Who knows? But even my mood wasn't as up and down this time. I don't know if the steam helped with that, too, or if I was just happier overall because my stomach didn't feel like it was on fire.
So would I do this again? ABSOLUTELY! I actually made an appointment with the same spa to get another v-steam, and this one isn't free so you know I'm a real fan. If you're looking for a more holistic treatment to vaginal and uterine issues, or if you just want a relaxing way to destress, I'd without a doubt recommend trying it.
Just so you know, Bloomfield Wax and Skin Care Center provided the service free of charge. BuzzFeed did not, however, get paid for covering the spa, and we were not required to feature the experience on any of our platforms in exchange for the service.