V-Steam: Do You Need One : Healthy Habits
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V-Steam: Do You Need One

by Karen Craven on 03/24/15

If you are female and reading this, it will not surprise you that being female comes with some often intense pain in the pelvic region.  It might surprise you, though, to learn that it shouldn't.

I use acupuncture and herbs to address menstrual cycle imbalances and other women’s issues but have recently added a new therapy called vaginal steaming. This is an ancient therapy designed to increase blood flow in the perineum and deliver herbs topically to address all of these issues:

   Dysmenorrhea - painful periods

   Amenorrhea - absent periods

   Oligomenorrhea - light or irregular periods

   Menorrhagia - heavy bleeding during periods

   Metrorrhagia - bleeding between periods

   Fertility concerns

   Interstitial cystitis

   Vaginal health issues - bacterial or viral

   Dyspareunia - pain with intercourse

   Maintenance of healthy vaginal tissue after menopause

   Pelvic floor dysfunction


We are doing V-steams at the clinic and can combine a steam with an acupuncture treatment.  For menstrual issues, it is appropriate to do one to three steams the week before your cycle depending on the level of dysfunction with your cycle. For fertility, one steam per week during the time you are building up your body and preparing for IVF or IUI. If working on conception naturally, two steams in the days leading up to ovulation after your cycle is appropriate.  For maintaining healthy tissue, three to four steams a year is appropriate. Other health issues will vary from these recommendations.

Here is a list of the herbs we use with some of their common uses:

Cyathula Officinalis (Chuan Niu Xi) - increases blood circulation, for dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, retention of lochia, low back and knee pain, contra-indicated during pregnancy

Carthamus tinctorius flower (Hong Hua, safflower petals) - moves blood, unblocks menses, for amenorrhea, pain and masses. retention of lochia, postpartum abdominal pain

Lavender Angustifolia - for vaginal discharge and anal fissures spasms, stimulates the uterus, benefits digestion, stimulates peripheral circulation, lowers fevers, is antiseptic and has antidepressant effects, for tension and migraine headaches, nerve pain, muscle pain, cold sores

Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca, Yi Mu Cao) - stimulates the uterus and circulation, for issues with menses, childbirth, and menopause - especially of nervous origin, relaxes spasms, lowers blood pressure, sedative and nerve tonic, antibacterial and fungal, good for palpitations, contra-indicated during pregnancy

Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris, Ai Ye, moxa) - warming and stops bleeding, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, for prolonged periods, uterine bleeding due to cold, vomiting blood, nose bleeds, bloody stools, regulates menses, alleviates pain, calms a restless fetus, for lower abdomen cold pain, infertility due to cold uterus, vaginal discharge, genital itching, tinea, topical for eczema.

Oregano (Oreganium Vulgare, wild marjoram)- uterine stimulant, relaxes spasms, dysmenorrhea, benefits digestion, increases circulation, contra-indicated during pregnancy

Rosemary (Rosmarinis officinalis) - relaxes spasms and relieves pain, anti-microbial, for depression, apathy, nervous exhaustion, headaches and migraines associated with nervous tension or feelings of cold, poor circulation, digestive issues associated with anxiety, contra-indicated during pregnancy

Partridgeberry (Mitchella Repens) - relaxes the uterus, strengthens contractions and calms nerves, for menstrual disorders, preparation for birth, labor pains, nervous exhaustion and irritability, contra-indicated during first 6 months of pregnancy, can be used last two months with blackberry as a uterine tonic.

Red Sage Root (Radix Salvia Miltiorrhiza, Dan Shen) - for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, retention of lochia, postnatal pains, breast abscesses, mastitis, ulcers, boils, sores, bruises, controls bleeding, stimulates circulatory and immune systems, palpitations, irritability, insomnia

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