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California Spa Offers Soothing Vaginal Steam Bath

Dec 28, 2010 – 4:22 PM
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Next time you visit a spa in Southern California, you may find yourself sitting back, relaxing and dropping trou for an unusual crotch cleansing service.

As if vaginas didn't already get enough special treatment (vajazzling, anyone?), the L.A. Times has reported that Tikkun Holistic Spa in Santa Monica, Calif., is offering one more leisurely perk for ladyparts: a Korean spa treatment called "chai-yok" -- a gentle, soothing steam bath specifically for the vagina.

Here's how it works: the client squats over a special wooden stool that has a hole in the seat as a warm, steamy mixture of brewed herbs rises up into her privates for a truly unique cleansing process.
The Mugwort herb is seen in this undated photo.
Mugwort is one of the main herbs used in the chai-yok vaginal steam bath process. In Eastern medicine, it's believed to be an antiseptic that could also help rid your body of toxins.

Simple. Steamy. Directly to third base.

Tikkun Holistic Spa owner Niki Han Schwarz told AOL News that she's been offering the herbal "V-Steam" cleanse for several months at her spa, but the origins of "chai-yok" can be traced back to Korea.

"It's been around for 600 years in Korea, but it's new to us in the west. Traditional Korean spas have always offered chai-yok, and Korean women get it done regularly," explained Schwarz.

What, exactly, is the purpose of this vaginal steam bath, you ask?

Well, according to Schwarz, the reasons for it are endless.

She said the herbs used in the steam bath -- primarily a mix of mugwort and wormwood tea -- are thought, at least in Eastern medicine, to have serious healing properties.

"All of the herbs in the tea are antifungal and antibacterial. They rid your body of toxins and pesticides, fight infections and even help clear up hemorrhoids. Your body also aches less after you've had a few steams," said Schwarz.

But the effects of chai-yok have yet to be proven by doctors in the west.

Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a gynecologist at Women's Care of Beverly Hills Medical Group, told the L.A. Times that while steaming the vagina could boost circulation and blood flow to the nether-regions, it's hard to evaluate whether or not chai-yok has any real clinical benefits.

Still, despite the lack hard evidence, Schwarz is a firm believer in the treatment and its health benefits, having tried it herself several times.

"It's very soothing and relaxing, so it really can't be bad for you. If anything, at least it's a deep detoxification, steaming you from the inside out," she reasoned.

"We get all of our herbs fresh from an herbalist in Los Angeles and we ordered the stools from Korea, so we're working with authentic materials. It really isn't invasive at all -- it's just steam rising into your vagina, warming everything up."

So far, Schwarz said she's had about 100 clients try the V-Steam treatment and reactions to it have been overwhelmingly positive.

"I've had some women say they get the best orgasms from it," she said with a giggle.

Schwarz has also had clients claim that vaginal steams have helped them get pregnant, herself included.

"I know there's no proof that chai-yok helps aid fertility, but I have heard of many cases where women got pregnant after they tried it. Maybe it's the power of positive thinking, or maybe it's the herbs," she added. "I got pregnant after five steams."

For best results -- in terms of reducing body aches and detoxing, at least -- Schwarz suggested women try the steam cleanse on a regular basis, maybe once a month after their period. She said they should sit above the rising steam for 20 to 30 minutes each time, though some prefer staying put for an hour.

Currently, Tikkun Holistic Spa offers the "V-Steam" for $50 a pop, or a series of six for $180.

Schwarz said ladies can even make a day of it with their girlfriends, as she's hosted several large parties of women who opt to get their vajayjays steamed together.

She said it's not really all that awkward to do it among friends, especially since clients are draped in ponchos from the shoulders down the whole time. They're not wearing underwear, but the poncho covers almost everything up.

And, guys, if you're feeling a bit left out of the who-ha fun, don't worry. There's a chai-yok treatment available for men, too.

Schwarz calls the male-oriented service an "A-Steam," and said it's the same steamy set-up as a V-Steam, only the treatment targets the anus.

"It's good for mens' butts -- for any aches they may have down there. One man got the steam right before going into surgery for hemorrhoids and he said it helped clear him up. The cleansing has been pretty popular among gay guys in the area, too," she explained.

Though chai-yok is just beginning to gain ground in the States, Schwarz is hopeful that her spa will popularize the service in the new year.

She's been actively promoting the V-Steam to her existing clients, giving complimentary steams through a special "Steam your V for Free" offer.

She said she'll host an even bigger V-Steam promotion at her spa this January, so if you're curious, that will be prime time to drop your pants and live a little.

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