It’s truly awe-inspiring when you have the opportunity to commune with someone whose wealth of knowledge is so vast on a subject, that they are able to answer questions you didn’t even realize needed to be asked. Keli Garza is one such person.
An expert and educator on the subject of vaginal steaming and the founder of Steamy Chick, Keli has dedicated her life to changing the way we, as women approach and experience our moon cycle. As a holistic practitioner, her approach to reproductive health and incredible depth of wisdom teaches us that many solutions to modern ailments can still be found through the wisdom of plants and herbs.
You’ve tapped into this immense wealth of information that the majority of women aren’t even aware exists, how did this journey begin for you? Was there a defining moment that put you into alignment with your purpose?
I think I’m still coming to terms with this. There’s an underlying global women’s health crisis going on right now that is, strangely enough, completely unrecognized. A lot of people are desperately looking for natural alternatives to surgery or pharmaceuticals either to avoid it in the first place or when these methods have failed them. I, myself, was unaware of the extent of the problem only becoming aware of it after Marysia published a blog about the steam sauna and herbs that she had purchased from me. (Until that point I only worked by word of mouth referral.) Once people became aware of what I was doing with steam, hundreds of emails came flooding in with people asking for help. I’ve been trying to answer the call ever since.
Vaginal steaming has myriad benefits, many of which can help those struggling with their reproductive health. What are some of these ailments and how can steaming help?
Last year the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute that I founded as a research branch to my company Steamy Chick conducted a study where we took steam testimonials of over 100 people. When asked what benefits they experienced from steaming they reported as follows:
|Less Back Pain||39 out of 115 (34%)*|
|Less Cramps||77 out of 115 (70%)*|
|Less Achiness||39 out of 115 (34%)*|
|Less Bloating||56 out of 115 (49%)*|
|Less Acne||23 (20%)*|
|Fewer Days of Menstrual Bleeding||52 (45%)*|
|Less Heavy Bleeding||62 (54%)*|
|Less Clots||63 (55%)*|
|Less PMS Symptoms||8 (50%)*|
|Less Headaches||23 (20%)*|
|Less infections||43 out of 115 (37%). Only 28 said they were seeking improvement for this issue.|
|Gynecological disorder reduced or went away||37 out of 115 (32%)|
|Better understanding of my reproductive system||62 out of 115 (54%)|
|I was able to get pregnant||9 out of 20 who wanted help with fertility (45%)|
|Enhanced libido||44 out of 115 (38%). Only 27 were seeking improvement for this issue.|
|Quicker postpartum recovery||15 out of 21 who wanted assistance with postpartum recovery (71%)|
|Pelvic Organ Prolapse Improved||11 whereas only 6 were seeking improvement for this issue|
|Less Ovulation Pain||20 out of 115 (17%)*|
|Less Vaginal Dryness||42 out of 115 (37%)*. Only 16 seeking improvement for this issue.|
|Surgery or Procedure Cancelled||3 out of 115*|
|Improved Pelvic Organ Prolapse||2 out of 6 seeking improvement for prolapse (33%)*|
|Other Improvement||24 out of 115 (21%)|
*This percentage shows the total contributors who saw improvement in this area but all of the contributors did not experience this concern. The percentage would be higher if it was looking at the improvement rate among people who had that concern only. For example, the statistic on back pain tells us that 115 people steamed and 34% saw improvement with back pain but we don’t know how many had back pain to start with. We know that some of them did not so therefore they would not report that improvement. A separate study would be needed to determine the exact rate of improvement for pelvic steaming only as it relates to back pain. It’s statistically probable that it would be higher than 34%.
In their own words this is what the contributors had to say:
“I am now getting my period every month within 29 days. All the cramps are gone, my recurring yeast infections have vanished. Most importantly, my latest scan shows that the multiple cysts on my ovaries have decreased significantly., I only have a few left. I am definitely going to continue the steam plan recommended by my practitioner to get rid of the remaining cysts. I’m so happy I went on Instagram that day to happen to come across a post about vaginal steaming.”
“This is the healthiest I have been in my life as a young woman. I get up with so much energy and I feel ready to start the day. I feel very positive mentally. I feel great in my skin as I lost so much weight. I have no acne and my skin is flawless. I have better intimacy moments with my husband with a better libido. I also went from being an angry and anxious person to passive and relaxed. This is the best lifestyle I have ever had.”
“I had given up hope that any “natural remedy” was going to help the severity of my experience on the first day of bleeding. The very first period I had after steaming correctly (according to my conditions, using a DIY tutorial to clarify the appropriate protocol for me personally), I had ZERO cramps. ZERO pain. ZERO nausea. ZERO temperature fluctuations. I felt like I finally had my life back. Let me be clear: I wasn’t expecting this to work, and I thought that if it was going to make a difference, it would take months for me to see the change. Not only was my first cycle after steaming pain-free; it was actually comfortable and enjoyable.”
“I quickly was able to recover, regulate and find balance with my menstrual cycle. It is the healthiest it has EVER been and I only wish I knew about steaming sooner. My PMS symptoms (bad cramps, back & body aches) are non-existent and my periods generally are now a very easy time. I finally know how to properly take care of myself and my gynecological health. I no longer get UTI’s and if I feel one is coming on, I steam and it is immediately gone. I feel so much better educated about my body and my health and am so grateful to be able to take care of myself in a natural and effective way. I also feel a much greater sense of peace about becoming pregnant as well as taking care of my body after a baby with postpartum steaming. It is a relief to have effective, safe and natural self and/or practitioner lead education and care for women’s health, wellness and happiness.”
“For one thing, this totally relaxes me. I NEVER felt right after each cycle. I felt tense and like all my muscles were bunched up. After the first steam it felt like whatever was tightly coiled inside of me and tense and sore and hurting finally relaxed for the first time in my life. For that reason alone I decided to steam again. Pain MEDS never did that for me. Absolutely amazing. And free.”
“I no longer suffer with endometriosis symptoms and the prolapse no longer causes issues. Steaming gave me my life back.”
"I feel healthier, emotionally and physically. I feel much less pain from my cycle and much less emotional pain( i used to cry all day the first day of my cycle) My cycle has gone from 6 days ( the first and last day were not an actual flow, just a bit of brown discharge/ spotting.. to now being 4.5 days of only blood. My clots have reduced. My cycle now averages 26 days apart instead of 24. I got pregnant ( our reproductive issue was low sperm count but i feel steaming helped me get pregnant anyway)."
More information: Pelvic Steam Testimonial Database
Modern gynecology often falls short in terms of providing women with the kind of information that allows them to take charge of their own health from a restorative perspective. Why do you believe this is the case?
I believe it’s because the field of gynecology that we recognize today is a very immature science that only started 140 years ago and has barely even started to study the female body and reproductive system. The field was started at a time when women did not have rights and were literally property. You can still find many remnants of that in the current system. (How many women know that they have an option to turn down a surgery? It’s shocking how many do not.) Too often gynecologists do not engage with their patients as decision-making people who they are making recommendations to, but instead often treat them as subjects that should not question their treatment protocols. Understanding the history of gynecology really helps to shed light on this shortcoming — the field was founded entirely by men who operated on enslaved African Americans without anesthesia. The same surgeries that the founders of gynecology killed black women to perfect are the most common surgeries performed today — the cesarean and hysterectomy. While it’s true these surgeries save lives in some instances, in most cases they are performed as “elective” (completely optional) choices and are often most convenient for the doctor and not necessarily the patient. This can be seen in a study that shows that the cesarean rates go up based on when a doctor’s lunch break is coming up or shift is coming to an end.
This all sounds pretty hard to believe but sadly it’s the truth. For those interested in learning more I highly recommend the book Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens.
What brings you peace in your day today? What rituals have you created to honor yourself?
I love hearing stories of people steaming and receiving the benefits. I feel like this is our birthright and it’s beautiful to see a community of strong women and other genders around me taking our health back into our own hands. As far as honoring myself, I steam and implement the most extreme period pampering I can. My favorite meme says “I’m going to relax so hard!” That’s how I approach myself at my period and it’s something I can’t believe I ever lived without.
How do you Honor Mother Earth?
By caring for my womb.