Ann Mowat, LAc began offering vaginal steaming services to her clients out of her Austin, Texas acupuncture clinic. Finding awareness and release of deep emotional wounds through steaming, Ann decided to offer this service to her clients in hopes that they too would find healing. We interviewed Ann to learn more.
What is your profession?
I am a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and certified Vaginal Steam Practitioner. I have additional certifications in Sports Medicine Acupuncture, Aroma AcuTouch therapy, Colorpuncture, meditation instruction, Arvigo Level 1 Self Healing and am currently immersed in Krista Mitchell's Professional Crystal Healer Certification program.
Where did you go to school or get your professional training?
I attended Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH and received my Bachelor's in Business Administration/Marketing and Advertising. After a 14 year career in advertising, I began to seek a new path and followed my heart's calling to study Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. I received my Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM) from AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been licensed since 2007 which makes September 2019 my 12th anniversary in practice!
How did you learn about vaginal steaming?
Being passionate about women's health and a curious learner/seeker of all things related to wellness, my first memory of steaming was while studying Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy as taught by Rosita Arvigo. I soon discovered the deep cultural roots associated with this ancient healing ritual. Many cultures, over many decades, have utilized steaming as a tool to heal a multitude of imbalances. I discovered Keli and her amazing work and was immediately drawn to study with her and complete the vaginal steam practitioner certification.
Do you use vaginal steaming yourself?
Absolutely. I steam with each new moon and find it integral to my personal self care routine.
What has your personal experience with steaming been?
I chuckle when I recall my first steaming experience. I was all business. I had set up my steam station and was simply planning to "test it out for my client's experience". Sorta kick the tires so I could talk the talk. I grabbed a book and a notepad thinking I was going to catch up on reading and take notes. My headspace was in clinical practitioner mode. Well, it didn't take long to change all that. About 2 minutes into the steam process, I put the book and notepad down and quickly realized this was a deep, almost primal experience. A connection to my inner self. I had no expectations of the experience outside of the physical. However, my first steam was all about the emotional. As I relaxed into the process, long held memories began to surface. Tears came. Memories played their same story but this time with a softer overtone. I felt a peacefulness in my heart I had long forgotten. I felt the innate power the body has in holding memories and experiences deep within the multitude of layers.
Why did you decide to offer this service to women? Was there an “aha” moment?
I've worked with many women struggling with fertility issues, many with long, painful and heavy menstrual periods, and others with irregular cycles. We would work on the physical aspects and get wonderful results but I began to sense a much deeper, more emotional component to each individual woman's struggles. My personal experience with steaming - the awareness and release of deep emotional wounds, shame and (re)connection to my feminine self - led me to see this as a missing link in my client's overall healing.
How long have you been offering vaginal steam services?
I've been offering V-Steam services for a year or so. Primarily as individual prescriptions to specific clients. The beauty of Chinese Medicine is our ability to utilize the many tools in our toolbox (acupuncture, cupping, guasha, moxa and steaming, etc) to tailor each client's personal healing to their unique presentation. I'll soon be offering V-Steam services as a stand alone session.
Where do you offer your services?
I offer V-Steam services at my acupuncture clinic. In my primary treatment room, I've created a steam station in the Earth (personal growth, learning and meditation) aspect of the Feng Shui Bagua. I have candles, crystals, essential oils and other design aspects to help each woman connect to her deep, feminine knowing.
What benefits do vaginal steam services have for your clients?
Oh, so many. There's the obvious physical improvements via clearing stagnation, better blood circulation and softening of tissues. Healing from yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Improved menopausal symptoms including dryness and irritation. And, the best...improved fertility. My latest passion is postpartum, or Fourth Trimester, healing. I'm in the midst of creating a support program for new mamas which includes steaming, nutrition and a nourishing (and personally modified) first 40 days. A cultural tradition in China (and many other countries) which allows a new mama to heal and bond with her new baby with the primary focus being on rest and recovery. This not only allows women to recover and heal from childbirth, it also helps heal internal organs in preparation for future births.
How do clients respond when you offer them vaginal steam services? Any funny stories?
When I first mention a V-Steam prescription to a client, the first words are usually something along the lines of "you can't be serious." Once I explain the process and share the long history of steaming and women's health, I usually get a curious "ok, I'll give it a try". The very first thing I notice when a client is finished with a steam is an overall peacefulness. A general softening and a reconnection to themselves. As modern women, living in a very modern go - go - go culture with all the expectations we place (and are placed} upon us, I've long sensed a slow, gradual disconnection from our innate feminine essence. I see it in my clients daily. In Chinese Medicine we have this concept of Heart Kidney Disharmony which loosely translates to a disconnection of mind and body. Often times, fertility and menstrual irregularities are due to the slow and often dulling of this connection. As an acupuncturist, I view this reconnection as a key aspect in healing. The needles and herbs are master tools but I see steaming as the missing link. The quiet introspection, energetic connection to generations of women and reconnection to self happens over and over during steaming sessions. It's an honor to witness.
Any favorite quotes from clients either during or after steaming?
"That was amazing!"
"I loved it!"
"When can I do it again?"
I've had clients purchase their own home kits. I love when I get requests for a V-Steam appointment because "their body is asking for a session". I think my favorite is when partners are fully supportive of the woman's steaming sessions. In my mind, it is a nod to the deep feminine each woman holds within our many layers.
Do any vaginal steam success stories stand out where the client had a significant health breakthrough?
Clients have cleared long held BV or chronic infections. Experienced healthy pregnancies after being told they can't get pregnant or IVF is the only option. Menstrual cycles without pain, cramping or clots. Improved postpartum recovery. The physical aspects of steaming are many. What I find to be the most significant breakthrough though is each woman's reconnection to self. To the subtle reawakening of their inner voice, to the spark of reconnection to their heart/kidney axis and to (re)awareness of our innate connection as women.
For more information:
Ann Mowat, LAc
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