Marisa Reyes of Highland Park, California used her eight years of experience as a librarian and library professor to research how to help people. She uses vaginal steaming to help women rewrite their menstrual stories and find healing. One of her clients, who had been experiencing infertility issues, had to cancel just after her second session because she became pregnant. We interviewed Marisa to learn more.
What is your profession?
I am co-owner of Purple Lotus Massage & Wellness in Los Angeles and am a California-certified massage therapist specializing in Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage, as well as a Kundalini instructor, former librarian and professor. I help women shift from despising to revising their story with their menstrual cycle by offering private ceremonial experiences which address the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health with cacao, kundalini yoga, healing breath work, abdominal massage, vaginal steaming and medicine songs from the moon dance of the Mexica lineage.
Where did you go to school or get your professional training?
My B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) is in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach and my Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) is from San Jose State University. I began studying Thai Massage and Tok Sen (a traditional Thai modality) at ITM in Chiang Mai, Thailand, then continued my training with Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage at Ong’s School also in Chiang Mai. I returned to Los Angeles and became a certified massage therapist at the Massage School of Pasadena. I completed my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training at the Awareness Center in Pasadena, where I also completed the Level 1 Healer Training with Wahe Guru. Lastly, I have received my Vaginal Steam Facilitator certification through the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute.
How long have you been practicing?
I was a librarian and library professor on and off from 2010 to 2018 which is where my practice of research and helping people began. I began studying and practicing various massage modalities since 2013 and have been fully devoting myself to helping women alleviate menstrual pains with abdominal massage and womb care since 2015.
How did you learn about vaginal steaming?
My moon dance sister/madrina, Guzel Gjenasaj, hosted Cross-Pollinate, an incredible women’s spiritual networking event where I met Marcia Lopez who offered Mayan abdominal massage and vaginal steaming. Years later, I would see it available on the Korean spa menu and was always very curious. Another moon dance sister, Xochitl Ashe, introduced me to her dear friend and sister, Keli Garza. After watching the Steamy Chick videos, reading Keli’s blogs, and following her on podcasts, I immersed myself in the practice and continue to fall deeper in love with steaming.
Do you use vaginal steaming yourself?
I do and I loooooove it!!!
What has your personal experience with steaming been?
I noticed the immediate effect of deep relaxation which came with this feeling of pure joy and gratitude. After my first steam, I noticed my cycle started seven days later than I anticipated. What I later realized was that the steaming had extended my cycle from 24 to 30 days. After studying with Keli Garza, I learned I had a fatigued uterus which is why I couldn’t hold my menses for a full 28 - 30 days. Steaming has extended my cycle so I am now closer to 27-28 days.
Why did you decide to offer this service to women? Was there an “aha” moment?
I decided to offer this service because I experienced first-hand how powerful this ancient women’s medicine is. I see so many women around me struggling with menstrual cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, lower back pain, bloating, hormonal imbalances, and mood swings. My nature has always been to help and support people, and after my experience, it became even clearer that this is the type of medicine I want to share with my community and the world. Considering my love for both giving and receiving abdominal massage, the vaginal steam is the perfect pair for supporting the digestive and reproductive system.
How long have you been offering vaginal steam services?
I started offering vaginal steam services in September 2018.
Where do you offer your services?
Women can either come to my beautiful cave-like healing sanctuary in Highland Park, CA or I am happy to take my stool and table and travel to women’s homes.
What benefits do vaginal steam services have for your clients?
Vaginal steaming has helped my clients activate their parasympathetic nervous system, which allows their bodies to fully relax and supports the digestive and reproductive system. The main benefits have included cleansing the uterus, balancing the hormones, reducing menstrual pains, and supporting fertility challenges. I’ve had women share that it has helped increase their libido and reduce hot flashes.
How do clients respond when you offer them vaginal steam services? Any funny stories?
Women looooooove it!!!! They come out feeling so incredibly relaxed. I have essential oils diffusing in the space and beautiful therapeutic music playing so it gives them an opportunity to unplug. I encourage them to meditate on their womb and observe what comes up. One woman had a vision of herself traveling through the fallopian tubes which transported her to childhood memories, remembering moments of trauma which explained some of her present day emotional blockages.
Any favorite quotes from clients either during or after steaming?
"That was unusually comforting"
"I didn't know I could have a sauna experience just for my vagina."
"That was so incredibly relaxing"... is the most common.
Do any vaginal steam success stories stand out where the client had a significant health breakthrough?
I had a woman who was wanting to get pregnant and was facing fertility challenges. She was surprised it wasn't as easy as she anticipated since she was quite young and already had a child. She did a steam and an abdominal massage, returned for a second session, then had to cancel her third session since she found out she was pregnant. That was a massive breakthrough!
For more information:
Marisa Anita Reyes
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