We love the Steamy Chick family, especially when they decide to share their personal story with us. Check out Toncé Jackson's experience with vaginal steaming and how it has helped her #CrampsBeGone.
“Cramps have always been a part of my menstrual story. Every month I anticipated three days of severe cramping, nausea, bloating, back aches, and acne. With a family history of debilitating cramping and pain, I was convinced that it was normal and a part of the process. In 2017 my doctor recommended birth control to help with the pain and lessen the cramping. The first month of taking pills I had two periods rather than one and they were both as painful as before. I stopped taking the birth control pills and decided to suffer in silence while taking pain meds to try to mask the pain.
In 2018, I experienced the worst combination of pain ever. The cramping was so bad that I left work early and headed home. The pain did not subside, rather worsened, so I pulled over at the nearest Target. Once I entered I found a shopping cart and hunched over it, with blurred vision, as I made my way to the "pain killer" aisle.(Side note: no one asked me if I needed help or anything. I know they saw the pain in my eyes. Let’s be more aware, kinder, and more willing to help one another). I was cramping so bad that I couldn't see which pill bottle to grab. Instead, I slowly walked a couple of feet to the pharmacy area and asked for help. I sat in the waiting area and the pharmacist came over. I told him that I was cramping extremely bad and needed some pain pills. He asked if I had eaten so I grabbed a box of Cheerios from the "returns" cart and took an ibuprofen. This did not help. I became dizzy and anxious as the cramps progressed every 2 minutes like contractions. I stood up against the wall and immediately threw up the ibuprofen and Cheerios. The pharmacist called security and security called 911. The ambulance picked me up and rushed me to the hospital. (As I fast forward, I just want to put a plug in for self-advocacy while navigating the healthcare system.) At the hospital the physician did not give me an X-ray/ultrasound to check on my ovaries, draw blood, or anything. He wrote me a prescription for pain meds. After I requested a specific medication, he questioned me as if I had a history of drug abuse (I do not). As a Black woman and a doctoral student I did not feel listened to, only judged.
After this incident of going to the hospital, I decided to search for alternative options. I came across a short documentary on vaginal steaming and bought a vaginal steam sauna, womb gown and steam herbs so that I could steam at home. I steamed once at home but because of lack of experience was inconsistent. Feeling that I needed more help I searched for a vaginal steam practitioner in my area and found Monisha Garner, a colon hydrotherapist in Torrance, California who offered the services in her clinic. Through working with Monisha I learned to be kinder to my body and to be open to the process. She advised that I steam one to two times per week. After just one month of this I got my period and, for the first time ever, my cramps were moderate. I didn't have the debilitating pain I was used to. Not only that, the cramps only lasted the first day and period days two and three were completely pain free. I had never experienced this before. It was incredible.
After my much improved period I checked in with Monisha and she said that I had more "old residue" to clear out of my womb. She suggested that I continue to steam and that I increase the sessions to two to three times per week. Because I had already seen the progress I incorporated it into my life as an important self-care regime. I set reminders on my phone and I made my steam sessions a relaxing spa experience at home. I set reminders on my phone. I would set up my steam seat and herbs, put on my beautiful steam gown, diffuse my favorite essential oils (peppermint, wild orange, lavender), sip my favorite tea (ginger, green, or chamomile) and listen to either an encouraging sermon or some smooth jazz in the background for 30-45 minutes. When it rains I set up my seat near the window so I can listen to raindrops and meditate.
For the first time in years I was putting my health and my womb first. I was actually anxious to see my next period and what would result from all of my steaming. I wanted to know if it was all in my mind. When my next period came this is how it looked: Period Day 1, no pain. Bright red blood. Period Day 2, no pain, no cramps. Period Day 3, no pain, no cramps -- just joy and excitement!
Overjoyed I shared the news with my sister who also experiences cramping. She can't really believe it. She said that if I don't have any pain next period then she will definitely try it. I also shared my experience with my cousin and she is now interested in trying it. #Sharethegoodnews
When you feel joy and true happiness inside and out, it becomes the new normal. All of these years I accepted the pain associated with my period and now in just two months of dedicated steaming I'm pain free. I'm excited to continue on this journey and share my experience with others. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I look forward to exploring nutritional practices while steaming to improve womb health. #PainBeGone!!! I usually do not post or share stories such as my "womb walk,” but, If there was one message I could relay it would be to keep researching, give natural remedies a try and stay connected to a community of sister circles. We have the power to heal our bodies as our ancestors did before us. We can change and redefine the narrative. Each one, teach one, reach one.
I'm a Steam Believer!!!!
Pictured in Photo: Tonce Jackson with Steam Gown from Wombmen Things, Steamy Chick Cleansing Herbs, Vibrant Souls Steam Seat
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