Tali Shimoni has dedicated her professional training to empower women to heal themselves naturally. Vaginal steaming is among the therapies she uses. We interview Tali to learn more.
What is your profession?
I'm a Shiatzu Therapist, a Gynecosophia practitioner (in Latin: women wisdom - a profession of escorting and supporting women through our varied changes, transisions and passages of life) and a Vaginal Steam Facilitator.
I run a community clinic in Jaffa - Tel Aviv. In the clinic we offer women a safe space, where every women can have free access to consultation with me or my colleague regarding many issues such as menarch, menstrual cycle, sexuality, fertillity, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, menopause, etc. We have learning circles with a holistic approach to pelvic floor care, choosing contraceptives, breastfeeding, mothering and so on.
We also offer direct therapy treatments: shiatzu, Arvigo (Mayan abdominal massage), birth processing, opening and closing of the bones ceremonies, and vaginal steaming.
Where did you go to school or get your professional training?
Shiatsu therapist - I studied in the Ancient Chinese Medicine program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Gynecosophia - School of Gynecosophia, led and founded by Marva Zohar.
I have a B.A. in soil & water sciences from Hebrew University.
I study vaginal steam therapy at the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute by Steamy Chick.
What led you to this type of work?
Since I was a young girl I always liked giving massages. I noticed that sometimes when you touch one point in the body it creates a sensation in a different place in the body. When I was 18 a blood test showed I have hypotheroidism. After taking Eltroxin for over a decade I decided it's enough and I managed to heal myself from it naturally. I was so frustrated that not even one doctor had ever suggested me to try to change something in my life to support my thyroid rather than just swallowing pills. As I was becoming really interested in nutrition and health, and that led me to dive deep into the world of our menstrual cycle.
Putting all these together, after years of working and studying other things I finally went to become a shiatzu therapist which led me to gynecosophia and then vaginal steaming.
My involvement as a therapist also came from a more social-political place I think. For a long time I was feeling and knowing the big problems caused by the medicalization of every natural process we go thorough, particularily women's health. Although it has its advantages, it causes great lack of understanding of our own bodies, disconnection, and sometimes in a way - could result in leaving the responsibility of our bodies health to someone else. Something big is missing. Our phases, illnesses, changes - are all passages that we could really learn and evolve and transition through them rather than just pass them safely. It is a political-social situation that is so personal. Women are in a very vulnurable place in the current cultural and social structure.
Why do so many women suffer from vaginal infections coming back over and over? Why do so many women suffer from pain during sex? Why do so many women experience severe PMS symptoms? There is much more to it than the observations seen from a speculum.
It is not weakness but rather a hesitation and imbalance with regards to the overall situation. It's the body expressing truth. There is great power that yearns to come out and heal. So women stand by women in sisterhood, and support each other in ways that healing is a good, strong and vitalizing process. The sensations in both uterus and vagina are authentic reflections of the women's whole and, therefore, they are the gates to healing.
I want self-care and healing to be empowering, fruitful and even fun!
The bottom line is that I feel that the essence of doing this kind of work is really to give women the tools to deeply connect to themselves, to put self-care in a very high priority, taking responsibility for their health, and reclaiming their body.
Do you use vaginal steaming yourself?
What has your personal experience with steaming been?
I started steaming three weeks postpartum. It immediately took out all the rest of the birth residue. Further on it helped me with stretched skin. Since then I've been steaming regularly. It's part of my self-care routine, my short time-out from everything.
Why did you decide to offer this service to women?
The moment I heard about vaginal steaming I thought it's great. However, it took me sometime to bring it into my life actively. Once I experienced the postpartum benefits I knew that I had to help other women make time for this incredibly healing practice.
Where do you offer your services?
In my private clinic at my home, and in the community clinic for women. If necessary, I will go to my client's home.
How do clients respond when you offer them vaginal steam services? Any funny stories?
Usually curiousity. And then a lot of questions. Once I talk about vaginal steaming and lay out all its benefits I always see an expression in their faces saying "of course, that makes so much sense."
Any favorite quotes from clients either during or after steaming?
They often say they want more. That's my favorite.
Do you have any success stories that stand out?
Yes! A women who has a HPV history came to me after having cervical dysplasia again. After steaming according to the protocol I gave her her following check-up was normal :)
Another women found she has an ovarian cyst which the doctor said should be removed in surgery. After steaming and sticking to the protocol she was very happy to find out in the following check-up that the cyst is gone.