SENSUAL S TEAMS
Imagine petals opening, awoken by the whisper of spring, stretching out their floral arms to reveal the innermost treasure of the flower: the procreative core. It is as erotic as it is natural. So symbolic of the female form, the strength of its allure is such that the vulva has crept into the cosmetic vernacular as unique treatments promise to keep you forever in bloom. When Gwyneth Paltrow revealed she did regular vaginal steaming, it seemed like a strange A-list novelty. But yoni steaming—“yoni” is the Sanksrit word meaning “womb”—is an ancient practice that purportedly reduces stress, menstrual unease, and infections. In South Korea, it’s referred to as chai-yok; in Maya medicine, as bajo; and in Javanese practice, as ranggang. A potent mix of natural herbs, primarily mugwort and wormwood, provides its medicinal qualities. In modern herbalism, mugwort is favoured for its antiseptic nature while wormwood has historically been used to treat bladder infections, constipation, and eczema. Variations of this treatment are also available at the Spa Village in The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur ( www.spavillage.com). It can promote uterine contractions, however, so pregnant women, stay clear. Dr. Rosita Arvigo, a naprapathic physician and lecturer on Maya medicine, explains that the tissues of the vagina are exceptionally porous. Aided by the warmth of steam, it will readily imbibe nutrients into the skin, and eventually, the bloodstream.