If you thought spas were only for facials and massages, guess again. Gwyneth Paltrow is recommending a new treatment, but this one is just for the ladies.
The 42-year-old actress, who regularly posts about must-see places and must-have items on her website Goop, recently wrote about Tikkun, a Korean spa in Los Angeles. She opens by listing the usual great things you can find at a spa — sauna, infrared heat therapies, a clay room — but buries the lead.
"The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam: You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al," she says. "It is an energetic release — not just a steam douche — that balances female hormone levels. If you’re in LA, you have to do it."
If it sounds like you might be interested, you may be surprised to learn that the service is rather affordable (by Goop standards, at least). A $50 for thirty minutes or you can get a series of five for $200.
According to the spa's website, "The talk of the town, V-Steam, inspired by an ancient ritual practiced for hundreds of years in Korea. This steaming treatment stimulates the production of hormones to maintain uterine health, aids regular menstrual cycles, clears up hormonal acne, promotes circulation, and helps correct digestive disorders."
So should GP add vagina expert to her resume? As with anything Gwyneth does, says, or writes, opinions are sure to follow. According to Dr. Jen Gunter, a board certified OB/GYN and expert in vulvovaginal disorders, Paltrow doesn't know what she's talking about.
"Steam is probably not good for your vagina. Herbal steam is no better and quite possibly worse. It is most definitely more expensive," she blogs. "Steam isn’t going to get into your uterus from your vagina unless you are using an attachment with some kind of pressure and MOST DEFINITELY NEVER EVER DO THAT. Mugwort or wormwood or whatever when steamed, either vaginally or on the vulva, can’t possibly balance any reproductive hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, treat depression, or cure infertility. Even steamed estrogen couldn’t do that."
But V-Steams aren't necessarily all bad. "I don't think it's completely crazy to say [the steam] could be beneficial” Dr. David L. Finke tells People. "It could change the circulation patterns for probably 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on how the steam is applied, the benefits could be similar to a regular steam room. As far as bold claims that doing this will change hormonal balance or cleanse the uterus, it's probably bogus."
So steam with caution.