Becky Burgess is no stranger to herbs. As a Chinese Medicine Practitioner (more commonly known as an acupuncturist) she regularly prescribes herbs to patients. Recently, however, Becky has added an additional way to administer herbal treatments (vaginal steaming vaginal steaming vaginal steaming) and it's causing a stir among the women where her business is located in popular ski getaway Vail, Colorado. We interviewed Becky to learn all about it.
What is your profession?
I am a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, nationally licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and a certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator.
Where did you go to school or get your professional training?
I completed my undergrad in Integrated Sciences at the University of Denver, where I was also a four year D1 athlete. Then I received my Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder and I have my Vaginal Steam continuing education through the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute.
What led you to this type of work?
When I was 15 I was involved in a debilitating car accident that left me worse for the wear and even wheelchair bound at times. After trying every course of treatment I could imagine, I saw an acupuncturist and finally was able to make noticeable improvements. Acupuncture allowed my chronic pain to be kept at bay, which afforded me the opportunity to compete at a Division I level in college. I always knew I wanted to go into the healthcare field and serve others, and I wanted to do it with a holistic approach. Acupuncture checked all the boxes for me and it was only when I was a year into my studies that I realized my true passion in this medicine is in the practice of Chinese herbs, specifically customized formulas, to invoke significant results in my health and that of my patients. I looked to incorporate herbs into every treatment plan and opened an herbal clinic to serve other practitioners who do not have the time, space, or capital for a full herbal dispensary of their own. It is my passion and I am so lucky to have the best job I could have ever imagined.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been studying and practicing Chinese Medicine for eight years.
How did you learn about vaginal steaming?
I first learned about vaginal steaming during my Master’s degree program. A teacher of mine mentioned steaming with herbs and I was instantly intrigued. We, unfortunately, did not delve too deep into this application of herbs in school, but I began researching and learning more about the practice and its vast history in a wealth of different cultures. This opened my eyes to its ancient traditions as well as its modern applications.
Do you use vaginal steaming yourself?
Of course!! I aim to steam with the moon cycles each month and it has been a key practice in my self-care regimen.
What has your personal experience with steaming been?
The very first time I steamed I “horse-stanced” over a pot of steaming herbs and felt the warmth permeate me. I was relaxed, nourished, and inspired! I think I may have lucked out with the perfect “do-it-yourself” steam because since that initial steam I have definitely had to tweak the setup a bit- finding the right temperature (which varies for me depending on where I am in my cycle) as well as researching how to create a sauna box because, woman alive, were my quads SORE the next day! Now, I have it down and feel strengthened, cleansed, and empowered after each steam. I have noticed a significant decrease in pain around my menses, especially the first day when it was historically the worse for me! It has also been beneficial for me postpartum, and helped to strengthen my pelvic floor, even years after childbirth.
Why did you decide to offer this service to women? Was there an “aha” moment?
One day I was just feeling stuck and knew I needed to do something to reinvigorate me. I was stressed and my period was late. I decided to pull some herbs from my shelf and make myself a little steam. During that steam I definitely had my “aha” moment! I felt so inspired as I was basking in the warmth and my brain started moving at a million thoughts per minute. I already had the space, the clientele, and the herbs. I had the knowledge to create incredible customized formulas for all of my patients and the drive to expand the use of Chinese medicine. This was a NO BRAINER for me. Add that to my passion for bringing more feminine energy to a very masculine-driven ski town and this was starting to become a formula for success.
How long have you been offering vaginal steam services?
I have been offering vaginal steam services in the wellness center for six months now, although, I have been prescribing them to patients since I began practicing Acupuncture.
Where do you offer your services?
We have two sauna boxes in our Wellness center, Vail Valley Wellness, in Vail, Colorado. We offer private yoni steams or sister sessions, where you can steam with a friend. I’ve found most prefer private, but we have certainly seen some camaraderie in a sister session for friends thinking to themselves, “What the heck have we gotten ourselves into now?” My favorite part of all of the services we offer here is seeing our clients faces after their treatment- whether it’s acupuncture, detox, or steaming, the proof is certainly in the pudding and comes across clearly in their smiles!
What benefits do vaginal steam services have for your clients?
How much time do you have?? Sometimes I think I should pull back on how many friends, family members, patients, and random strangers that I encourage to steam, but then I remind myself how beneficial steaming can be and I can’t help myself! Women steaming at Vail Valley Wellness have noticed improvements in their chronic bacterial vaginosis, increases in sexual desire and lubrication, fibroids melting away, painful menses gone after one steam, regulated cycles, emotional releases from womb trauma, clearer skin, and of course, have become fertile mamas!!
How do clients respond when you offer them vaginal steam services? Any funny stories?
Since our vaginal steam services are a newer addition to our menu of offerings at Vail Valley Wellness, it has been really fun to watch so many steaming virgins hesitantly come in for their session and leave with a glow to their skin, an ear-to-ear grin, and a little pep in their step! I most enjoy when patients steam for the first time after trying seemingly everything for their health concern. It is great to offer them a modality that they may have never considered before, and one which provides some seriously impressive results. A funny story that comes to mind was during a women’s moon circle gathering at the wellness center. The women that gathered set intentions, pulled cards, held crystals, and enjoyed each other’s company. They shared in a number of services, including of course, yoni steams! One woman came out of her steam, glowing, and wanted to share her experience. We were playing a beautiful womb meditation with a great tribal drumbeat in the background and she said she stood up, threw her head back, placed the crystal on her third eye, and danced!!! She said she just felt so incredible and the urge to dance just came upon her! How amazing is that for a testimonial!?!
Any favorite quotes from clients either during or after steaming?
I do hear a lot of little “yelps!” as that first steam reaches the vagina! I particularly loved when one woman opened the door after her steam, leaned against the doorjamb, and sighed, “Well, that was orgasmic!”
Do any vaginal steam success stories stand out where the client had a significant health breakthrough?
SO many!!! This is really and truly what it is all about!! My favorite success stories usually involve a baby at the end ;) but I also have found incredible joy in seeing a woman who struggled with BV for close to two years finally find relief from the recurrent concerns after two months of weekly steaming. I also have been able to treat myself and my patients with herbal formulas for common colds and insomnia by steaming the decoction, rather than drinking the herbal tea. Our cervical mucosa is incredibly absorbent and through this application, we can bypass relying on the gut to process the formula. This has been unbelievably effective, while simultaneously nourishing Qi, Blood, and Essence, the three treasures in Chinese medicine! I love explaining the benefits of steaming to women and men!! and it has been a pleasure to humbly offer this modality at Vail Valley Wellness.
Vail Valley Wellness