Is it Time to Get Steamy?
I read recently about some pretty interesting health advice being dished out by actor Gwyneth Paltrow on her website, Goop , and was instantly compelled to find out more!
Gwyneth Patrow – Celeb Quack?
It’s not exactly the first time Gwyneth Paltrow has served up fascinatingly bizarre health suggestions. For example, she advocates colonic irrigation, a therapy involving a hose, water and your rear end to “flush out toxins”- a practice not supported by evidence that can also have serious adverse outcomes including infection and bowel perforation.
As I continued trawling through Goop, I discovered that Gwyneth Paltrow actually sells her own colon cleanse kit (It’s orally applied, if you were wondering. It’s basically a bunch of fibre supplements, probiotics and a very restricted low calorie per day eating plan) for over $400 USD and endorses a bunch of related “detox diets“, the likes of which have been widely debunked- here’s a few good articles on the subject:
- The Detox Scam: How to spot it and how to avoid it
- Do detox diets offer any health benefits?
- Detox Diets: Juice Up Your Health?
I also learned that Gwyneth is a big fan of a product called Sex Dust (medical grade, of course) which she uses to make something called Sex Bark. I looked at the Sex Dust ingredients are and frankly, I’m none the wiser. The bark is a mixture of the Sex Dust, some oils and chocolate things and some stuff I have never heard of. I don’t quite know what it’s for. (Sex substitute? Pre or post sex snack? No idea.)
Turns out that Gwyneth is very spiritual and into feelings and consciousness and souls and tantra. All fine by me, if that’s your bag.
But one of her latest recommendations really takes the biscuit.
Gwyneth Patrow Presents:
Ladies and gents, the V-Steam.
It’s a steam clean for your lady parts. Apparently, you sit on a “mini-throne” while herb infused steam and and infrared beams that zap around your vagina and (somehow) your uterus to (somehow) balance your hormones and release energies.
Have a look if you’re curious (no nudity):
Reportedly, famous funny man Ricky Gervais tried the controversial treatment:
Naturally, I immediately discussed this with friends.
In another conversation, a friend and I wondered what people might do as a DIY. I mean, these V-Steams aren’t cheap. $50 a pop at the spa Gwynnie recommends! There are various scenarios but we envisaged some truly awkward (not to mention freaking painful) steam burns as well as head injuries sustained from low-hung kitchen cabinets while trying to straddle the kettle.
Well worth the risk, right? I mean, the spa lists benefits, loads of them. This from their website:
Now, I’m no medical professional, but then, neither is Gwyneth. So I’m pretty comfortable in resisting the (admittedly non-existent) urge to V-Steam because it sounds like a load of crap. Turns out, people who ARE medical professionals think so too.
Dr Jen Gunter, a board certified OB/GYN who has completed a 5 year OB/GYN residency and a fellowship in infectious diseases and is an expert in vulvovaginal disorders, says the claims made about “balancing hormones” are false and that the steam would not “cleanse” the uterus because it would need an attachment and pressure to actually reach the uterus- and she stresses that that is NOT advisable! She also explains the potential harms of this practice- like potential allergic reactions and messing up your “vaginal ecosystem”. That does not sound like something you want to stuff around with.
Dr Gunter also raises another valid point- the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. It doesn’t need to be steam cleaned. It probably doesn’t even want to be steam cleaned. It’s doing just fine on it’s own- and if it’s not, maybe see a doctor instead of a beauty therapist?
There’s a thought.