Kate portrait face

The pursuit of beauty and eternal youth is one that has seen women undergo some weird and sometimes not so wonderful beauty regimes over the centuries.

Whilst, in the eighteenth century women would apply lead to their faces to give the fashionable white porcelain complexion today women indulge in everything from real gold face masks to having botox injected in their ears.  It seems there are no boundaries when it comes to women in pursuit of radiant beauty with recent fad called urotherapy becoming increasingly popular. Boasting pore  tightening and complexion enhancing abilities, women are now claiming URINE is a cure all beauty treatment that can assist in the treatment from everything from acne to crows feet.  Many online beauty bloggers have been quick to sing the praises of urine as a beauty regime must and so it must join the bizarre beauty treatment hall of fame where it will be in the company of bee venom, and Kao Sori (close shaved face), a treatment that is offered in salons across Japan, involving scraping the face with a flat-edge razor to remove downy hair from the mouth, cheeks and hairline.

Vanity it seems does not stop at the face though. Back in 2003 Victoria Beckham was reported to say that Brazillian waxing should be ‘’compulsory’’  for all women over the age of fifteen.  Today,  full-frontal waxing and shaving is more popular than ever and there has even been worthy of the attention of a medical journal. Indeed  A study published in June 2016 in the journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that the majority of women are now opting to remove all their pubic hair, often in a bid to please their sexual partners. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco surveyed 3,316 women between the ages of 18 and 65, and 62 percent of them reported waxing or shaving off all their pubic hair. (Shaving was much more common.) Another 22 percent said they trimmed or groomed to a lesser extent, while only 16 percent reported going completely natural.

Perhaps, this trend goes hand in hand with the rhinestone trend that saw women bedazzling their pubic regions and now concert goers taking to bedazzling their breasts by decorating them with rhinestone crystals. However, decorating your breasts or other regions with crystals, dabbing urine on your cheeks and even removing hair from absolutely everywhere all seem most normal when faced with the medical advice ‘’don’t put ground wasp nest on your vagina’’.  A shocking statement, but it seems that women looking to rejuvenate and tighten their vagina have been using oak galls as method of treatment.

wasp

It perhaps goes without saying that the use of oak galls in such an intimate region has caused gynecologists’some concern. Oak galls are created when a wasp lays eggs in a oak tree’s leaf buds so that the larva can develop inside and some online retailers have been claiming that grounding them into a paste can help tighten the vagina and get rid of any unpleasant odors’.  The practice has been condemned by gynecologists and health care practitioners alike, with warnings that such a practice could lead to painful sex, a lack of healthy bacteria and an increased risk of contracting disease.

It seems that part of the reason for the oak gall craze is that the NHS offers little advice on the natural loosening of the vagina that can happen with age or the cosmetic treatments available for this. However, there are exercises recommended to women to help tighten their vaginal muscles after childbirth which  include:

Squeeze and draw in your anus at the same time, and close up and draw your vagina upwards. Do it quickly, tightening and releasing the muscles immediately

Then do it slowly, holding the contractions for as long as you can, but no more than 10 seconds, before you relax. Repeat each exercise 10 times, four to six times a day.

I caught up with a therapist, Kate Ellen that teaches yoni egg practices as part of an emotional well-being course.  She explained that over the years she has been practicing yoni egg practices and teaching she has noticed two main benefits, she goes on to say:

mal_yoni_egg

‘’ jade egg practice has helped me to come into a healthy and loving relationship with my pelvic floor area. I believe that jade egg exercises should be taught to young women at school for pelvic floor and yoni (vaginal) health. As we get older, and particularly after childbirth, the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles can weaken. However, they need to stay toned, like any other area of the body. Otherwise women can develop incontinence issues, which is distressing and affects day to day life. Using the jade egg helps to strengthen both the external PC (pubococcygeus) muscle, and the internal yoni (vaginal) muscles, which increases enjoyment and sensitivity during love-making. I’ve also found that it helps my posture and lower back health.’’ Well, this all sounds much better than ground up oak galls, but I guess the question has to be, ‘how exactly can a jade egg help the vaginal strength?’ Kate is quick to explain,  ‘’yoni eggs are not just for strengthening the muscles, yoni eggs are healing stones. Nephrite jade is a very dense and pure source of jade, which can be used to help absorb negative energy. Rose quartz eggs can bring gentle loving energy into the yoni. Women who have suffered sexual abuse, or negative sexual experiences (most of us at some point), can use eggs in a conscious way to help absorb negative imprints, and bring positive energy into the yoni. ‘’ She continues, ‘’on a personal note, I particularly like using my jade egg during yoga practice, as a natural companion for mula bhanda (pelvic floor) contractions. Also for singing exercises! I often wear the egg in situations where I need to speak my truth and give a feminine viewpoint in an empowered way.’’ All good stuff, it seems and from a quick look into the Jade Egg practice it seems that Gwyneth Paltrow is quite a fan and recommends the practice enthusiastically on her website Goop.

 

Though the practice of using a jade egg to strengthen the vaginal muscles is not embraced by all gynecologists’.  Once the strictly guarded secret of Chinese royal queens and concubines, jade eggs were considered to increase female balance and power. There are many fans that rave about the benefits of this practice, but concerns about the hygiene, safety and effectiveness have been raised by some mainstream medicine practitioners.

 

I asked Kate Ellen, ‘’what advice would you give to any woman that is just starting out using a jade egg or is contemplating using one?’’ She replied,

 

‘’A high quality jade egg is a great investment for a woman’s physical and emotional health.’’ She then went on to explain that she wouldn’t go into the process of using one, but instead offered some key points to remember:

 

Kate Ellen’s Top Tips When starting Yoni Egg Practices

 

 

  • It’s important to buy a high quality egg, from a reputable source such as Tantric Journey, as many sold on the internet are not adequate quality and may crack or chip easily.
  • most women should start with a medium size egg. You may need a bigger egg if you’ve had children, and then progress to a smaller size as the internal muscles strengthen.
  • Women with yoni trauma, such as vaginissm, should start with a small egg and increase the egg size as the yoni opens.
  • warm up the body with sexual energy, massaging the kidneys, breasts and genital area before using the egg. Always insert it gently and consciously. Part of the practice is giving the yoni a voice and respecting yourself, so if it’s not the right day for practice, don’t do it.
  • you should not use a jade egg if you are pregnant.
  • I recommend giving it a break during menstruation, to allow full menstrual flow.
  • use it consciously as a healing stone, to build a loving relationship with your yoni.
  • there are many different exercises you can do to contract and release the pelvic floor and internal muscles, either during an exercise routine or generally during the day.
  • The main thing is not to pressurize yourself, but to come into a loving and gentle relationship with your yoni.
  • You can decide intuitively how long to wear it.

 

Well, it seems that our pursuit of eternal youth extends beyond anti-ageing creams. I can’t help but reflect upon the 1960’s cult film ‘She’ indeed I’m thinking of getting a blue flame of eternal youth installed in my dressing room.

It seems certain that some ancient knowledge can benefit our health and indeed beauty, but the moral of the story is, just because its natural doesn’t mean its good for you, indeed arsenic is natural, but it won’t improve your radiance.

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