Ebondy Dixon-Padilla, Peristeam Hydrotherapist
Ebony Dixon-Padilla is a certified lactation educator, certifying NAPS doula and trained postpartum doula through Bastyr, Canoe Journey Herbalist apprentice, current student of Center for Indigenous Midwifery's Indigenous Childbirth Educator program, and both a traditional womb protector/healer and certified peristeam facilitator, also known as v-steam, trained by the Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute which is fully accredited by the MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council). She is of African American, Creole, Afro-Cubana, and Native American descent from the Keetowah/Tsalagi people of Georgia and a 6th generation Trail of Tears descendant and survivor. In regard to her peristeam knowledge she has direct traditional lineage from her Native grandmothers and has additional certification in diverse steam blend herbal formulation, herbal first aid, postpartum recovery protocol, miscarriage recovery protocol, traditional and cultural sexual trauma recovery, and is the creator of her very own 4 step process to healing trauma from the womb due to her own experiences healing from sexual and intergenerational African and Native traumas. She reads this process to every client before or during a session to empower women from her communities to overcome personal obstacles and heal what is sacred by way of restored traditions and find optimal health and strength in their paths. Ebony has used the power of peristeam hydrotherapy to, in addition to womb trauma release, heal her postpartum body and regulate her menstrual cycle with surprising results.
Peristeam Hydrotherapy is a medical term for the ancient and traditional therapeutic use of water and water vapor infused with varying herbs to heal the perineal body and surrounding reproductive organs from many gynecological pathologies commonly known as vaginal steaming or fumigation system and traditional variations known as vaginal smoking. This practice is our ancient womb wisdom calling out to us for immense full circle healing and despite colonial repression was traditionally one of the main universal holistic practices of optimal reproductive health throughout all history. Now, we also have many scientific studies to back up what our ancestors knew for centuries. The most widely used universal purpose is for postpartum recovery.
Benefits of Postpartum steaming include:
1. Clears out lochia- Steaming significantly reduces how long it takes the lochia to come out according to studies done by The Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute. Steaming helps the lochia to loosen up and drain out.
The importance of clearing lochia:
A. Reduces chances of infections
B. Reduces postpartum contractions/cramps- Some women have them some don’t but steaming the lochia out reduces this b/c the contractions are to release the lochia
C. Helps uterus go back to size which brings it back into position
D. Ensures that once the period comes back it’s a healthy period-clears out the lochia so efficiently and optimally so periods won’t be painful from stagnation and residual buildup which also lightens flow regulates long periods or short periods and gets rid of old blood/brown and black
2. Closes back up the vaginal opening and canal. Having the canal closed helps hold the cervix and uterus up to the place it’s supposed to be which helps other organs be in their normal position.
3. Helps lift the uterus back into place-When we give birth everything moves downward, we want everything to move back upward. Steam has a powerful rising action that can push things up in this instance. Women who steam no matter the purpose report feeling higher and in place very tightened and upward. Addresses prolapse keeps things lifted which addresses bladder incontinence by helping other organs lift back into place.
4. Reduces skin swelling very quickly with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory benefit
5. Helps with hemorrhoids by getting the swollen skin to retract
6. Helps disperse water dampness and bloating; swollen hands and feet; steaming circulation helps disperse the water in the body so it doesn’t turn to fat
7. Addresses past problems; fibroids, cysts, prone to infections, HPV, and any pathologies-steaming during postpartum is such an opportune time to do a full uterine reset because the cervix is still open and dilated before completely closing at 4-6 weeks. All of the healing herbal steam is going directly into the uterus without effort.
8. Releases oxytocin love hormone which helps postpartum depression and milk production. Women have reported that their breasts would fill up with milk after steaming and would experience feelings of happiness relaxation and peace.
Studies and articles in support of v-steaming and postpartum steaming: