LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Vaginal steam baths, an allegedly therapeutic procedure popular in Korea, is gaining a toehold in the West, its supporters say.
The steam baths called chai-yok are supposed to reduce stress, fight infections, clear hemorrhoids, regulate menstrual cycles and aid infertility, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Many Korean women steam regularly after their monthly periods, the newspaper said.
While some believe the carefully targeted steam may provide some physiological benefits for women, there are no studies to document its effectiveness and few American health professionals have even heard of it.
One Southern California women says she believes it worked for her.
After five steams, Niki Han Schwarz says, she found she had fewer body aches and more energy.
She also became pregnant eight months ago at the age of 45 after attempting to conceive for three years, she said.
Han Schwarz and her husband, orthopedic surgeon Charles Schwarz, are trying to introduce vaginal steam baths to Southern California women.
At their Tikkun Holistic Spa in Santa Monica they're offering a 30-minute V-Steam treatment for $50.
The steam baths use two herbs, mugwort and wormwood, both used for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine as natural antibiotics and anti-fungal agents, the Times reported.