Earlier this year, I was planning on my next Eblast article being titled "Vaginal Muscle Exercisers - Are They Helpful?" I was going to investigate and report on various vaginal muscle exercisers on the market, for example, the GyneFlex, the Kegelmaster, and the K-Goal (advertised as "a FitBit for your vagina). I was going to discuss how most pelvic floor PTs are very wary about pelvic floor muscle exercisers in general, because those exercise devices tend to focus on one thing only - strength - whereas for healthy pelvic floor function, you need three things - strength, flexibility, and coordination. However, before I had a chance to write that article, I attended a lecture that introduced me (surprise!) to the perfect vaginal muscle exerciser. It's called a jade egg.
Jade eggs are just what they sound like - a piece of jade carved into the shape of an egg. Jade eggs have been used for thousands of years as a tool to promote self-awareness and good health and function of the vagina. Unlike exercising with a modern vaginal muscle exercisers that only focuses on strength, exercising with a jade egg improves tone (a.k.a. strength), suppleness (a.k.a. flexibility), and dexterity (a.k.a. coordination) - all three things needed for healthy pelvic floor function. In addition, jade eggs provide proprioceptive (sensory) input to the brain from the vagina, which improves the brain's sensory and motor maps of the vagina, which in turn improves vaginal awareness and motor control. This is very important for all women, but especially for those with pelvic pain or overactive pelvic floor muscles, who are learning how to relax chronic vaginal muscle tension.
Some of the benefits of exercising with a jade egg that I learned about were: increased vaginal lubrication in postmenopausal women, decreased menstrual cramps, increased vaginal sensitivity and lubrication, release of local tension and trauma held in the vaginal tissues, and improved sexual function and satisfaction, just to name a few. In contrast to the shape of modern vaginal muscle exercisers, the egg has a rounded, soft, feminine shape, and the egg is a feminine symbol. As such, jade egg exercise is a uniquely feminine, holistic self-care practice that is physically, psychologically, and emotionally empowering.
The lecture I attended was by Kate Petre, a gemologist who makes jade eggs. She has more information on her website: www.jadeeggswholesale.com »
In addition, Saida Desilet has both beginning and advanced books about jade egg exercise, with specific instructions on cleaning and other issues, on her website: saidadesilets.comm »
If you are interested in learning more about jade eggs, I encourage you to follow that interest - you may be pleasantly surprised where it leads! If you have any specific questions about how jade eggs fit in with a pelvic rehabilitation program, please contact one of the pelvic PTs at CTS.
by Katherine Dahl, PT, MPT, CD(DONA)