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Toxic Shock Syndrome & The Jade Egg

Toxic Shock Syndrome is serious.

Having a medical doctor make false allegations wherein Jade Egg use is suppose to be life-threatening is also serious.

In this short video, I get to the point: Why Jade Eggs Are Safe.

And… I share a more important point: Women are not things, they are BE-ings.

We must start to treat ourselves as intelligent and start to truly claim our own power, using professionals for support, but not giving them God-like status.

Watch this short video on my insights for the TSS and the Jade Egg issue and what this recent controversy actually reveals about our society and our treatment of women:

If this video was helpful, please share it with as many women as possible.

Please be sure to leave my your thoughts, especially about how you are treated by those in positions of authority and the steps you take to claim your power in those situations.

Why Doctors & Research Say Jade Eggs Are Safe, Gwyneth Paltrow!

The word is out!

Jade Eggs are dangerous and can cause TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).

Basically, beware – using a jade egg could kill you!

Or at least that was the unsubstantiated allegations written by ONE gynecologist on her blog who writes, “Nothing here is…medical advice…or the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Jen Gunter made these outrageous statements with no research, evidence or first hand experience of the jade egg practice other than reading Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog last week.

Basically, it was her personal opinion founded in nothing but uneducated guesses.

But the way the global media carried it, you might have mistaken it for the gospel truth.

Isn’t proper journalism based on facts and not just sensationalism?

Well, obviously not.

The Danger Lies In False Allegations

Although I actually agree with many of Dr. Gunter’s points, attacking someone inappropriately and making false allegations isn’t professional behavior, and her condescending attitude clearly isn’t one of a woman who endorses women’s empowerment, despite her claims to do so.

False allegations are statements that are unproven and untrue in the spirit of deliberateness or deceit.

Dr. Gunter’s statement was unfounded since there is not one single case or study linking the use of Jade Eggs with TSS.

Jade eggs have been used in the United States for over 30 years by tens of thousands of women with no reported health issues.

But that doesn’t mean one couldn’t happen…so let’s dig deeper into the allegation that a Jade Egg could cause TSS with actual research and medical opinions.

How common is TSS – Toxic Shock Syndrome?

“TSS is rare, and more importantly, S. aureus has preferred conditions in which it is more likely to flourish, and this is with a synthetic, super absorbent tampon.” – Sharra L. Vostral, PhD, Published with the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Dec/2011.

The research indicates that TSS appeared when tampons changed from cotton to synthetic fibers, providing the perfect atmosphere for the S. Aureus bacteria to grow.

This study shows us that even full cotton tampons have an exceptionally low risk of TSS, so how can the Jade Egg, unable to absorb a heavy menstrual flow and typically never worn during the menstrual cycle, be linked to this condition?

“In all of my years of practice, I have never seen any poor outcomes from women using a jade egg vaginally.  Given the inert quality of the stone, I think that the risk of TSS or other infection is negligible.”– Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, MHS

I agree that women who are just sold a Jade or Yoni egg without proper hygienic and technical instruction are not well-informed and could be doing more harm than good.

Here’s what a leading Ob-Gyn has to say about Jade Eggs and TSS:

“Toxic shock syndrome is very rare, usually seen in menstruating women using high absorbency tampons, with prolonged use.  Although the jade is porous, it is not absorbent.  The association of TSS with hyper-absorbable tampons is thought to be due to accumulation of blood in the polyester foam cubes and chips of carboxymethylcellulose; the increased vaginal pH in menstruation from 4.5 to 7.4; and the presence of both oxygen and carbon dioxide in the vagina during menstruation.  These factors promote growth conditions for S aureus (the bacteria responsible) growth.  Jade eggs are not worn during menstruation, and do not accumulate blood.  They can be boiled regularly for hygiene. Based on these facts, the risk for TSS from proper jade egg use, i.e. The Desilets Method, is very low.” – Debra Wickman, MD, FACOG

Controversy Inspires Higher Standards

But there was a benefit to this whole episode because some of what Dr. Gunter pointed out is true.

Without proper guidance on hygiene and pelvic floor movements, the jade egg could be a dangerous practice.

Just like Yoga, without a properly trained teacher, a beautiful practice could cause harm.

And many many businesses have begun to sell jade eggs without proper safety standards in place.

If a jade egg is bleached, fake or manufactured improperly, it can become brittle and potentially dangerous.

My colleague, Layla Martin, shared that many crystals currently in use, such as rose quartz, that don’t have the internal toughness necessary for intimate use and contributed this piece of research:

Nephrite jade has an “extreme toughness” due to “microscopic features” in the “orientations of its crystallites, and the nature of its grain boundaries.”  – M. Dorling and J. Zussman, published in the Department of Geology at the University of Manchester, 1985.

Many businesses sell jade eggs without holes to tie disposable string to remove the egg, and for some women with prolapse or specific vaginal orientations, this can make the egg extremely difficult to remove.

So, yes, it’s appropriate to react and be wary of the woo-woo “McEgg” BS.

And, it’s inappropriate to attack and shame a woman, especially in the name of women’s empowerment.

It’s called a “false allegation” to make a claim that is not substantiated.

Clearly, we need higher standards in non-medical options for promoting psycho-sexual health in women.

In my dissertation, Investigation of the Désilets Method and It’s Effect on the Psycho-Sexual Health of Women, there is a very specific methodology to using the Jade Egg if one is to have lasting, positive results.

Simply pushing a Jade Egg into the vagina or inappropriately hanging weights off of it (without personalized training from a qualified instructor), won’t create the desired effect of psycho-sexual well-being, and, may even lend to further deepening any neurosis, trauma or pelvic pain or dysfunction.

“As an expert in the field of women’s pelvic therapy, I understand the complexities of training, strengthening and creating health in the pelvis. The Jade Egg teachings of Dr. Saida Désilets are based on sound principles of anatomy, physiology  and energy. She brings this mastery to her class and teachings. I have personal learned  from Dr. Desilets and have incorporated  her teachings into my patient’s exercise and pelvic health programs. Her jade egg teachings work where others have failed. Those who criticize should first learn from a true expert like Saida before formulating an opinion because not all jade teachings are created equal.”- Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS

What You Can Do Now

Jade Eggs, used hygienically and properly, have been shown to have incredible health results, both physiologically and psychologically.

This is a call to all women.

To take responsibility for your sexual sovereignty.

Do not believe everything you read on the internet; the best marketing isn’t always the best product.

Do not believe only in what your doctor says; they may be too busy to keep up with the latest studies.

Do your own research. Look into multiple sources and cross reference.

We’re talking about your body.

Your intimate self.

You deserve the truth and the best quality of education that not only tells you HOW to do it but also empowers you to define, for yourself, what it means to be sexually integrated and healthy.

No one has the right to tell you what that looks like, especially those in positions that benefit from your lack of confidence and knowledge.

If this article was useful, please share it. The more women understand the truth behind the hype, the more they can make wise choices.

Your thoughts are this matter are important, please leave your comments below.

 

Are Jade Eggs Dangerous? Why I Agree With An Ob-Gyn To Use Caution

You’re excited.

You’ve discovered the Jade Egg and you’re intrigued by all it promises to deliver: pelvic health, vaginal awakening, healing, better orgasms, and much, much more.

According to Regina Hall on the Conan show and Gwyneth Paltrow with her GOOP site, the Jade Egg is the bomb, right?

Maybe.

Now there’s the sobering voice of a doctor clearly challenging its validity along with a follow-up news report clearly in support of debunking the use of Jade Egg.

What to do? What’s real? Who do we believe?

“I read the post on GOOP and all I can tell you is it is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming…  So let me give you some free advice, don’t use vaginal jade eggs.” – Dr. Jen Gunter

Are We Being Deceived?

I received many distressed messages from clients insisting I read and comment on a recent article from Dr. Jen Gunter in reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow’s promotion of the Jade Egg via GOOP as well as to respond to the claims on The Young Turks debunking report.

As the founder of the Modern Jade Egg movement, I’ve been a strong spokesperson for the Jade Egg for nearly two decades and an advocate for women’s sexual sovereignty and erotic genius.

The recent rise of what I like to call the McEgg movement—hype-filled, glamorized, and possibly dangerous ideas and practices about the use of the Jade Egg (see Regina Hall on Conan’s late night show on the Yoni Egg)—has lead me to consistently speak out against this misreporting (see McEgg Movement Video & Clarifying The Myths About The Jade Egg video) in attempts to provide women with grounded and true information.

Although Dr. Jen Gunter clearly takes a stand against the use of a Jade Egg, I would have to agree with her wholeheartedly as I found some of her points quite valid.

In fact, it makes sense that sensible, mainstream people would react to the ‘woo-woo’ promises that are dished out by the McEgg movement since it equally offends me to hear such outrageous claims.

How The Modern Jade Egg Movement Began:

Before I go into why I agree, and add my two cents on this matter, it’s important to give you the inside scoop as to how all of this began:

The beginning, for me, happened in 1995 when I discovered the Egg practice through the writings of Mantak Chia in his book Healing Love Through The Tao – Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (note: back then it wasn’t Jade, but Obsidian that was being used and promoted). 

Being already professionally trained in somatic awareness, movement and alternative medicine assisted me in accepting the Taoist concepts that Chia presented. However, when I attempted to do the practice as described in this book, my body completely rejected it—imagine my egg flying across the room like a highspeed torpedo! (I found out later that his book was written predominantly by a company of male practitioners—go figure!)

Fast-forward: By 2002 I had developed & shared my own body of work and was invited by Mantak Chia to his Tao Garden retreat center in Thailand where he encouraged me to share my insights and innovations as well as to contribute to The Multi-Orgasmic Woman book co-written by Dr. Rachel Abrams & Mantak Chia. It was also during that same period that I authored a Jade Egg Exercise booklet that Chia still uses and sells to this day.

What I failed to realize at the time, was that my work had succeeded in influencing this lineage. Unfortunately, my methods were not properly understood and are still currently being mis-taught and mis-used. (This is why I was dumbfounded to discover that many ‘Jade Egg teachers’ appeared to be copying my work on YouTube & various online courses. They were, in reality, not copying me, but being trained in a degraded version of my method through Chia’s school—mystery solved!)

In 2006, I published my book, Emergence of the Sensual Woman, outlining my philosophy as well as sharing over 60 unique Jade Egg practices.

By 2008, I had succeeded in completing my dissertation on the impact of the Jade Egg practice and my Désilets Method on the psycho-sexual well-being of women.

It revealed the importance for any practitioner—doctor, psychologist, counselor, therapist, or teacher—to have practical knowledge of both the “Functional” and “Meaning” models of sexuality since both have implicit impact on the well-being of the women they are serving.

I also discovered a statistically significant result that was unexpected: Real, positive, lasting transformation would occur even when a woman didn’t do any of the techniques!

This showed me that clearly something other than the ‘practical techniques’ (the functional model) were having impact on women, therefore, I dedicated the rest of my life’s work to understanding and refining the delicate balance of our psycho-sexual nature (the meaning model).

Now it’s 2017 and the McEgg movement has reached new heights—and a doctor finally speaks up against it.

The Dangers of the McEgg Movement:

It’s her thoughts (in blue italics) I’d like to address:

But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil.

Agreed. I’ve been warning women for years about the snake oil aspects of the McEgg movement.

My issue begins with the very start of your post on jade eggs specifically that “queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors.” Nothing says female empowerment more than the only reason to do this is for your man!

Agreed. This is not female empowerment. In fact, there’s no real evidence of the truth of this statement. I too was told the same story nearly 20 years ago and I’ve attempted for years to find accurate sources to these claims and haven’t found anything that was legitimate. But the real question is: why do we need the mystical history of concubines to make this a valid choice for ourselves?

And then the claim that they can balance hormones is, quite simply, biologically impossible.

Agreed. The Jade Egg cannot possibly do this. However, what Dr. Gunter doesn’t know, since it’s not available in the McEgg information, is that there are practices and meditations that assist our body to function much better, and possibly even slow down or reverse the aging process:

“Other studies find that taking a class that offers training in mindfulness or meditation is linked to improved telomere maintenance.” – Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD & Elissa Epel, PhD, The Telomeres Effect

Personally, I’ve had some incredible results with my own body and that of my clients, especially women suffering menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms that have been able to completely rejuvenate their sexual health.

Pelvic floor exercises can help with incontinence and even give stronger orgasms for some women, but they cannot change hormones.

Agreed. It is NOT the McEgg information and practices that can do this. In fact, the use of the Jade Egg alone will not do this. However, I currently work with an Ob-Gyn and we are tracking real, substantial changes in women’s genitals with proper use of my method.

“It’s much less effective for women to exercise their pelvic floors well without feedback from an object inside the vagina. The Jade Egg provides this, and much more. Women who in the past were reluctant to touch or view their genitals, push past those barriers and witness their bodies change as they tune into sensations and responses elicited by the Jade Egg Practice. With connection like this, healing follows—both physical and psychological. Intentional focus brings about physical change.” Debra Wickman, MD, FACOG

If the word for womb is yoni I hate to break it to you, but the uterus and vagina are different structures. If you are using the Sanskrit, while I admit I am no language scholar, it seems that yoni means the entire female reproductive tract and you should say that.

Agreed. It’s part of the mainstream to use the word VAGINA to mean the entire female reproductive organ, just as it’s part of the New-Age Goddess movement to use the word Yoni without a clear distinction of what is meant when using this word.

As a psychologist who specializes in the psycho-sexual well-being of women, I hold a different opinion on the use of alternative words to describe our genitals. How we define things does make an impact and if a woman has a trauma association with her genitals, it can be of incredible impact for her to claim, for herself, a new name that is not associated with trauma, but with her choice to love and heal herself.

Terminology aside, the vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus are not intuition repositories and neither are they sources of “power” or “wisdom.” If fact, I find that assertion insulting. Do you really mean a woman who does not have a uterus is less effective? Is a woman without a vagina less intelligent?  Is a woman who had a vulvectomy due to cancer less creative?

Here is where Dr. Gunter reveals her wisdom and her limitation. It is true to say that her points are valid in terms of inclusivity of all women, no matter what their physical conditions may be.

However, to discard a woman’s body as the seat of her wisdom is also indicative of an industry that fails to make the link between the body and the psyche. Yet many ailments that affect women’s sexual health often have a psycho-somatic piece to them and this must be taken into consideration, not belittled.

I’ve seen too many incredible transformations when women stop seeing themselves as fragmented, but rather redefine themselves as whole: body/mind/heart/spirit.

As for the recommendation that women sleep with a jade egg in their vaginas I would like to point out that jade is porous which could allow bacteria to get inside and so the egg could act like a fomite. This is not good, in case you were wondering. It could be a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis or even the potentially deadly toxic shock syndrome.

This is a very serious issue and allegation. If we are to consider this TSS argument, then why do we still have a tampon industry? Women wear tampons 24/7, sometimes over a period of days or even a week once every month! This is a lot of internal wear, yet few people are taking a strong stand to end the use of Tampons world-wide. Tampon use, in this light, should then be eradicated completely to make sure that no woman suffer from TSS. But, the tampon industry is alive and well.

In this following FDA quote, please notice that TSS occurs 50% of the time in children, men and non-menstruating women:

TSS is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a bacterial toxin. Approximately half the cases of TSS reported today are associated with tampon use during menstruation, usually in young women. TSS also occurs in children, men, and non-menstruating women. Although scientists have recognized an association between TSS and tampon use, the exact connection remains unclear. Research conducted by the CDC suggested that use of some high absorbency tampons increased the risk of TSS in menstruating women. A few specific tampon designs and high absorbency tampon materials were also found to have some association with increased risk of TSS. These products and materials are no longer used in tampons sold in the U.S. Tampons made with rayon do not appear to have a higher risk of TSS than cotton tampons of similar absorbency.

FDA requires manufacturers to give information on the package labeling about the signs of TSS and how to minimize the risk. Women are encouraged to read this information before using tampons and to ask about TSS when getting a medical checkup. – FDA.gov

Perhaps, in light of Dr. Gunter’s argument, we can see that Jade has less absorbency than a tampon, minimizing the TSS risk. While proper use and hygiene would further reduce any threat.

For example, with all my students, I strongly advise not to use the Jade Egg during one’s menstrual cycle for both hygienic and pelvic health reasons. If going by the FDAs information, we can see that the dominant number of cases occurred with young women who were menstruating and using tampons (and probably leaving them in for too long).

Furthermore, using pure, untreated, unbleached, un-dyed Jade is important because of the potential toxicity of the dyes, bleaches and treatment methods (which is why I recommend only using a GIA certified source of real Nephrite Jade).

Over the past twenty years of both my personal practice and professionally working with women, I’ve never had any problems with Nephrite Jade. However, I do follow strict hygienic protocols and insist on making sure women know how to prepare the Jade Egg before use and what to do after each use.

I also teach a very unique method to this practice, one based on tried and tested methods (including writing my dissertation on it’s impact on women’s psycho-sexual well-being).

Personally, I have worn the Jade Egg all day long, every day for nearly two decades without a problem. In fact, it’s regular use and proper protocols lead to the resolution of my chronic bladder and yeast problems. So I’m actually healthier after consistent Jade Egg use.

I have my pelvic floor and genitals regularly examined by my Ob-Gyn as well as other professionals such as Osteopaths and Pelvic Pain specialists. All have agreed that I have an extraordinarily healthy pelvis and perfect sexual health. In fact, I was recently asked by an Ob-Gyn if she could use me as a ‘specimen’ for optimal pelvic and sexual health in a medical presentation at the World Conference on Sexual Health.

“In all of my years of practice, I have never seen any poor outcomes from women using a jade egg vaginally.  Given the inert quality of the stone, I think that the risk of TSS or other infection is negligible.”– Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, MHS

I’ve shared this practice world-wide with tens of thousands of women who follow hygienic and technical protocols to ensure their proper use. No adverse effects have been reported to me.

Therefore, I would agree with Dr. Gunter than improper hygiene with any internal device is not a safe. I would have to add that improper use of any internal device would also adverse affects.

Regarding the suggestion to wear the jade egg while walking around, well, I would like to point out that your pelvic floor muscles are not meant to contract continuously. In fact, it is quite difficult to isolate your pelvic floor while walking so many women could actually clench other muscles to keep the egg inside. 

Agree 100%. Women should not be constantly contracting their pelvic floor. However, when the Jade Egg is used properly, a woman does not need to clench or squeeze to keep the Jade Egg in all day. It’s NOT actually her muscles that keep the Jade Egg in. I intend to release a medical study demonstrating what actually is happening when a woman practices properly by 2018.

Overenthusiastic Kegel exercises or incorrectly done Kegel exercises are a cause of pelvic pain and pain with sex in my practice.

Yes!!! Absolutely! In fact, Dr. Kegel never intended the ‘mainstream ideas’ of his exercises to be used as they are being used. My colleague Isa Herrera, MSTP, CSCS, pelvic pain specialist shares, “Women are exercising themselves into pelvic pain and dysfunction.” Sad, but true.

And the last statement with regards to Dr. Gunter’s letter to Gwyneth (which really should have been written to the author of the article because I doubt Gwyneth knew any better):

Kegel exercises are not just about the contraction, the relaxation phase is just as important.

ABSOLUTELY!!! I’ve been teaching for nearly two decades the importance of softening and melting open. Thank you for saying such a vital piece of information, Dr. Gunter!

So Now What?

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Yes, we do have the escalating insanity of the McEgg movement where practitioners/yoni egg sellers are profiting from the genuine interest that modern women have in taking care of their pleasure and sexual well-being.

And, we are (thankfully) having it debunked.

Dr. Gunter makes very valid points, so pay attention to them!

And Gwyneth Paltrow probably didn’t know any better when she or her team approved of this article; most likely there was good intention behind the desire to publish (and sell) information on the Jade Egg.

Yet the way this incident was handled speaks volumes to the state of sexual sovereignty in this country (and around the world).

We must never override a woman’s sexual sovereignty. This means treating women as intelligent, whole beings and giving them sound information.

It’s time for us, as a whole, to upgrade the conversation about sexuality, women, and empowerment without either making it into a joke or a freak show.

It’s time for any one who considers themselves an influencer in the Women’s Empowerment movement to join the conversation and contribute this upgrading without having to be condescending to one another, in other words, leading by example.

What Are Our Next Steps?

Be open to the idea that each human being is sexually sovereign, despite being socially conditioned out of knowing this for themselves and discouraged from taking personal responsibility for their sexual well-being.

Set industry standards: I’m glad that articles, like Dr. Gunter’s, are being written as a reflection of the complete lack of standards in the current field of Jade Egg training, pointing to the rising need for exceptionally grounded and high standards of education if we are to provide true, lasting, positive transformation for all women.

Currently I’m qualifying my first 8 Ambassadors in my Désilets Method. It’s a rigorous year-long training (not just reading a book or doing a few weekend workshops) designed to have embodied practitioners provide high quality education for women of all ages.

Do leading-edge medical research: I’ve teamed up with a leading Ob-Gyn to conduct quantitative as well as qualitative research to demonstrate the medical impact the Jade Egg when used properly (stay tuned!).

Respect yourself: I would applaud your desire to empower yourself and celebrate your curiosity and willingness to explore and discover for yourself new ideas and tools for your well-being.

Please leave me your comments below so we can, together, take this conversation deeper. If you liked this article, please share it so we can transform the misunderstandings into true empowerment.