The Jade Egg practice is something that has intrigued me since I first learned about it. I have to admit that I’ve owned a “yoni egg” since before Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop feature and the subsequent controversy that put them right in the middle of public conversation. Even so, my personal practice has never been consistent enough to see much of an effect – but after speaking with Saida Désilets about all of the hype and the pushback from the Western medical community, I’m ready to dive back in.
Saida Désilets, PhD is a thought-leader, author and body-philosopher, on the growing edge of researching how women can use their minds, bodies, and spirits to live as sexually sovereign women. She’s the both founder of the modern Jade Egg movement and the Désilets Method, a psycho-sexual system that creates more pleasure, sexual aliveness, and deep self-love.
It was such an honor to speak with Saida, and I really appreciated her “no-BS” approach to the Jade Egg practice, which is grounded in over two decades of personal experience and client work, steeped in psychology and scientific study. Read on to learn what a yoni or Jade Egg is, what it actually can do for you (don’t believe everything you read out there), and how to get started with your own practice.
Let’s start with the basics: What is a Jade Egg practice?
Saida: On a physical level, the practice is about the use of a pure nephrite Canadian jade shaped into a little egg to help strengthen the vaginal muscles once it is inserted in the vagina. There are other types of yoni eggs out there, but I recommend working with pure nephrite jade. And the egg is drilled. The drilling is important because it enables easy removal. I get a lot of panicked emails on a weekly basis from women who aren’t using a drilled egg or a string attached, and the egg stays inside. We want women to be relaxed and to feel confident when they’re using it, so I definitely recommend a drilled egg and using a string.
On a bigger level, this practice isn’t just about the egg – it’s actually about the woman herself. My full take is based in my background in psychology and the psychosexual nature of women, and the basis of this practice is to invite women to have a much deeper relationship with their body and being a woman and everything that it entails.
How did you first find the Jade Egg practice?
My story does not have a happy beginning — it started with a violent rape that led to being told that I had two weeks to live. And in rebelling against my doctor’s verdict, I chose to live, and through a period of deep inquiry, I was lead to Taoist practices that included the Jade Egg. Through experiencing the reclamation of my body and life and heart, and all of the things that come post-trauma, there was also a deepening of the egg practice beyond what was in the books.
In what ways did you shift the practice?
Well for me, the funny thing was that my female body rejected all of the things that were in the books. Actually, when I would first put the egg in, it would come flying out. But, I knew that there was wisdom there, and because I was a dancer and already doing Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, I trusted my body and changed the practice. It used to be a standing practice, but I shifted to doing it laying down. That was a big change. The other shift was that I didn’t treat it as much like a martial arts practice as the traditional method – instead I took a holistic view of my body and heart, and began to use a full awareness of self as I worked with the egg.
Right, I’ve heard you speak before about the use of a Jade Egg practice as a means to deepen the connection to sensuality and sexuality, and even creativity – how does this work?
I’m a researcher by nature, and while my body doesn’t need the science to prove anything, my mind likes to get into the research. And a lot of studies have come out lately that I am really fascinated with that deal with the relationship of the pelvic nerve and the activation of confidence and creativity in the brain.
You can’t stimulate the pelvic nerve externally through the clitoris, it has to be stimulated internally. And the woman needs to be relaxed for those centers to light up in the brain. So I call that state “relaxed arousal,” which I’ve been working with for the last two decades. Relaxed arousal is not only essential for better sexual health and higher vitality, but if we want to live our genius, to use our creative gifts and to have higher self-esteem, cultivating states of relaxed arousal is really important.
The Jade Egg practice is simply a tool that can be used to cultivate this state of relaxed arousal, which then leads to greater confidence and creativity in the brain. If we want to live our best, richest lives, then it makes sense that we would want to access those parts of ourselves. And in a world that profits off of women having low self-esteem, this is actually an act of rebellion – saying yes to your own pleasure, and the authority over your own life, to claim your sexual sovereignty, means accepting the responsibility of igniting yourself. Through the practice you’re essentially switching yourself on.
As you know, here at CycleDork we are all about menstrual, reproductive and sexual health – can you speak to any of the health benefits for the menstrual cycle that you have witnessed as a result of the Jade Egg practice?
I want to make something clear: the Jade Egg is now something that is very mainstream, and you can now buy it in all shapes, sizes, crystals. If you treat it like a sex toy anyone can do it, but you’re leaving all of the activation that I talked about earlier on the table. You don’t have access to it. If you actually have a proper Jade Egg practice, it’s a hormonal practice by nature.
The practice creates hormonal changes. Some of it is because we are learning to transform stress into vitality, and shifting out of a cortisol-driven cycle and we’re inducing oxytocin and dopamine and other important neurotransmitters and hormones. This shifts our hormonal health simply by touching our bodies in specific ways, breathing in specific ways and taking care of ourselves in specific ways.
The other component is that in today’s society, most women have incredibly stagnant pelvises. We sit a lot and there’s not a lot of blood flow to this area of the body. This practice also brings blood and lymph flow, improving circulation.
I’ve had women do the practice who had incredibly painful periods. They were spending two to three days in bed each month and reliant on pain medication. They no longer need that pain medication after consistent use of the practice. In my own case, I used to have a lot of clots in my cycle, and I don’t anymore. It can also help for regulation in other instances. For women who have early menopause – what I call stress-induced menopause – their cycle will come back, and in a healthy way.
It’s also important to note that some women have seen these results by doing the practice and the exercises without the egg. The egg can enhance the practice, but it does not have any super powers of its own.
Let’s get into that a bit more. There are a number of other health claims floating around out there. For instance, I’ve heard that the Jade Egg practice can improve collagen production in the face. Can you address this and some of the other claims?
It’s become a snake oil industry and I really want to apologize to women for that. But, let’s use common sense and good logic. If I came to you and said I have this special lotion that’s going to make your breasts bigger, you would have to question that. And there was a time about 15 years ago when these herbs were sold for exactly that purpose, and a lot of women spent a lot of money on these herbs and very few saw any results.
A lot of these health claims are unfounded. Does the egg specifically create more collagen in the face? I don’t believe so. You would really have to do a lot of studies around that. But that does not necessarily mean we aren’t seeing positive changes. When we start taking care of ourselves, when we get out of stress cycles, we do see changes. Ovarian breathing, which is a technique I teach – when women use it, they end up glowing more, they end up more vibrant and radiant. It may not necessarily be the technique itself, but that they are caring for themselves and breathing more. I don’t put my power in the technique, I put it in the practitioner.
Now that you’ve mentioned ovarian breathing, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to know what that is – can you explain it?
It’s the practice of consciously connecting inward with the ovaries, and imagining that you can breathe with them – obviously you cannot – but if you breathe correctly, you’re going to be using your belly actively. By breathing in and out deeply, you create a lot of blood flow in this area of the body. In addition, I also walk my clients through using a visualization and sensation practice to imagine the ovaries to have a honey-like substance and to move that around. This produces a meditative state that creates altered deep alpha states in the brain.
Thanks for addressing some of the hype. Can you tell us your take on some of the pushback that from the Western medical community, such as the reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow’s promoting the practice on her website?
What was interesting about that pushback is that I reached out to every single doctor who had made a public statement, and none of them had any experience with the Jade Egg practice. They didn’t have access to the studies about it, and a lot of their commentary was unsubstantiated. Right now I have a colleague, whom I believe is one of the leading OB/GYNs in the country, who is running a study looking at the effects of nephrite jade on the microbiome of the vagina. And what I expect it will show is that not only does it not harm the vagina, but it actually contributes to the health of the vaginal microbiome.
What qualities of nephrite jade in particular might improve the microbiome health?
I use nephrite jade instead of any other yoni egg crystal, because it has interlaced fibers instead of a crystalline structure. This is important because it does not get micro-cracks if you drop it. And you will drop your egg. Micro-cracks are where bacteria can grow, and you can even cut yourself on them. Nephrite jade also adapts to body heat very quickly.
Rose quartz has been linked to bacterial infection. But in the history of teaching with jade over the past 20 years, I have never experienced or heard of an infection from the jade from my clients.
Do you recommend only working with jade – not obsidian or rose quartz?
They’re called yoni eggs, but sometimes they all get referred to as Jade Eggs even when they are not made of jade, and it’s a big business. People discovered that they could make a lot of money selling these items, so what women need to understand is that the eggs themselves do not have power. It’s a blatant lie if you’re told that a certain material is going to solve a certain problem for you. It’s the person using it who has the power, and it’s she who is going to change her life, not using a specific crystal. I love crystals and think they’re wonderful, but I think to say that they have all the power to make a transformation happen is irresponsible.
Are there any contraindications? Who should not use a Jade Egg?
If you have a uterine prolapse that is Stage 3 or Stage 4, I wouldn’t recommend working with the Jade Egg, however, I would still recommend learning the practices because they’ll be helpful for circulation and pelvic alignment. A lot of prolapses are due to poor alignment.
The other contraindication is just immediately after birth or surgery. Once the vagina is healed enough then you can do it safely. Also, during pregnancy, I don’t recommend it, but you can still do some of the practices, just not with the egg.
If you’ve had sexual trauma, then you have the opportunity to re-pattern cellular memory, and that needs to be done exceptionally slowly and with care, so I recommend not using the egg immediately, but to first use the practices without the egg, then to graduate to using your finger so that you have biofeedback, and then eventually graduating to the egg.
In the case of sexual trauma, is this a form of body work that can help release the trauma from the body?
What happens with most sexual trauma is that a woman will leave her body and the trauma will be held in the cells, and she’ll very rarely come back to inhabit that part of herself again. The Jade Egg practice is an invitation to reconnect with and learn to trust the body again. Cells that have held pain can be re-patterned, like neural re-patterning, to feel pleasure again. It takes time – there’s no magic pill for this – but it’s very, very rewarding for women who do the work.
If someone wanted to start a Jade Egg practice, where do you recommend they get one?
If you’re just interested in it as a sex toy, you can get one anywhere. If you want to use it as a transformational tool, then I invite everyone to check out thejadeegg.com. I created The Jade Egg Essential Package specifically because most women who get an egg leave it on the shelf collecting dust. This package really holds your hand and tells you what to do every day for two weeks, even if you just have five minutes a day. The package is geared towards really busy women who want to see honest results.
When you purchase any Jade Egg from me it comes with a little brochure on preparing it and cleaning it. If you want to go deeper, then there’s also my book and programs like Jade Egg Mastery.
Kara Ferreira is a fertility health expert who works with women to troubleshoot their monthly cycles and digestion so that they can feel their best and be their best selves. Read her full bio here.