There's been quite a bit of controversy surrounding jade egg practices since Gwyneth Paltrow began promoting them on her website. Many people are claiming that these practices are not only ineffective but quite dangerous.
Most of these protesters, though, have never tried it themselves and therefore don't fully understand the methods or benefits of using jade eggs to strengthen the pelvic floor. Fortunately, mindbodygreen tapped several holistic health experts to discuss the pros and cons of using jade eggs. Leave no stone (or egg, in this case) unturned, as they say!
Having been practitioners of jade egg and jade ball exercises for nearly a decade, our perspective is rooted in an awareness of holistic principles and a respect for the human body. We believe the jade egg practices can be done safely. And we know they provide myriad sexual and health benefits.
First, for those of you who don't know what we're talking about, let us explain:
Jade egg practices are part of ancient Taoist sexual yoga methodology designed to help strengthen and tone the vaginal and pelvic floor muscles.
The pelvic floor is a hammock-shaped muscle structure at the base of the pelvis. The pelvic floor supports our organs, helps us control retention and excretion through our lower end, and is intricately participative in our sexual pleasure and orgasms.
Just like any other striated musculature, it is important to exercise the pelvic floor to maintain optimum health and function. Weight-lifting exercises can be applied to any striated musculature to improve its strength. The most commonly recognized way of exercising the pelvic floor muscles is through Kegels or vaginal weight lifting. But those aren't the only options.
Unlike Kegels, practicing with a jade egg addresses the interplay of the breath and the pranas (energies) of the pelvic region.
Our pelvic floor musculature lifts or contracts against added resistance each time we sneeze, jump, cough, and laugh because our abdominal pressure increases during these activities. If we leak urine during any of these activities, it's a sign that our pelvic floor is not able to contract fast enough and strongly enough to withstand the increased abdominal pressure. This condition is called stress urinary incontinence and affects one in three women. And the aging process weakens the pelvic floor musculature, just like any other musculature, unless we do regular strength training.