November 22, 2011
Actually I just recently had a discussion with my wife about making a course about Thai herbal compresses and how to use them. When I get back to Thailand from my self imposed exile in Vietnam, this is on my to-do list. Right now it is brutally hot in Chiang Mai, so I will wait a while longer.
November 22, 2011
January 8, 2015
Actually working with Thai Herbal compresses is not difficult since there are no complicated techniques like in Thai Massage. It's just a matter of rolling the heated herbal packs over the body. The challenge is to buy them.
Here in Thailand that's very easy, they are sold everywhere. In the western world you have to order them online. Making them yourself is not in the skill range of most massage therapists since you have to know and source the herbs.
In the western world you had to choose different herbs since the Thai herbs are not all available in the West. The way to get around that is to purchase herbal packs which have been imported from Thailand.
It's a more involved process than a straight massage since you have to heat the herbal balls during the session. Here in Thailand the herbal balls are generally not used as a stand alone treatment but as an add on at the end of a Thai Massage session.
I did not produce a course for herbal ball massage yet, but the truth is that once you have the herbal packs, you could learn it quite easily from watching some youtube videos. It's not difficult.
February 19, 2015
Hi to all!
I am a Chiang Mai TMC graduate since 2007. I have been practising what I have learned from my teachers in Thailand all these years, but just recently have started to use the Thai herbal balls more in my bodywork.
I have a question which I hope you will take the time to answer in short.
About the way to apply the Thai herbal compresses we have been taught that the right order to use them is after a short warming up Thai massage sequence -presented in a booklet they gave us- and before any stretches. My question is this: what could be in your opinion the reason for this order and if it is equally "right" in your opinion to use the herbal balls in the very beginning of the treatment, and then continue with a complete Thai massage application (pressure and stretches). In other words if I wish to apply a complete Thai massage sequence (90 min) with herbal balls as an add-on (another 20-30 min or so), when is the right time to apply the herbal balls: before the actual massage, in the "middle" of it (as we have been tought, considering we will apply some stretches as well) or at the very end of the hands-on massage techniques? Thanks so much for your time to answer and wish you all the best!
There really is no one way or one correct sequence. Here in Thailand you often get the herbal ball treatment at the end of a Thai Massage session. However you could argue that it is a great way to warm up the muscles before you get into stretches. That would put it in the beginning of the session.
And there is certainly nothing wrong with putting it in the middle of a session either as you have been taught. Thai Massage is often taught as a fixed sequence. However you can use your creativity to shape your sessions in whatever way works best for you and your clients.
For example, most traditional Thai Massage schools start at the feet and work their way up the body. However there are other schools which start at the head or even start with the sitting position. Nobody can claim that they have the only correct way of doing things, and the same applies to herbal ball treatments.
I suggest you don't worry about what you have been taught in regards to the herbal ball sequence. Try it in the beginning, in the middle and at the end, and get some feedback from your clients which way they enjoyed it the most.
There are rules in Thai Massage which should be followed, like that muscles should be warmed up before applying strong stretches. However the herbal balls don't need to follow any fixed rules.
HI, I am coming into the conversation late, but wanted to add some feedback. I started using them in my Thai Herbal sessions last Fall after having a one on one with a friend of mine which took a course. I am with Shama about most things and definitely here, do what feels right. I use them actually all through out the session. I usually do my regular palming of the feet and massage the points etc.. then I warm up the lines of the legs and then start applying the compresses. I apply them through the clothing which I provide. I do a bit more compress work of the 3rd line of the leg on the IT band and around the femor before the twist in supine. I then us them on the stomach instead of using acupressure I use the compresses here, it is quite lovely. Then I work the arms. The back I do the same. i usually start with the compresses, do some thai acupressure and stretching and then some more compress.
Some of my regular clients always book the Thai Herbal massage now, they find the compresses add one more layer of relaxation for them and they speak of feeling the warmth down to their tissues long after I am done in the area.
Best idea is to play with them, see how they work for you. I think you can use your intuition here.