Thai herbal ball massage is a hot stone massage taken to the next level by the action of potent essential oils.
The herbal ball is a mix of dried herbs wrapped in a cotton cloth (cheesecloth).
The herbs include camphor, tamarind, turmeric, lemongrass, kaffir lime, etc.
The presence of turmeric alone gives anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to the herbal ball. Kaffir lime possesses similar health benefits and is a great skin rejuvenator.
Camphor mainly provides pain relief, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects. The list of benefits of a herbal ball is quite extensive, but the main objectives are providing relief to sore and stiff muscles as well as skin rejuvenation.
The massage can also help with relieving migraines if applied on the neck. Herbal massage balls can be used all over the body, including the face.
How to Use Herbal Balls at Home
You can use a towel warmer or a steam cooker, both will work perfectly. Briefly soak the herbal ball under running water just enough to moisten the herbs. Avoid oversoaking to the point that water is dripping off because this will wash out the essential oils. Also avoid making the massage ball handle wet, if it is not dry it will get too hot to touch in the next step. Then heat the herbal ball in a steamer or microwave. It will usually take 5-10 minutes in a steamer, or a minute or so in a microwave on high power for the herbal balls to be ready.
Please remember to test the temperature before applying to the skin! If the herbal ball is hot, it is better to apply it briefly to a larger area of the skin. Once it cools down to a comfortable temperature, it can be rubbed slowly against the skin or applied on a particular area for a longer time. Steaming can be repeated to reheat the herbal ball multiple times. If a microwave is used, then a small amount of water must be sprayed on the ball in order to “re-hydrate” it.