I have heard of an herbal ball and herbal ball massage a few times in the past months, but never had a chance to experience it until recently. The experience was unique and very pleasant.
I visited Ayodhya, a sister location of Mint Leaf Thai Massage. Thai massage is an ancient form of healing. With its roots in yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and meditation, Thai massage relaxes tightened muscles and helps increase blood circulation. It is not the passive kind of massage, where you lie down on a massage table and the masseuse does all the work for you. During a Thai massage session, your massage therapist helps you stretch your arms, legs, and other parts of your body. You are an active participant.
When I arrived for my appointment, my massage therapist gave me a pair of soft slippers, and some loose clothing to change into to prepare for the massage session.
The room was filled with an herbal aroma, coming from the steaming of the herbal ball. She had me lie down on a padded matt, facing down. There were pillows to support my forehead and my shoulders, so I could breathe comfortably facing down. She started the massage from my foot, then my calves, and then moved up to my back. There were squeezing and light pinching of the muscles. At times it felt as though her forearm was the iron and my back was a wrinkled shirt. She was ironing out every single wrinkle in detail. When she massaged on a knot or tensed area I could feel it, places I didn’t even know was stiff until she massaged the areas. Lying there, I visualized my muscles getting repaired, one small section at a time.
"I visualized the heat from the ball carried the herbal essence deep into my skin."
When she finished massaging my back, she took out an herbal ball compress from the steamer. With a quick stamp-and-roll motion, she gently pressed the warm herbal ball, against my back. The heat from the herbal ball made my back feel so good, especially on the spots where there were tension. I visualized the heat from the ball carried the herbal essence deep into my skin.
After that, she had me lie on my back and started working on my shoulders, arms, and even my fingers. The herbal ball was used again and this time, I was able to enjoy the relaxing aroma more than the first time. Then she had me sit up and helped me stretch my legs. With her knees behind my back for support, I did some more upper body stretching and twisting. When that was done, I was still sitting up, she ran her knee through my spine. It felt like she was stretching one vertebra at a time. At the end of the massage, I felt my stiff muscles had a good work out and the tightness was gone.
"The herbal ball compress can alleviate muscle stiffness and improve blood and lymph circulation.
It is also good for the skin."
After my massage session, my massage therapist gave me the herbal ball compress to take home. I did some research, and found out the one used on me contains a blend of traditional Thai herbs, including turmeric, lemongrass, zingiber cassumunar, kaffir lime skin, cryptolepis buchanani, red ginseng, borneo camphor, camphor, galangal, and acacia concinna. The herbal ball compress can alleviate muscle stiffness and improve blood and lymph circulation. It is also good for the skin.
My massage therapist advised me to drink a lot of water after a massage. This is because a massage helps to increase the flow or oxygen and nutrients, at the same time it also helps the body to naturally get rid of metabolic waste. Drinking water helps to flush out the waste out of out the system. I stayed feeling replenished 3 days after the massage. The herbal ball added a nice heat component and herbal aroma to the massage, which I felt was unique and invigorating.