Herbal Therapies are a wonderful, if not indispensable part of Thai bodywork. They may be as simple as rubbing sesame oil into a channel of the arm or as complex as a 20-herb concoction for healing traumatic injuries like a sprain, surgery, deep bruise, etc. Thai uses a wide variety of herbal preparations for an even wider variety of complaints. One might find such examples as:
Commonly rubbed into the channels in order to affect deeper structures such as nerves, tendons, ligaments. But the oils may be used for the skin's surface as well.
This is a ball of herbs wrapped in cloth. Often the compress is steamed to release the therapeutic effect of the herbs but sometimes the herbs can be sautéed in a frying pan for a dry heat release. There are general formulas for different types of issues: i.e. a joint formula, a postpartum formula, a formula for nerve damage, etc. But an herbal expert who can assess a patient well can tailor a compress specifically for the individual's particular problem and constitution. For this reason, formulas for compresses are infinite.
Balms and Liniments
Similar to infused oils, these are used to rub into the skin in order to help underlying structures. There are balms & liniments to bring heat to an area, cool an area, help nerve function, joint health, heal trauma, etc.
These are herbs placed onto the skin for various reasons, maybe injuries or rashes, etc. The poultice may be dry or wet.
This is a collection of herbs stored in a container and the therapeutic effect is reached by simply smelling the contents. One can use them to help steady oneself when nervous or nauseated, to open clogged sinuses during allergy season, to regain alertness if dizzy or faint, or many other purposes. They are simple yet wonderful and quite effective tools. And they do smell so lovely!