With desk jobs, long commutes, and a mostly sedentary lifestyle becoming more common, so many of us are experiencing tired and sore muscles. Even if you do lead a very active lifestyle, the muscles will complain from time to time, and make you well aware of their existence in a most painful way.
For nearly 5,000 years the Thais have used ‘luk pra kob’, herbal pressing spheres, more commonly known as herbal balls, to relieve pain and inflammation.
The herbs themselves smell lovely, and are also believed to soothe stiff, sore or pulled muscles and ligaments, ease chronic back ache and arthritis, soothe some skin conditions, cleanse and heal the skin, promote cell growth, and sooth and clear upper respiratory ailments such as cold and bronchitis.
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The balls consist of therapeutic herbs, which usually include ginger, lemongrass, tumeric, prai, kaffir lime, camphor and tamarind, wrapped in a muslin compress. This is steamed and then applied on the skin through translucent cloth to protect against burning. Gentle pressing with circular and rolling movements are used, the the steamed herbs work through the skin in the same way a balm or cream does.
The herbs chosen have a long history of relieving muscular aches and swelling, and are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, and antioxidant. When combined with gentle massage this makes such a treatment good for inducing deep relaxation, relieving muscle stress and fatigue, and improving the circulation of blood and lymph, which leads to the reduction of swollen, sore muscles. Other benefits include emotional and physical wellbeing, stimulation of internal organs, and a feeling of invigoration.
With nearly 5,000 years of use, testing, and evolution, the balls are not only gentle and soothing, but both invigorating and relaxing. The perfect remedy from the past for the ills of the modern world.