Use of herbal compresses are preferred when treating areas of the body that are difficult to soak (such as
shoulders, knee, hip, and back)
- Place compress in a small pot with enough water to cover (approx. 2 ½ cups). The addition of ½ cup
of rice wine or rice vinegar to the water will increase the efficacy of the compress (see note below).
- Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
- Simmer the compress for 15 minutes and turn off heat
- Carefully remove the compress from the pot and save the cooking water.
- When the compress has cooled enough that it will not burn the skin, place it directly on the affected
area. Take caution not to burn the skin as there is still hot liquid in the center of the compress.
- Place a hot water bottle over the compress and cover both with a towel. This will keep the compress
warm and obviate the need to continue to re-dip the compress in the cooking water. Do not use a
heating pad with the compresses, as there is a danger of electrocution. (NOTE: the compress liquid
will stain clothing).
- Leave the compress on the affected area for 20 minutes
- Place compress back into the pot with the cooking liquid.
- For the next application of the compress, simply re-heat the compress in the liquid. The compress can
be used for a total of 3 days.
- Cover the affected area following treatment to keep it warm and protected from wind, cold and damp.