The ginger compress is a very simple home remedy used in Japan, as well as in macrobiotic circles to increase circulation and relieve stagnation.
By stagnation, we mean conditions which usually manifest in the form of pain, swelling or stiffness.
Often this treatment is used for regular maintenance on the kidney area of the back to promote overall vitality.
The compress is made by grating a handful of fresh ginger, securing it in cheesecloth, and infusing in hot water. Towels are soaked in the hot water and placed on the body for about 20 minutes.
Conditions which respond well to ginger compresses:
- Most types of acute or chronic pains where cold is present: backache, cramps (menstrual and intestinal), kidney stone attacks, stiff neck
- May relieve congestive conditions such as asthma
- May dissolve hardened accumulations of fats, proteins and minerals, such as kidney stones, gall bladder stones, cysts (breast, ovarian) and benign tumors such as fibroids
- Can relieve muscle tension, and stiffness... even some fibromyalgia symptoms
- May speed up repair of tissue damage and has been known to to useful in after-treatment of broken bones.
Ginger compresses are very effective for symptomatic relief, but do not remove the underlying causes of the problem and should not be substituted for medical treatment.
Ginger compresses should not be used:
- On the head (for sinus issues, a mild ginger scrub is okay)
- On babies or the elderly
- On tumors
- On an inflamed appendix
- If a fever is present, or pneumonia
- On the lower belly of a pregnant woman.
Okay, back to the positives. This is a wonderfully comforting treatment, and goes well with a shiatsu session. It's also something that can be used at home, if you'd like to do it more regularly for yourself, or a loved one.
A ginger compress can be added on to your shiatsu session - just check the 'add-on's' when you schedule.