Poultice treatments are a wonderful method to provide thermal therapy. They are used with Ayurvedic bodywork, Swedish massage and in herbal Thai treatments.
The Expense of Premade Poultices
Poultices cannot be sanitized. Unlike massage stones or cups, they are not re-used for professional practice. Instead, poultices are often gifted to the client for continued treatment such as with a take-home bathing product.
Two poultices are regularly used in poultice bodywork service, and can cost, on average, anywhere from $14 to $20 or more. This creates a significant materials expense when offering poultice bodywork.
Custom Homemade Poultices
Practitioners can make their own poultices to save on the expense while creating customized treatments. The poultices can be customized with the selection of ingredients used, which can change with the different types of poultice bodywork offered, plus any individual client requirements.
Making your own poultice assures you are providing the best treatment by using the most appropriate ingredients for each client. This also allows a practitioner to feel good about their treatment, because you are using something that was homemade with educated intentions.
Making your own poultice could cost a little more or less than $2 per poultice, depending on what ingredients or materials are chosen.
Materials Required to Make Your Own Poultice
There are three basic items used to make your own poultice: muslin cloth, twine and filler ingredients.
For $18 on Amazon, you can purchase three yards of 63-inch-wide muslin cloth. This amount should provide at least 12 poultice cloth swatches. Shoppers can find acceptable muslin for even less expense when looking for sales.
188 feet of natural jute twine can be purchased at Dollar Tree for $1.25. This is pennies per poultice given you may be able to create almost 100 poultices with 188 feet.
[Watch this video on how to make a poultice, from author Selena Belisle]
Poultice Ingredients for Pindasweda
Different types of poultices and bodywork would conscript various types of efficacious ingredients. For an Ayurvedic poultice bodywork treatment, which is also known as pindasweda, the ingredients would usually consist of one, two or any combination of the following:
- Rice (base)
- Dry ginger
- Mustard seeds
- Tea leaves
- Other Indian spices and herbs
The greatest content in the poultice used for pindasweda would be rice. Rice provides various anti-aging health benefits, and is considered the base or filler of the poultice. Then, a smaller amount of the remaining ingredients such as a tablespoon of select herbs or spices could be added.
Different ingredients are selected for different purposes. In pindasweda, ginger could be used for those who wish to increase circulation, turmeric as an anti-inflammatory agent, coriander for its detoxifying effect, cumin has anti-bacterial properties, mustard seeds alleviate muscular aches and pains plus tea has anti-oxidant action. The ingredients, amounts used, benefits and more is usually reviewed in comprehensive poultice bodywork training.
Practitioners can find these types of poultice ingredients at the grocery store, in spice shops, by ordering online and with discount retailers such as a dollar store. For those frugal enough to comparison shop, you should be able to acquire ingredients that when combined, would costs less than one dollar per poultice. In some cases, the ingredients selected may only costs mere pennies.
How to Make Your Own Poultices in 13 Easy Steps
Once you have required the three essential materials to make your own poultice:
1. Cut a square, 24-by-24-inch swatch of muslin cloth. Practitioners can cut a smaller or larger muslin swatch to make a smaller or larger poultice.
2. Add your ingredients in the middle of the cloth swatch.
3. Draw up all four corners of the muslin and twist the muslin to form a ball on one side and extra cloth folds on the other.
4. Place the ball flat on a table and pull out the four corners of the top of the cloth (while keeping the cloth twisted with the ball on the bottom), to create a long, flat piece of cloth with four corners of cloth showing as flat material.
5. Pat the ball repeatedly to compact the ingredients inside the ball. Continue to twist the muslin cloth to create a tightly compacted ball of ingredients.
6. Take each of the 4 corners of cloth and fold the corner to the center. Tuck the corner of the cloth into your own hand that is holding the twisted muslin in the center of the cloth.
7. Squeeze the top of the cloth together and twist to form a handle above the ball.
8. Twist the handle and ball until the ingredients are compacted and the cloth is tight.
9. Take approximately two feet of twine and wrap it around the inferior end of the handle, just above the ball.
10. Tightly tie the twine just above the ball to keep the handle and the ball tight.
11. Tuck any remaining remnants of cloth at the top of the handle, inside the handle of cloth until a tight handle has formed.
12. Continually wrap the twine from the bottom to the top of the handle, to cover the entire handle and create a tightly formed handle with twine.
13. Tie the twine into a knot to prevent the handle from unravelling, then cut any excess twine after tying the knot.
Homemade Poultice Creation
Sometimes a homemade poultice can be a little lopsided or appear imperfect. That’s okay. It is made with love and will serve its purpose as your own custom creation. What’s more important is the effective ingredients inside and that it was made by you.
It can take practice to make a perfectly symmetrical poultice, such as the poultices seen in professional bodywork images. Feel free to repeat these steps until you feel you have made a fabulous poultice before knotting and tying your twine.
Circular Economy Poultice
Another eco-friendly option of making your own poultice would include placing your efficacious ingredients inside a cotton wash cloth or small hand towel, then tying the corners of the cotton into a small handle with an elastic band. The ingredients would be disposed of after every use, but the cotton cloths and rubber bands would be washed and reused, if you do not gift the cloth poultice to a client after service.
The Value of the Homemade Poultice
Sending a client home with a homemade poultice shows how invested you are in their treatment. Most clients will appreciate a therapist who will provide quality customized materials to execute their bodywork for professional practice and at-home use.
Not only are you providing a quality service when you incorporate your own homemade goods into a treatment, you are also saving money and sourcing ingredients in a manner where you will have more control. This creates a win-win economy and practice for all.
About the Authors
Desiree Collazo is an Ayurvedic consultant, practitioner and Swami of the Shiva Kriya Yoga School of Divine Value. Selena Belisle is the founder of CE Institute LLC. Together, they have over 50 years of industry experience. Ceinstitute.com offers computer-based Ayurvedic continuing education training in prerecorded plus live webinars options. In-person classes are also available in downtown Miami, FL.