They liked the balm so much they now sell it

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By HARKAN­WAL SINGH

Two for­mer Mata­mata jock­eys with spinal in­juries have had ‘‘a hell of ride’’ im­port­ing a Thai balm that may help ease dis­com­fort for the el­derly and the in­jured.

Trevor Har­ri­son and Bryce Waters have known each other since 1974 when they were ap­pren­tice jock­eys. Both suf­fered spinal in­juries and now they are hop­ing to ease the dis­com­fort of oth­ers.

Trevor Har­ri­son, an of­fi­cial race day starter, was in Bangkok as­sist­ing a round at the start when he hurt his an­kle and tried the Slack Pang­pon Balm.

‘‘I couldn’t be­lieve the quick re­ac­tion I had to it. I bought six bot­tles and they just sat in the cup­board un­til Bryce hurt his wrist. I said rub some of this balm and in 20 min­utes, his dis­com­fort was gone,’’ said Mr Har­ri­son.

They de­cided to im­port the balm to help oth­ers like them­selves. How­ever, it was not easy. There were a se­ries of check­points, from Min­istry of Health to En­vi­ron­men­tal Science and Re­search ap­proval.

‘‘It has been a mas­sive un­der­tak­ing. It has been hell of a ride to get to where we are now,’’ said Mr Waters. The balm has spread like wild­fire since then, reach­ing as far as New Zealand troops in Afghanistan. Mr Waters said one of their distrib­u­tors passed it on to her un­cle who is a se­nior sergeant and it had caught on.

‘‘The re­sponse has been un­be­liev­able. We’ve got 40 distrib­u­tors from Kaitaia to Gore.’’

Their en­deav­our to get the prod­uct out in the mar­ket was driven by their own strug­gle with in­juries.

Bryce Waters said he had bro­ken his an­kle three times.

‘‘I can move my toes af­ter 24 years. It has just loos­ened ev­ery­thing up in that area.

‘‘We wouldn’t have done this, if it hadn’t done this for us.’’

The balm is be­ing used for var­i­ous pur­poses by peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds to self-med­i­cate. Race horse and grey­hound train­ers are us­ing it on their an­i­mals to re­lieve the stiff­ness.

Peo­ple who have used the balm say it also works won­ders for coughs and colds.

The balm is avail­able through distrib­u­tors and at var­i­ous vet clin­ics and chemists and at least one ma­jor whole­saler.

It is be­ing used by spinal through­out New Zealand.

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Eas­ing dis­com­fort: For­mer Mata­mata jock­eys Trevor Har­ri­son and Bryce Waters hold bot­tles of Slack Pang­pon Balm.

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