Gua Sha Therapy was once one of the five major treatments in Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the subsequent major extant historical medical text, Gua Sha Therapy was omitted and only four treatment methods were described. But it continued to be used and grew in popularity as a home remedy against many complaints, especially as a preventative measure and treatment before the illness deteriorates and expensive professional help is required. Gua Sha Therapy undoubtly has a long history and is the forefather of Acupuncture. It popularity is due to the natural, holistic, non-invasive nature and its ease of use. It is used in many countries, like China, Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia etc. Each places having its own name for this treatment.
The diagnosis of Gua Sha Therapy is by palpitation of the skin. When it is pale and slow to fade, this is an indication of the presence of sha or blockages. Hence, Gua Sha Therapy should be applied. The presence of pain that cannot be diagnosed by conventional methods also signifies blockages, which Gua Sha Therapy can easily resolve. In order not to damage the skin, lubricating oil is applied to the skin, and then firm and even strokes is applied on the body of the patient. Gua Sha Therapy is generally applied along the meridian lines of the neck, shoulders, back, and limbs. Other areas of application would be the face, head, chest and abdominal area. With each part of the body having a different stroke method. The area will be stroked until red marks (petechiae) are visible, which will be within a few strokes if the particular area has blockages and problems. But if there are no pain or problems, the red marks will not appear, and the practitioner could move on to other parts of the body. The red markings are similar to photos of Cupping markings on Gwyneth PaltrowÂ?s back some years ago.
Gua Sha Therapy works by emulating sweating, which is considered one of the important evacuation methods, via the skin. In Western Medical understanding, Gua Sha therapy intentionally extravasates blood from the peripheral capillaries causing petechiae and sub-cutaneous blemishing (ecchymosis). In other words, the redness is due to the haemorrhage of capillaries and the release of red blood cell, haemoglobin into the system. It is not a capillary rupture like bruising, as it fades immediately if there are no problems in the area. This encourages the replacement of stagnant blood with new blood flow to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated. Thus helping repair damaged cells and can effectively remove scar tissues and helps prevent repeat injuries due to weakness. It also promotes the production of more blood serum and encourages normal metabolic processes via lymph stimulation, thus improving the body's immune system and speeding up recovery. Usually, patients do not feel any pain when undergoing this treatment and are surprised by the lack of pain, as the red markings look painful. Some even request firmer and harder pressure to be applied, as it provides instant relief.
As Gua Sha Therapy revitalise the body and stimulates the blood circulation, the nervous and lymphatic systems. This is how it is effective in treating many different ailments and conditions in various parts of the body.
About the author:
Trained and practised Gua Sha for 15 years. Also adept in Reflexology and Reiki.
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