Do you like the idea of using massage to prevent sickness and strengthen your bodys immune system? Then youll love gua sha used in massage.
Gua means scraping or to scrape, and sha is the term used for the millet-like redness that may come up during or after treatment.
Jodie Coall is qualified in the practice of gua sha and is also a massage therapist.
Its the instrument used that is called a gua sha. It may be used on its own as a treatment, or in conjunction with a massage. It is otherwise known as spooning.
A common scraping instrument is a buffalo horn, which has a very smooth, comb-like shape without the teeth. Jar lids and Chinese soup spoons can also be used.
Why is it necessary to use a scraping instrument? How does it even work?
The gua sha is used because hands alone may not dispel the heat, increase oxygen to the area and stimulate the circulation as much as the gua sha can.
The buffalo horn has cold properties according to Chinese medicine and, therefore, it is effective in dispelling heat factors from the body.
This form of treatment can be used for a wide variety of ailments. It can treat muscle aches and pains. It also dispels heat from the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine, so it can be used to treat heatstroke or sunstroke, dizziness and chills. It can even help to prevent or stop colds before they start!
Only one technique is used in gua sha and that is that strokes must go in a downward direction only.
The instrument is drawn across the skin where an imbalance or injury resides and a distinctive reddening of the skin, known as sha, is observed. This is a positive response and brings the immediate and lasting benefit of reducing inflammation, coldness, tightness and pain from both the superficial and deeper levels of the body.
Usually the treatment is applied from the head down treating the neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms, and legs down to the ankles.
The good news is that gua sha treatment isnt painful at all. The red, millet-like colour of the skin is simply heat and toxins coming to the surface.
Really, the only people that wouldnt be able to try this form of treatment are people with sunburn or excessive skin disorders. Anyone else can give it a go. The practitioner will always take an individual history to make sure that it is safe to go ahead.
So why not give a gua sha treatment a try? Not only will you get the benefits of a traditional massage, such as blissful relaxation, but releasing toxins from your system may prevent you from becoming sick.