Did you know that it’s possible to use massage in order to strengthen your immune system and help to prevent yourself from becoming ill? Gua Sha massage is a type of massage that can help with this. Read on to find out more.
In Gua Sha massage, the term “gua” means “scraping” or “to scrape”, and “sha” is the term used to describe the millet-like redness that may occur after the treatment that has been carried out. Interestingly, Gua Sha massage technically isn’t a massage at all. Rather, Gua Sha is the name of the instrument that is used during the treatment. This massage therapy can be performed on its own or it can be used in conjunction with another form of massage. Another name for this therapy is “spooning”. The most common scraping instrument that is used is a buffalo horn, which has a very smooth comb-like shape – without the teeth. Jar lids or Chinese soup spoons can also be used.
The Gua Sha, or instrument, is used because the hands alone may not be enough to dispel heat, increase oxygen to the area, and stimulate blood flow in the way that the Gua Sha can. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the buffalo horn has cold properties, and it is therefore effective in helping to dispel heat from the body.
Gua Sha massage can be used for many things. It is useful for treating muscle aches and pains. Because it dispels heat from the body, it can treat heatstroke, sunstroke, dizziness, and chills. It is also able to help prevent or stop colds before they start.
The technique used in Gua Sha massage is that the strokes made by the instrument go in a downward motion only. The instrument is drawn across the skin where an injury or imbalance is, and a distinctive reddening of the skin, known as “Sha”, is observed. This reddening is a good response and brings an immediate and lasting benefit of reducing inflammation, coldness, tightness, and pain from the superficial and deeper layers of the body. The treatment is used from the head down, starting at the neck before going to the chest, back, shoulders and arms, legs, and down to the ankles. The instrument is used more lightly on areas that are not as strong, and more heavily on areas that are stronger and thicker-skinned.
The therapy is not a painful one at all, as the reddening of the skin is simply the heat and toxins coming to the surface. However, the therapy should not be undertaken by people that are suffering from sunburn or that have excessive skin disorders.