Gua Sha Massage Therapy
If you're battling a cold, and like all mankind, hate going to the doctor, perhaps you could see what traditional Chinese massage could do for you.
About Gua Sha Massage
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 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 is used to cure the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, headaches, fevers, chills, cough, abdominal complaints, diarrhea, as well as chronic disorders involving pain and blocked Qi.
The practitioner uses a section of cow horn or a wooden scraper to scrape the back, neck, buttocks and limbs. Oil is used as a lubricant on the skin to lessen the pain of the scraping.
What Does It Feel Like?
It must not feel too bad since it’s been used as a cure for common ailments since Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368AD) times. So if you’re suffering from a bad cold and want to try a traditional cure while you’re traveling, Gua Sha might just do the trick. Where to Get the Treatment: Traditional Chinese medical and massage clinics offer Gua Sha. Ask your hotel concierge where you might be able to have the treatment while you’re in China. Some hotel spas may even offer it.