A revolutionary way of healing, the traditional Chinese healing practice known as Gua Sha or scraping therapy works very well and has been used for thousands of years in China and East Asia.
How does scraping therapy work?
Scraping therapy is mainly utilized to resolve blood stagnation within the body. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), blood stagnation is deemed to be the cause of many forms of illnesses. You can visualize blood stagnation as still water in a stagnant pond. The stagnant pond is full of algae, green moss, gunk and other overgrowths compared to a running stream that has clear and relatively clean water. Our entire circulatory system is quite similar to this. When blood begins to stagnate and/or does not flow properly, it generates an environment conducive to disease.
Why is scraping therapy very useful for blood stagnation?
Scraping therapy can immediately free up any blockages that may have developed in your body due to stagnant blood. It works because it facilitates the flow of body fluid and mimics perspiration that helps wash away toxins and waste from your deep tissues and stabilizes cellular metabolic processes. It also aids in the nourishment and oxidation of the cells by boosting chi (vital energy) and blood flow in the body.
Scraping therapy detoxifies and nourishes the body through its two main functions:
The first function is the stroking action that helps pumps in more oxygen and blood to the site of treatment that increases nourishment to the cells and releases petechiae to the skin surface.
The second function is the red marks on the skin that are signs telling the body to do a cleansing of the treatment area in order to eliminate both toxins and dead cells that have been forced up the surface of the skin during the scraping procedure.
The patient usually experiences positive results such as relief of stiffness, nausea, chest pains, cough, chills, fever, pain, etc., after treatment. After some more sessions of treatment, enough toxins are eliminated that will enable the body to achieve inner balance.
Aside from curing diseases, scraping therapy can also help you lose weight, prevent diseases, and build your body’s immunity and overall health. More blood serum can be produced to boost the immune function though the stimulation of scraping therapy.
Before administering the treatment, the practitioner first daubs the skin with oil. He then begins scraping the skin with a special scraping instrument. The skin is always scraped in the same direction. The procedure continues until the skin has purple and red marks (their location indicates where the sick muscles are located).
There should be no tissue or skin damage from the procedure but you may feel little bit of pain on the tissues where the blockage is located. There should no pain felt on the site of the healthy tissues. Though the red spots on the skin are an unavoidable consequence of the treatment, they are signs that wastes and toxins have come out from the sick tissues. Those marks are different from hemorrhage or bruising and they tend to completely vanish within a week or less due to a better metabolism.
What do the colors of the gua sha marks indicate?
1. Dark Red Sha- Suggests heat in the blood
2. Brown Sha- Blood is probably dry
3. Black or Purple Sha – Indicates chronic blood stasis
4. Bright Red Sha – Fresh penetration
5. Very Light Colored Sha – Deficient blood
You need to keep warm after undergoing gua sha treatment. Do not drink cold fluids and avoid a cold shower, a sudden change in temperature, and the wind. This is necessary in order to make sure the enhanced metabolism of your body and its self-healing process works well. On the day of treatment, avoid a heavy workout but doing some stretching is recommended.
In certain instances, some people may experience tiredness, sickness, or soreness for a few days. As the red marks dissipate later on, they may start to feel the improvement all over their bodies and especially the treatment of their problem.
How long does it take for the petechiae to vanish?
Usually the marks disappear within 3 to 10 days. If the marks still remain after 10 days, this usually means that you suffer from weak blood circulation and your therapist should give you further advice on how to increase the blood flow in your body. Getting scraping therapy usually helps the red marks disappear faster which means the flow of blood in your body is getting better.
Who needs scraping therapy?
Scraping therapy can be useful for people suffering from muscle tension, tenderness, aches, and pain. It can prevent asthma, bronchitis, flu, colds and chronic disorders that involve qi and blood blockage.
Scraping therapy is unparalleled when it comes to the relief of pain. Hence, this treatment is offered to all who are burdened with physical pain (joint, leg, back, shoulder, neck, and head pain) and disorders and dysfunctions such as rheumatism, migraine, nerve pain, sciatica and repetitive stress injury (RSI).
How often should a person get scraping therapy?
To get good results, scraping therapy can be taken one or two times a week for three to four weeks. For maintenance of health, once a month treatment would suffice.
It is important to note that after a session, you need to rest your body in order for it to fully detox. This means for the rest of the day, there should be no strenuous exercises, hard labor, fasting, sex, alcohol, drugs, etc.
After treatment, be sure to also drink lots of warm water and keep your body well-hydrated for the next two days in order for it to expel all the wastes and toxins inside.
Scraping Therapy can be effective against the following conditions:
• Chest pains
• Excess phlegm
• Profuse perspiration
• Urinary problems
• Sun strokes
• Immobility, pain, stiffness
• Weak flow of blood
• Tendon and muscle injuries
• Gynecological conditions
• Fatigue related to heat stroke
• Food poisoning
• Digestive disorders
• Dyspnea and cough: Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis
Be prepared for a bit of pain from the treatment because it will directly address the triggers or the underlying cause(s) of your problem.
Dr. Hailing Fu is a doctor or Oriental medicine and the founder of Ling’s Acupuncture in Orlando, FL. She has also served as professor and clinic director at the Florida College of Integrative Medicine in Central Florida. College of Integrative Medicine in Central Florida.