You passed by your favorite beauty spa or massage parlor en route to your home from your office or grocery store. You noticed that there’s a sign on the façade of the establishment saying “gua sha massage now offered”. Once home, you logged on the web and looked for gua sha massage photos. You’re horrified with what you saw.
Individuals who are not familiar with gua sha massage will surely feel mortified at the sight of images associated with this traditional form of massage from Asia. That’s because those who undergoes it look like they have just been from the torture chamber as their backs are swarmed with bruises!
According to the proponents of gua sha massage, bruising the skin of the back is what makes the age-old practice deliver impressive result. Basically, it’s the same thing as accidentally banging a body part of yours against a hard surface or object, such as the corner of the table.
However, the bruising involved with gua sha massage is intentional, which means that it is done on purpose in order for a person to reap the alleged benefits of the said massage.
Such is obtained with the use an object with a soft edge. The said tool is pressed against the skin firmly, and it is moved downwards throughout the length of the various meridians or muscles of the back. By the way, the skin of the back is lubricated with massage oil in order to reduce friction and keep the pain or discomfort to a minimum.
Blood Escaping the Capillaries
Again, the bruises a person gets from going through gua sha massage are pretty much the same kinds obtained during an injury, trauma or accident — it is caused by blood escaping the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body) and pooling underneath the skin until they are eliminated naturally.
In gua sha massage, the slow and firm swipes of a soft-edged tool on the back of a person causes blood from ruptured capillaries to accumulate under the skin, causing the characteristic bruises of the ancient massage.
Thanks to this bruising action, gua sha massage comes with an impressive number of health benefits, according to its proponents. In a way, the bruising activates the body’s very own ability to repair itself as well as the enhancement of the immune system. In fact, a study conducted by Germans said that gua sha, indeed, was effective for a number of problems, but some experts simply discredit the said investigation.
Purported Health Benefits
In the said study, German researchers gathered 40 people who suffered from neck pain, and they were treated with the use of heat packs as well as by undergoing gua sha massage. The study revealed that gua sha massage helped in managing neck pain much better than heat packs.
There are many other benefits that gua sha massage is said to offer aside from the elimination of neck pain, according to people who are advocating the traditional practice from Asia. Some of them include:
- Management of chronic pain involving the muscles and joints
- Treatment of headaches and most especially migraine
- Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and flu
- Controlling the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis
- Promoting circulation of the blood and elimination of toxins in the bloodstream
- Dealing with emotional and physical stress, as well as anxiety
- Suppression of chronic inflammation linked to a host of health problems
- Improvement of an individual’s immune system
Some say that gua sha massage can impress, while others say that it just offers a placebo effect. Before you shell out cash to try this ancient massage being offered at your favorite beauty spa or massage parlor, it’s a good idea for you to do your assignment first.
Try to know as much information as you can on gua sha massage by visiting reputable websites. You may also ask family and friends who have already tried getting it. Oh, and brace yourself — after the treatment, your back will sport lots of bruises that stay around for a number of days!