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Can Gua Sha Scratching Relieve Muscle Pain?

Photo: Getty Images / photo-chick.com

You may have heard of your favorite celebrity and beauty guru from Gua Sha, but like acupuncture cupping, this is therapeutic Practice that Literally Scraps – Descent of Eastern Chinese medicine and emerged from a tradition that has existed since the beginning of beauty vlogs.

"Gua sha is a technique for rubbing and stimulating the skin that we have been using for thousands of people years in Chinese medicine, and relatively recently it has become a treatment for facial and skin health," says Noah Rubinstein, Director of the Yinova Center in New York City and accredited acupuncturist and clinical herbalist who has a doctorate in Chinese medicine. Related: Could the Kansa Wall Face Tool Replace Your Jade Scroll?)

Because of its relaxing tension Isual, Face Gua Sha became viral. Who would not want his face to be massaged with a healing crystal stone? But rarely do you see a picture of OG scratching ̵

1; Gua Sha body therapy – which, among other things, can relieve muscle pain and reduce inflammation.

Here's everything you need to know about the ancient practice that is being blown up.

What are the benefits of Gua Sha?

"Whole-body Gua-Sha can benefit the skin, but actually it's more about promoting blood circulation in the muscles and other deep tissues, we use it for injuries, muscle spasms in general, inflammation, mobility and chronic chronic tension, which cause either local pain or organ disorders, "explains Rubinstein. Similar to foam rolling, it can increase the flexibility and flexibility of the joints, but Gua Sha is more targeted and can reach both smaller and larger joints that are otherwise not easily accessible.

"Gua sha is a great adjunct treatment to reduce pain and inflammation," says Deepa Verma, MD, a holistic medical doctor. While it is not the only thing that you do depending on your specific condition, it adds that this can be helpful to a variety of people, including "menopausal women," the hormonal Experiencing changes, and weightlifters who need help recovery and those with chronic back pain and muscle tension. "

In addition to relieving muscle pain, there's even evidence that this press-stroke treatment of the skin can boost your immune system," says certified acupuncturist Elizabeth Trattner, who can send local signals to the skin and modulate defense functions Sometimes it can even be used instead of traditional painkillers. "Now that the opioid epidemic has reached an all-time high, we are looking for old remedies to help reduce pain without any addictive substances. Gua sha has excellent clinical efficacy to reduce pain with little to no side effects (except a rash!). "Says Trattner.

Although Gua Sha is a very effective treatment, Rubinstein emphasizes that it is only a part Chinese medicine. "It is rarely done alone. As the patient requires, we offer acupuncture, Tuina (therapeutic body work), moxibustion [burning plant materials near skin] cupping and herbs, which are taken internally as medicine or used topically as liniments or ointments, "he explains.

What Tools Are Used for Cockroaching?

The flat stone of rose quartz or jade that you have probably seen on Instagram is usually used on the face, while these flat massagers (and jade rollers) are also used on the body To dig deeper into the skin and get the most out of it, a Chinese porcelain or wood soup spoon is often the best tool, and when facing the hollow side, it loosens tight spots and helps maintain standing energy (also called Qi) ) and moving blood in the body, explains Rubinstein. (See also: Are Jade Scrolls Really a Magical Anti-Aging Tool for the Hau t care?)

You can buy the massager yourself, but to use Gua Sha effectively, you need to know exactly which regions you want to target. So if you want to try it yourself (on the areas you want to reach), first ask a specialist for clues, or watch a YouTube video to learn how and where to stroke the skin.

Wait, WTF is Qi

If you are interested in Gua Sha, you need to understand Qi or Chi – the currency of Chinese medicine. In eastern medicine, it is believed that Qi is the energy that flows through your body. Acupuncture also focuses on blocking the body's life energy. When Gua-sha is performed, the energy that previously stagnated can now flow more freely, which can relieve pain and stiffness, Rubinstein explains. The premise is that once a system is fragmented, once the Qi is in motion, it can be merged and harmonized. (Related: Everything you need to know about energy work – and why you should try it)

So, should you try the gua sha therapy?

Gua Sha is a very deep and intense treatment. So, if you want to iron out the tension in bigger muscles like the back, shoulders, neck, legs and arms, this therapy will probably be at the heart of your problem.

"It's different from a massage in It takes into account China's medical view of how your body works and the underlying organ and tissue systems, it is also deeper than most massages you will receive, and is more problematic Areas aligned, "explains Rubinstein. If you're dealing with muscle aches and mobility issues, you're the perfect candidate, he says. However, if you are looking for relaxation or anxiety disorder, acupuncture or traditional massage would be more in your lane.

Rubinstein notes the tighter you are or the more muscle dysfunction you have, the more sensitive you will be after treatment and the worse your skin will look like this – think of redness, irritation and bruising (which is often purple) or red spots, also called petechiae) appear.

People who have undergone recent surgery, who have coagulation disorders or who can not stand pain, are not the right candidates for this therapy.

How Gua Sha Therapy Really Is

Like many people, when I'm stressed, I feel it in my shoulders and upper back. Facialists and manicurists always tell me how tense I am. But the massages never reached the depth of my problem. So when I started using Gua Sha for my face and benefited from the reassuring results, I wondered if there was a version of Gua Sha for the body. Thanks to the internet, I discovered that there is definitely something – and after I talked to Rubinstein about the benefits of Gua Sha, I was sold.

Before my treatment even began, Rubinstein asked me about my diet, the menstrual cycle, and more about the root of my backache – what he meant could be somatization: stress manifesting as physical pain. He also mitigated my concerns by confirming that my skin is not really scraping off the spoon!

How did it feel? I would compare it to an uncomfortable massage, a kind of pain that feels so bad. He warned me against sending my mother the photo I look like my back was scratched by a bear, but I did anyway. Her reaction was in equal parts horror and confusion. Fortunately, the redness turned into a henna tattoo-like brown in a matter of days and finally faded completely.

But the truth is, it was worth the discomfort: I immediately felt more agility in my shoulders and back. This is not unusual: "There are people who come in and can not move a joint and neck, but they gain movement that they did not have immediately after treatment or for a day," says Rubinstein.

In the coming days, a sense of relaxation replaced the annoying stress-related pain. I can not say that I am completely cured – a month later I was tense again. (Monthly treatments were recommended to get the results and to get the results the first time.) Conclusion? Like facials and vitamin refills, I definitely plan to add scratches to my seasonal to-do list.

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