Table Of Contents
Chapter 2:History of Gua Sha
Chapter 3:Basics of Gua Sha
Chapter 4:Tools of Gua Sha
Chapter 5:How To Perform Gua Sha
Chapter 6:Application of Gua Sha
Chapter 7:Benefits of Gua Sha
Chapter 8:Who Is Gua Sha Not Suitable For
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Chapter 2: History of Gua Sha
Gua sha in Chinese means to scrape away fever or translated more loosely, to rub away illness by allowing the illness to break out from the body as red-sandy-looking entity through skin.
How It Began
The main essence of Gua Sha is to scrape body parts and release blocked energy (Qi) and cure ailments. It is an ancient medical treatment that has been around for over two thousand years.
This scraping technique might not originate from China but 200 BC Chinese scriptures describe a scraping method to scrape complaints or diseases from body.
Besides China, Gua Sha can be found extensively in the Southeast Asia countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. This technique is known in Vietnam as ‘Cao Gio’ while in Laos, it is known as ‘Khoud Lam’. In Cambodia, it goes by the name ‘Kos Khyol’ and in Indonesia, it becomes ‘Kerik’.
For minor ailments, a family member will used gua sha therapy to apply treatment. However, there is a Gua Sha therapist available in most villages in rural China and other South East Asia countries for more thorough treatment. Scraping does not only apply to treatment but as prevention. The head, arms, legs and chest can be treated everyday to prevent complains.
Most of the countries mentioned above used copper coin as the main instrument to scrap. However, other material is used. Since it is a folk therapy, the folks will scrape with whatever things available. In China, Chinese porcelain spoons are used and this practice is still going on. The rounded shape of the spoon and the smooth porcelain surface makes it a good scraping tool.
One of the famous variations of Gua Sha, ‘Kerik’ from Indonesia used copper coin. The skin is rubbed with warm oil and copper coin (known as kerik or kerok) is used to scrape.
This is often used as treatment for colds, fevers, muscle ache and others. The scraping method using coin is not only available in Indonesia though, other countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Thailand used copper coin often but with different oils. Vietnam and Cambodia used oils containing menthol or camphor which can cause complications such as burn marks
There are misconceptions due to Gua Sha in the 1970s when immigrants from Asia settled in US. Many parents were charged and convicted for child abuse due to red marks caused by Gua Sha. This resulted in many families separating as children were put into foster care.
Chapter 3: Basics of Gua Sha
Gua Sha is an accompaniment technique used to heal or prevent ailments in addition to acupuncture and Chinese massage treatments. Gua means rubbing or friction. Sha means the red appearance of blood congestion at the surface of the body.
A Little More In Depth
This technique involves cutaneous stimulation and palpation where pressure is applied on the skin in repeated strokes by specific tools. This raised the appearance of small red petechiaes known as ‘sha’ which will fade in 2-4 days. ‘Sha’ can be used as diagnostic and prognostic indicators.
Gua Sha is considered an adaptogenic technique. By balancing Qi, it can cools a person suffering from heat, warms a person who is chilled, give nourishment to patient who is deprived, and clears excess.
Gua Sha will be considered by experts if there is pain or discomfort or upper respiratory ailments or digestive problems. If the palpation indicates ‘Sha’, Gua Sha will be used.
After treatment is given, patient is instructed to cover the area and avoid wind and exposure to sun or any sudden changes in temperature. It is recommended for patient to rest on the day of treatment and do light stretching but not heavy workout.Other Details
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