Hickeys? No it’s gua sha – benefits & action

Gua sha (Chinese: 刮痧; pinyin: guā shā) translates to “scraping sha-bruises”, is a key treatment in traditional Chinese medicine where a clay spoon or tool is used to scrape the skin which brings out toxic heat from the body.

The sha or toxic heat that is brought out from gua sha.

Yes, it certainly looks unsightly, a trail of bruising that could pass for a love bite track or hickey crawl.

However the benefits certainly outweigh the look, especially if you prefer to avoid medication and want to detox the body, by moving blood and toxins to the surface of the body to be renewed and healed.

In my case here the gua sha has been indicated for sore throat. It is amazing how it provides instant relief. The theory suggests that by scraping the neck, the blood brings the pathogen, stagnant qi and toxic heat to the surface, which will take some days to fade. However the internal sore throat pain is alleviated, depending on the severity of it.

Gua sha has a myriad of uses from sore throat, infection, high fever, inflammation, chills, cough, sinusitis, heatstroke to pain and much more. Discomfort can be experienced as the spoon is pressed from top to bottom, however the relief produced is usually instant and many swear by it.

This is a common theme in Chinese medicine where we aim to ‘release the exterior’, rather than always pop pills to treat symptoms, we bring it out through the skin.

As they say, better out than in!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

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The sha or toxic heat that is brought up from gua sha

 

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