There has been a steady rise in the popularity of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Jacksonville these past few years. A lot of people probably know acupuncture and Chinese reflexology, but one Chinese healing technique called “gua sha” may have never been heard by most. Gua sha therapy is sometimes called “spooning” or “coining” in the West. It involves scraping the skin surface in order to refresh and detoxify the body. Since its results are amazing and so quick and it’s so easy to use, gua sha is a popular treatment in Asia although it still remains relatively unknown in the West.

Muscle soreness and other ailments from the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine are essentially the result of obstructions in the flow of vital energy (chi) and blood. It is commonly known that muscle soreness can be relieved by rubbing the affected area to enhance the flow of blood. This is a fact regardless if you believe or not the existence of chi. Gua sha therapy begins with a sauna or warm bath. Next, massage oils are applied and your massage therapist will utilize a special scraping tool over the targeted area (you can use a simple spoon if you do this procedure at home). According to Chinese medicine practitioners, this releases chi, and medical science sees this as a removal of metabolic waste that accumulated in congested muscles and tissue. The scraping has the effect of intense exfoliation that leaves behind redness and marks that gradually diminish a few days after the treatment.

What exactly are the benefits of Chinese gua sha therapy?

1. PMS – Gua sha can be a great treatment for monthly menstrual pain and aches. Based on the principles of reflexology, your massage therapist will scrape various areas of the body to alleviate ailments and soreness in your lower stomach.

If you want to administer this procedure on yourself at home, talk to your local acupuncturist and then purchase a spoon or simple gua sha tool and perform per the instructions of your acupuncturist.

2. Head colds – At some point in our lives, we can be afflicted with certain types of upper respiratory illnesses. This is more likely to occur during the cold periods of winter. There is no better way to cure a cold than with a sauna or hot bath followed by gua sha. Your massage therapist can skim the scraping tool over your shoulders, neck, and upper back and to remove congestion and eliminate fluids that have accumulated in your chest. This will help bring about relief almost instantaneously afterwards!

3. Tired Muscles – Those who have an intense hard work out knows the awful feeling that is usually felt the next day – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is an almost inexorable after effect of exercise especially when you’re attempting to get back in shape after a long break. If you want to avoid this severe muscle ailment, follow a thorough work out with lots of water, stretching, and a treatment of gua sha. This will help your body get rid of lactic acid and make room for the building of new muscles in your body! For muscle fatigue, stiffness, or soreness, Gua sha is a great and safe form of relief.