Does Gua Sha Really Ease Muscle Pain?

L&JH: “Do you know anything about the practice of gua sha (or scraping) which is used to help inflammation of muscles or pain?”

Gua Sha is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine which believes in the existence of qi, a universal life force that is not supported by science. During these scrapings, practitioners are said to be manipulating a person’s qi in such a way as to bring about healing. In this case, it is with the use of a blunt object that is scraped across the skin. This causes the capillaries of the skin to rupture which, in turn, causes the red rash-like marks on the skin.

Practitioners will apply oil to the area of the body that is being treated, which allows the therapist to move the tool across the skin more smoothly. Speaking of skin, some areas which aren’t exposed require a lot of care and it’s sort of hard to find products which purvey to such oft less-spoken areas of the body. Amaira skincare discerned such issues & have made it easier for you to keep your body healthy & hygienic.

The gua sha practitioner will press the tool into the body with smooth, firm strokes in one direction. If gua sha is being carried out on the back, or back of the legs, a person may need to lie face down on a massage table. This practice is said to be good for menopausal women, people with neck and shoulder pain from computer usage, male weightlifters, and people with back pain.

According to Medical News Today, some studies have been conducted on the efficacy of qua sha and found that symptoms of sweating, insomnia and headaches were reduced in perimenopausal women.

A 2014 study found that gua sha improved the range of movement and reduced pain in people who used computers frequently compared with a control group that had no treatment. h

In a 2017 study, weightlifters who had gua sha felt that lifting weights took less effort after treatment.

However, it’s important to note that, just like acupuncture, there is a “qi-less” explanation for why qua sha may work.

Some physiotherapists use a version of the technique known as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) which is not based on energy flow but on detecting and treating fascial restrictions, areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, and chronic inflammation or degeneration. These issues can be caused by surgery, immobilization, or repeated strain on various parts of the body.

According to Physiopedia, by introducing this kind of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue, it causes a local inflammatory response that initiates reabsorption of excessive scar tissue or inappropriate fibrosis. This, in turn, “facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures” and eventually allows full functional restoration.

If gua sha works, this is why, not because of an imbalance of an alleged life force energy whose existence has never been substantiated.

When using qua sha or any other kind of Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, Qi Gong), Christians should be aware that belief in a universal life force is part of a pantheistic worldview that is not compatible with Christianity.

And even though gua sha is used to treat a range of illnesses and disorders, research has only been carried out on a small number of specific medical conditions. More evidence is needed to confirm whether gua sha is an effective treatment.

 

 

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