Muscle Scraping: 6 Super Benefits & Side Effects

Is Gua Sha beneficial for you? Can Gua Sha therapy help in alleviating the pain? You must have heard about several muscle scraping methods from your favorite celebrities or influencers you admire.

Gua sha is also one of the most commonly practiced muscle scraping techniques1 nowadays. Beginning in East Asia, China, now, this therapy has covered most countries.

If you are also thinking of having an experience, then hold on!

Listening to your influencers isn’t enough. You need to search, see and then implement. This blog will give you a complete guide to muscle scraping, starting from the origin of the pros and cons of Gua Sha. 

So, without further delay, let’s jump ahead!

1. Origin of Muscle Scraping

Muscle scraping also known as Gua Sha, or Guasha started building its roots in ancient China. Considering it as a folk therapy, muscle scraping was discovered between 1368 to 1644. During the Ming Dynasty (around 700 years back), when people used to fall ill or were caught by severe diseases, then muscle scraping methods and techniques were used to heal them. 

During the Paleolithic age, the Chinese were accustomed to sharp coins or stones to massage and cure diseases and illnesses. According to East Asian people, this therapy can cure and may become a curse for the practitioner. This is known to be a natural method for the Chinese to maintain their fitness and health.

2. Muscle Scraping? What Does it Mean?

Muscle scraping is the process of scraping or rubbing a sharp tool or coin on the parts of the body in accordance to scrap the muscles. Muscle scraping is also known as Gua sha. The term Gua Sha is divided into two different words- 

Gua means to scrape, and Sha means sand. This therapy leads to minor bruises, which turn into blue or black marks known as Petechia or Sha.

The Gua Sha tools and devices have been changed and modernized according to the needs. It is produced using better materials, to rub the suitably greased-up zone of the body surface in upward strokes, or a quick and delicate however incredible scratching movement to loosen up solid muscles while diminishing torment and strain, treat certain sicknesses, and improve blood flow.

3. How Does it Work?

 Gua Sha utilizes a unique back rub apparatus to scratch the customer’s skin with short or long strokes to animate the course of the blood on the delicate tissue, it is called microcirculation2. Nonetheless, it prompts an increment of the bloodstream in the entire region.

The instruments used for the therapy are known as a “Gua.” The expert first applies oil to knead the body part that will be scratched and afterward snatches the smooth-edged instrument to scratch the skin of the particular territory in a descending movement.

Be prepared for bleeding if you have delicate skin.

The antiquated Chinese and the individuals who practice Gua Sha accept, this training will help the progression of stale energy of the “Chi” and lessen the aggravation on the body part that is being dealt with.

Gua Sha has made its mark on the most well-known regions: the jawline, nose, chin, back, neck, arms, and legs.

4. Different tools for Muscle Scraping

Different muscle scraping tools vary in shape, uses, and sharpness. Various scraping tool differs according to the body parts.

4.1 Medical Grade Stainless Steel Gua Sha

This scratching knead apparatus is ideal for throbbing legs and your back. It is long and has a bend that shapes your body for the best scratching. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressing force, which permits the vast majority to utilize this with no issues.

It assists with decreasing hand and wrist strains as you knead by keeping pressure off of those muscles.

4.2 All-Show Scraping Tools

In case you’re searching for an across-the-board instrument to help lessen irritation and increment bloodstream, at that point, this scrubber by All Show is great.

It permits you to switch the points up and utilize the scrubber from your head to your feet for general comfort. It has diverse molded sides for more modest and more prominent zones of the body.

5. What’s Qi or Chi?

In case you’re keen on trying gua sha, you need to get Qi or Chi- a part of Chinese medication. In Eastern medicine, Qi is the energy stream all through your body.

When gua sha is played out, the once stale energy would now be able to stream all the more openly, which can help alleviate hurts and solidness. The reason is that once Qi is moving, a once-divided framework can interface and orchestrate as one.

6. Muscle Scraping-Benefits and Side Effects

Just like a coin has both sides- head, and tail, likewise, muscle scraping also acquires both benefits as well as drawbacks. Hence, before practicing it, you should be aware of both sides.

7. Benefits of Muscle Scraping

7.1. Heals Migraine

Do you suffer from migraine issues3? Can’t find yourself serene and peaceful? If the answer is yes, then muscle scraping is for you. Muscle scraping helps you heal your internal issues in the brain.

This ancient healing method helps in redirecting your brain in a better and more natural way.

7.2. Pain Relief

Studies propose that muscle scratching can assist with easing post-exercise aggravation4 and torment. One investigation found that subjects who detailed persistent neck torment experienced huge improvement after just a single seven-day stretch of utilizing muscle scratching.

7.3. Neck Pain

It should be focused on the specific region of the neck; then the pain can be reduced. Proper treatment of muscle scraping helps you increase the blood flow in the neck and get relief from the pain. 

Here’s something more for you!

7.4. Upgrades Your Energy

As the old Chinese accept, Gua Sha will help the flow of stale energy, otherwise called the “Chi.” The outcomes are that the energy will stream around the body much better, bringing about an increment in the entire body’s energy leaves.

That implies that individuals accepting the treatment will probably feel greatly improved and stimulated in the coming days.

7.5. Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is one of the common diseases, affecting the liver in severe ways, amongst a child to an adult. Muscle scraping may help in the reduction of the disease and bring you up with a healthy liver

7.6. Breast Congestion

Bosom engorgement is a condition experienced by many breastfeeding ladies. This is the point at which the bosoms overload with milk. It generally happens in the primary long stretches of breastfeeding or if the mother is away from the newborn child under any circumstances.

Breasts become swollen and excruciating, making it hard for children to hook. This is typically a brief condition. Practicing muscle scraping may help with breast congestion5.

8. Side Effects of Muscle Scraping

Everything needs perfection and care. Likewise, muscle scraping also needs care and focus while performing. However, like every other thing that has side effects or limitations, muscle scraping also consists of side effects.

8.1. Redness of Skin

One of the most common side effects is the redness of the skin. After the treatment, your skin may appear red and contain severe bruises due to scraping. 

Practitioners with soft and delicate skin may acquire severe side effects as compared to others.

8.2. Tissue Injury

If a truly exorbitant pressing force is utilized on the muscles, this can tear the film that covers them. Albeit not normal, this degree of tissue injury can prompt muscle growth and rhabdomyolysis or “rhabdo,” an uncommon however hazardous condition wherein muscles discharge a protein that can strain the kidneys.

If you experience rhabdo side effects, including post-therapy like fever, tipsiness, pressing force, warmth, or expanding redness in the treated zone, after gua sha, you should look for surefire clinical consideration.

The skin ought not to be broken because of gua sha scratching. While broken skin isn’t normal, there is an opportunity for this can happen and represent the danger of the disease.

This is one reason why it’s essential to such an extent that professionals sanitize their devices between customers. You ought to likewise make a point to clean your devices between home employments.

9. Take Away Something More!

Gua sha is an antiquated, non-obtrusive Chinese treatment that utilizes an instrument to rub or scratch the skin’s surface in long strokes. The rubbing and scraping procedure’s objective is to help move energy, known as Qi or Chi, around the body, preventing several diseases like Hepatitis B, aid pains, or aches.

When this treatment is worked on utilizing severe strokes of pressing force, it becomes dangerous. The more noteworthy the pressing element used with any gua sha treatment, the higher the probability of unfavorable results.

Advantages may include diminished agony, expanded dissemination, enhancements in bosom engorgement and lymph stream, and a decrease in cellulite, breakouts, and indications of maturing.

10. FAQs

Q. What does muscle scraping entail?

The therapist lubricates the tool before applying it to the skin during a muscle scraping session to reduce friction. The afflicted soft tissues are then softly scraped or glided over with the tool using precise motions and procedures. The scraping motion encourages blood flow to the area, reduces tissue adhesions, and realigns collagen fibers, all of which can speed up the healing process.

Q. Can I scrape my muscles at home?

Although certain equipment can be used at home, it’s crucial to get the right instruction and direction from a licensed healthcare practitioner before attempting muscle scraping on your own. Inappropriate technique or too much pressure could cause skin injury or exacerbate an already problematic situation.

Q. Does muscle scraping have any risks?

Muscle scraping is often safe when done by a certified and experienced therapist. Avoiding locations with open wounds, infections, or fractures is crucial. This treatment should also not be used on people with specific medical issues or bleeding disorders. Always get medical advice to establish whether muscle scraping is appropriate for your particular problem.

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  1. Xu, Qing-yan, et al. “Effects of different scraping techniques on body surface blood perfusion volume and local skin temperature of healthy subjects.” Journal of traditional Chinese medicine 31.4 (2011): 316-320. ↩︎
  2. Tuma, Ronald F., Walter N. Durán, and Klaus Ley, eds. Microcirculation. Vol. 4. Academic Press, 2011. ↩︎
  3. Lipton, Richard B., et al. “Methodological issues in studying trigger factors and premonitory features of migraine.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 54.10 (2014): 1661-1669. ↩︎
  4. Barnes, Matthew J., Toby Mündel, and Stephen R. Stannard. “Acute alcohol consumption aggravates the decline in muscle performance following strenuous eccentric exercise.” Journal of science and medicine in sport 13.1 (2010): 189-193.
  5. Sbitany, Hani, et al. “Strategies for recognizing and managing intraoperative venous congestion in abdominally based autologous breast reconstruction.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery 129.4 (2012): 809-815. ↩︎

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Tripti Bhainsora
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