Gua sha therapy or scraping therapy has a very long history. In 1337, a physician of the Yuan Dynasty named Wei Yi lin wrote a document called, “In Effective Formulas Handed Down for Generations.” The document says, “Scrape the surface of the wrist, knee, elbow, and neck with wet hemp until miliary cutaneous bleeding occurs. Drape the body with quilts quilts and thick clothes. Then, orally take in fresh Chinese onion tea, decoction of fermented soybean and Chinese green onion, and a little rice porridge. The sickness will be healed after sweating. This is a good way to relax and loosen the skin.”
The book provides a systematic narrative of Gua sha therapy. This is a method that involves the scraping of the surface of the skin of certain areas of the body to open the pores so as to eliminate the pathological evils in order to treat a certain condition.
There ought to be miliary bleeding below the skin in various degrees after scraping. Gua sha is considered folk medicine technique that has no systematic theoretical basis. It is often used to treat bodily pain (pain the legs, back, shoulders, neck, etc.), acute entero-gastritis, heatstroke, fever, and colds.
The tools used in gua sha tools are made of smooth edged materials like buffalo horn, jade tool, bamboo plates, silver coins, or chinaware, lubricated with vegetable oil, alcohol, or water.
Over time, along with the buildup of medical knowledge and the rise of modern medical science, this ancient folk medicine method was slowly forgotten; however in areas where medical care was lacking, like in rural areas, this technique was still being used to alleviate common ailments.
But along with the good health the comforts of civilization enjoyed by people in modern times brought about by new medical skills and the advance of technology, people also experienced illnesses brought by the side-effects of synthetic medications, ecological imbalance and environmental pollution.
In China, because of adverse drug reactions, there have been up to 192,000 deaths each year. Drug-the number of people who have died due to drugs are ten times the number of those who died from infectious diseases.
More and more people are realizing that the more advanced the techniques are, the more serious the crisis becomes. This has forced some to turn to natural healing methods that have worked for thousands of years. Gua sha therapy is one of these methods and it being used by a growing number of people because of its simple application, inexpensiveness, zero side effects, and obvious effectiveness.
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