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Some people rub ice cubes on their shoulders to alleviate shoulder pain, while others are convinced that stretching alone can help prevent muscle injuries. But what is the key to a life with healthier muscles? We would say the magic word is Gua Sha.
This mystery treatment first originated from traditional Chinese medicine. With gemstones, the skin and muscles are stroked to remove stagnant energy or lymph fluid from the body. The primary purpose of the massage is to revitalize the body and restore its active flow.
Traditionally, Gua Sha massages were performed by a well-trained masseuse, but nowadays, Gua Sha can be performed in your own home's comfort. A technique that can release tension and improve blood circulation and overall muscle mobility, Gua Sha promises to boost your well-being and health.
If you experience tightness in your shoulders or feel there's always built-up tension in this area, Gua Sha can be used on your neck and upper back to help break down connective tissue and release stress.
Before starting the massage, apply some oil or body cream on your back, so your back doesn't get hurt during the scraping. Generally, you can start around the neck area and work your way down, up until the lats.
Suppose you suffer from stiff shoulders, and your deltoids are tight. In that case, you might consider doing Gua Sha on your rotator cuffs, which are a group of tendons and muscles that provide stability and support the arm's flexibility to rotate horizontally and vertically.
A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, so if you want to expose some of the rotator cuff muscles, try and put your hand behind your back and ask a friend to use the massage tool all over them.
Mostly, it's advised to go in one direction, from up to down generally, but you can alternate the movements, especially when you discover a tender or a trigger point in the muscle.
A light to medium pressure the shoulders promotes healing and breaks up the connective tissue and other adhesions in this area. If done repeatedly, this Chinese scraping can also improve bad postures and bring more mobility to your shoulders and neck.
After the treatment, bruises and skin redness may persist for up to four days as other healing processes occur in the body.
The increased blood flow also activates the metabolism, which can mean that you might have to go to the toilet after the massage. There may also be a change in urine and stool due to the body detoxifying and flushing out waste products. After the treatment, you should drink enough water or tea to support the detoxification of your body.
People who regularly do Gua Sha massages often say that results can be seen only after a few days of treatment, so we suggest you try Gua Sha for yourself and see the real benefits of this ancient massage.