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Scraping therapy

Scraping Therapy for Headaches

Scraping therapy (gua sha) is an old and popular folk remedy throughout China. Its Chinese name, "Gua" means to scrape, while "Sha" refers to reddish skin patches that created by scraping. From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, many health problems are due to invasion of pathogens that leads to a sluggish flow in the meridians and poor distribution of blood and qi. Scraping therapy promotes the flow of blood and qi, activates the meridians, and induces perspiration to expel pathogens from the body surface, thus facilitating the recovery of the body. The appearing of "Sha" indicates that the pathogens are being released, individuals may feel relax or refreshed after treatment.

Modern study has showed that scraping on the skin can activate the nervous system, accelerate the blood and lymphatic flows, raise metabolic rate, and thus improve the body's defense against disease. Scraping techniques are easy to learn, it can be a useful and convenient way for relieving common ailments like common cold, sunstroke, stomach upset, dizziness, headache, chest stuffiness, diarrhea, indigestion, travel or motion sickness. Below are the scraping therapies for headaches.

Nipping to relieve headaches
Select body regions like the temples (Ex-Hn 5), middle of the eyebrows (Ex-Hn 3) and the sides of the skull base (Gb 20). Before the process, the areas and fingers are moistened with water, then use two fingers (the forefinger and middle finger, or the thumb and forefinger) to nip the skin forcefully and repeatedly. Nip for about 6-8 times in each region, until there appear ellipse-shaped patch on the skin.

Scraping to relieve headache and dizziness due to sunstroke
Clean and wipe the neck and upper back. Select a smooth-edged tool like horn blade or jade, dip into vegetable oil or warm water, then scrape along the sides of the neck, always scrape in the same direction, apply consistently and enhance the strength gradually. Scrape for 10~20 times in one side, till a reddish stripe appear on the skin. Afterward, scrape or rub the temples (Ex-Hn 5).

Don't scrape the areas again if the skin patches have not faded. Scraping therapy is NOT suitable for individuals who are too skinny, have skin lesions, a tendency to bleed easily or those with severe conditions.

Nipping to create therapeutic effects
Nipping to create therapeutic effects