Gua Sha therapy or Scraping therapy has a very long history of use and has originated as a folk healing tradition. The Chinese physician Wei Yiling wrote the Effective Formulas Handed Down for Generations in 1337. This text says, “Scrape the surface of the wrist, knee, elbow, and neck wrist with wet hemp until miliary cutaneous bleeding occurs. Wrap the body with quilts and thick clothes. Then, eat fresh Chinese onion tea or a decoction of fermented soybean and Chinese green onion with a little rice porridge. The sickness will get cured after sweating. This method is an effective way of relaxing and loosening the skin.”
Wei Yiling’s book had just described a methodical account of gua sha therapy. This technique works by scraping the skin surface of certain regions of the body to dilate the pores so as to remove pathological evils for therapeutic purposes.
There should be miliary bleeding beneath the skin in varying levels after the therapy. Gua Sha is an ancient practice used as folk medicine without standardized theoretical basis primarily used in the treatment of leg, back, and shoulder pain as well as for acute enterogastritis, heatstroke, fever, common colds etc.
The tools used in gua sha are made up of materials with smooth edges. This may include buffalo horn, jade tool, bamboo plates, silver coins, or chinaware emolliated with vegetable oil, alcohol or water.
However, due to the accumulation of medical knowledge and the rise of modern medical science, gua sha was slowly abandoned, except in poor provinces where there was a shortage of modem medical care. It was still used there to treat simple illnesses.
In modern times, however, while people are enjoying good health and the comforts of civilization mainly because of the development of new medical skills and modern technology, they also are inflicted with injury to their health caused by the side-effects of pharmaceutical medicines, ecological imbalance, and environmental pollution.
Recently, the Health Ministry of China released a report provided by the Center Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring showing that up to 192,000 deaths occur each year among hospitalized patients due to negative drug reactions. Deaths caused by medications are 10 times greater than the number of fatalities due to infectious diseases.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that the more advanced technology becomes, the more severe the problem becomes. So, medical workers are forced to consider certain natural modalities offered by traditional medicine as the new therapeutic procedures. Gua sha or scraping therapy, in this instance, is being accepted more and more due to its simple use, zero side effects and undeniable effectiveness.