Gua Sha and the body massage.. OMG


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I had never heard of it until I came to China.. and now I have seen just about everything.   I live in the southern part of China close to Shanghai so it gets pretty warm here in the summer.. well actually it gets damn hot.  I being from Florida don’t mind it much.. but I noticed that the Chinese here cannot handle the heat very well.

Once you get past the sight of everyone walking down the street with umbrellas to protect their lily white skin...(well.. lily yellow white) .. I started noticing people with big red circles on their backs, arms and long red marks down their necks and even on their faces… at first I thought that these people were getting the hell beat out of them… and that there was some kind of gang beating up people.

Then I noticed my Chinese co-worker also having these markings.  So.. of course I asked them…”what the hell is wrong with your neck?” … sometimes.. I forget to be pleasant when I see crazy stuff.  They told me that it is a kind of massage for heat stroke.  I said… you all are having heat strokes?  So you scratch yourself up???   They called it Gua Sha… (Chinese: 刮痧; pinyin: guā shā)… As you all know I had to check it out….

First online…. an ancient medical treatment..loosely translated as “to scrape away disease by allowing the disease to escape as sandy-looking objects through the skin”

Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edge. Commonly a  Chinese soup spoon was used, or a well-worn coin, even honed animal bones, water buffalo horn, or jade. A simple metal cap with a rounded edge is commonly used. In cases of fatigue from heavy work a piece of ginger root soaked in rice wine is sometimes used to rub down the spine from head to tail. The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and then moved down the muscles, along the surface of the skin, with each stroke being about 4-6 inches long. This causes extravasation of blood from the peripheral capillaries and may result in sub-cutaneous blemishing , which usually takes 2-4 days to fade. Sha rash does not represent capillary rupture as in bruising, as is evidenced by the immediate fading and the rapid resolution of sha as compared to bruising. The color of sha varies according to the severity of the patient’s blood stasis — which may correlate with the nature, severity and type of their disorder –appearing from a dark blue-black to a light pink, but is most often a shade of red. Although the marks on the skin look painful, they are not. Patients typically feel immediate sense of relief and change.Practitioners tend to follow the tradition they were taught to obtain sha: typically using either gua sha or fire-cupping. The techniques are not used together.

Then I had to see it in person… unfortunately, the time came quickly because my husband started feeling a little ill.  He told me he needed to go to the massage parlor for “Gua Sha”… I said .. I want to come alone.. one to see.. how it was done and two… I just cannot have my man going to a massage parlor alone.. just does not feel right to me… (the american visual of a happy ending.. still sticks in my mind) … anyway.. I went.. and I was freaked out.. and almost had to leave.

They took his clothes off.. except for his underwear.. and started pulling out these little fish bowl looking-glass things.  They would take fire and make the bowl hot then stick it on his body.  All over his body… then his skin would be sucked up into the glass bowl…. this is supposed to suck the poison out of his body through his skin.

He looked miserable.. and the hot glass bowls looked painful.. but he assured me that it did not hurt.  (I still do not believe him) … this lasted about an hour.. until they had them all over his body.. they then slowly begin to take the bowls off… and his body had large bright red circle all over…. it looked like someone had beat him with a baseball bat.

However, he got up and said he felt better… just that quick.. I was amazed and sickened at the same time.  I asked him .. if you did not feel well could you of just taken a Tylenol.. and a nap? But.. he swears that this is what makes him feel better…

The little massage doctor asked me if I wanted to try it… I was like.. uhh.. no thanks  I will pass…

Afterward… we sat in the massage room and drank green tea and has some fruit.. while we laid there and watched TV… It was peaceful.. and my husband seemed to be getting better by the minute.  After about a half hour, the guy came back in .. and declared that my honey could go home.   I was still a little shaky from seeing the torture.. but beginning to think that it was kind of magic since my husband was almost completely back to normal.

As we were leaving the private room… I noticed others in different states of undress.. and having acupuncture needles and different kinds of Gua Sha being done to them… even some people being rubbed down with some BenGay like substance… that was actually heated up in a little pot.

This place was very intriguing… and I actually wanted to explore a little more.. but .. my husband said.. that most people did not want a foreigner all up in their business… while they were not feeling well.   Which I had to agree would be kind of invasion of privacy.

I asked what other services were available at this place.. and I was told foot massages, and body massages were also popular.  Humm… I was definitely wanting to try one of those.

After we got home.. I called my girlfriends and asked them .. if they wanted to go with me to the foot massage place .. so we could get our massage on… they were in agreement… and we decided to meet the next weekend to experience the massages.

Unlike myself.. my husband was okay with me going with my girlfriends.. to the massage place.   So.. the three of us met after work.. around 9:30 pm… at the place.

We were quickly brought into a private room.. and with one of my friends being Chinese we had an interpreter handy.. to read the menu for us.  We decided on the full body massage, that included a foot massage… might as well get the works.   We also requested men.. not women to give our massages… (yeah.. we wanted hot men)… after a 15 minute wait… our guys arrived carrying water and towels.

I got the biggest guy… (i am assuming because in China I am the biggest woman).. my Irish friend got the medium-sized man.. and my Chinese friend the little guy.   She was a bit disappointed because he was not as strong or as handsome as the others… but we just told her… make do… because we are okay… (smile)

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They began with a foot massage… I have to say .. this was the most painful massage I have ever had in my life… I felt like this guy was trying to tear my feet off my body.  (smile)… I had to tell him time and time again.. to take it easy… whew… he was hitting pressure points and everything else.. and had the nerve to tell me that my feet has some kind of sickness.. I was like .. yeah .. now they do after you just poked the hell out of them.

My Chinese friend on the middle bed.. was laughing because her guy was tickling her feet… they told her.. if your feet are this sensitive it means you will be afraid of your husband…. I was like .. what kind of crazy Chinese folk tale is that… but they claimed it was true… luck for me.. I wasn’t ticklish.

Soon.. they were working their way up to my legs… here is where they started taking their fists and beating on my legs.. and then squeezing them.. taking turns doing both… this … felt amazing… I could have laid there forever having that guy massage my legs and thighs… although he did get a little close to the “kitty cat”…. but .. by that time.. I was floating on air.. so I did not care…. he went to my arms.. and started the same process… until I was like butter.. then they told us the would be right back….

As we waited… we discussed how cute the guys were and how able their hands were… whew.. I really need my husband to take some classes and learn how to do this.

As the men came back they carried what looked like socks filled with beans… these beans were hot… so I am thinking roasted beans.. or little rocks… what ever they were…. they had us lay on our stomachs.. as they rubbed these hot bean/rock filled socks all over out bodies… that was better than sex… actually I started to moan a little… and so did the other girls… we then thought it would be funny to pretend to have orgasms…. and make the sounds louder… the faces on these men were priceless… since we were a little loud … they told us to shhh.. because the boss would hear and think they were doing bad things to us… that made us laugh even more.

After the sock rock massage.. they used their hands.. and started at the neck and worked their way down to our toes… Now let me just tell you guys.. this.. was the best feeling I have ever had… these boys knew exactly what to do to please this woman… whew… I just closed my eyes.. and forgot I was not alone with this man.  I just let him touch me all over…. magic fingers is all I have to say….When they were done with us.. they told us that when we come back to ask for them…. my guys number was 25…. I said.. number 25 do you make house calls…. this brought a round of laughter….My Irish friend was over there telling her guy.. she loved him… (smile)… the Chinese girl just kept saying .. more.. give me more….

After they left the room… we laid there for another 20 minutes drinking our tea and just really unable to move….. of course.. as I was laying in ecstasy aftermath… my cell rang and it was my husband .. asking me if I was okay.. because I had been gone for 3 hours… I was like ..what…?  We had a 3 hour massage… time sure does fly.. when you are in heaven….(smile)

We then got ourselves.. together.. and walked out of the room… our little guys were standing in the lobby area.. as we were paying… (60 rmb… about $8.50)…I had to turn to the number 25  guy… blow him a kiss and say.. thank you.. because.. I was totally satisfied…. and if that is a happy ending… I will be there every week…..

until next time….

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21 thoughts on “Gua Sha and the body massage.. OMG

  1. Randy....

    Oh… That massage sounds awesome! Where they married… i know irrelevant. haha
    Wow Gua sha! learn something new everyday! It made him better so quickly? I need to go get me some fish bowls. I think they did Gua Sha in the Karate Kid movie me. Great story!

  2. pearls

    The pain probably would have stopped if I had taken aspirin or its equivalent, but I don’t keep it in my medicine cabinet and don’t like it! I just waited it out naturally! After the discomfort passed, I felt like I was 200%!

  3. pearls

    Now….I believe I can share my Gua Sha experience with the glass bowls! Girl, I’m still trying to regain my composure everytime I see this post! LOL!

    Okay…now I believe I have myself under control to tell you about my experience with this detoxing technique! Some years ago, on my search to improve my health, I found an alternative institute and practice that included this procedure which was unknown to me at the time. The chiropractor, who was trained in this field (being certificatory is a must for me) explained in detail the procedure and what to expect, including any aftermath reactions. Then told me that it would be best for me to relax at home the next day (this was on a Friday) because with in 24 hours, I’ll be cursing his name! Of course, I inquired why?!! He said that some people react and experience to a greater degree or lesser degree the toxins leaving their bodies! Especially, for a person that hasn’t detoxed before or often. Well, after preparing my back for the procedure, the heated glass bowls wasn’t bad at all. The smooth warm rocks soothed my skin and the massage was great! Girl, there’s NOTHING like a man’s hands, seriously! Then about mid-day on Saturday, I experienced the toxins being released from with in my body, as if trying to find a way out! I had such pain in my back that I thought about looking up his home phone number! No, not to curse him out, but to inquire, how to get RELIEF (actually, I had to let physiology take its course)! I couldn’t believe the PAIN! Nothing I did relieved it! No stretching, shower (tried-but my back didn’t want anything touching it), yoga breathing exercises, NOTHING! So, I drank plenty of water with lemon slices in it, and drank herbal teas used for infection removal and immune system building! I didn’t curse his name, but called on the name that’s above every name, until it passed!

    Now you have my experience with it! Would I do it again, yes…only this time I would be more consistent with having it done, and then only after doing a full body cleanse, first! Be Blessed!

    1. ah..ha… see… i knew there was a reason i didnt want to try that mess.. me and pain… are not good friends… especially pain i cant stop… i would have been stalking that doctor… ohhh no… not this chicky-doo….somethings I will leave to the chinese.. hehehe…

  4. Tori

    I’ve been around your blog for a few weeks, and I just have to say that I love reading about your adventures (haha). When in a completely different culture with a different language beyond the honeymoon phase, the only way to survive is to act a little crazy and have fun sometimes, right

  5. pearls

    Okay! You leave me no other choice than to download and print out your photo! Once there, I’ll hit every massage parlor in the area inquiring if they have a #25 masseur (a big guy) on the premises! I’ll show them your photo and ask, “Have you seen this woman? Has she been here before? She’s my sister (no, it’s not a lie, sistah [making a fist]!) ! I’m making a surprise visit since her wedding reception is coming up very soon! Please help me, it’s very urgent that I know this!” LOL! I ‘Heart’ you Too!

    P.S. How wonderfully conscious they are as to pair the women off with men equivalent to their body frame! You and your friends were too funny when it came to the responses about the men selected to do the massages, respectively! But in the end, looks or build didn’t really matter did it! …….do you make house calls….saying I love you…..asking for more….Hilarious! Nope! It didn’t matter one bit! LOL! I love you too, girl! Your blog makes my day! Be Blessed!

    1. ohhh.. its like that.. you would call a sista out.. and show her photo around town..thank goodness you cant speak the language.. hehehe .. actually.. since I am the only Black American woman in the city… it would not be that difficult. Hehehe…

      Yeah.. since I have come to China.. i have had foreign people come and go.. I am the one that stays here.. so it is always interesting to take other foreigners with me.. to experience new things…since they are as surprised as I am… and the Irish girl.. tends to be a bit like us Americans.. so she is all for the excitement. I will miss her when she leaves and goes home..

      As for the massage men… You are correct.. it was actually.. quite observant of them to match us with men that can give us the proper massage.. due to our body structure.. As I always tell my coworkers…. the Chinese are some clever people.. even if they are a bit crazy sometimes… I have to say.. the boys were all single… we had to ask… hehehehe…not that it mattered to me of course…

  6. randomthoughtsfromcali

    Okay, now that I’m about to go to sleep I know you’re awake and getting this so, the first thing I want to mention is that I would like the bulbs from my bathroom lights returned to me immediately. HAHA

    I love those little beds and the rock socks sound delish. Sometimes with a male massage therapist, the actual “feeling good” parts comes when he’s finished. Did you find that to be true?

  7. Hi new to your blog,
    Your experience was funny :-). If I were in china I would love to try it. I loved the part about you and your friends making noises lol… hilarious

  8. pearls

    Girl, I’m HOWLING with tears rolling down my face right now! Meow!!! Purrrrrrrr! Okay, I’ll behave! But you all surely didn’t! Too funny! Too funny! By the way, I’m going to get my passport ready! I’ve already noted #25!! What’s the name of that massage parlor? Do they accept tips! Eventhough I’m petite, I have some tension that I need #25 to work out of my muscles and also apply the needed pressure to my pressure points! LOL!

    Girl, I’m so through over here! I can’t stop laughing and can bearly type this. All I can say is YES! I second that!

    I was going to share my personal experience about having the Gua Sha procedure and the warm smooth rocks done on my back, but it won’t come anywhere near topping THIS!

    LROFOL! Your husband’s radar is forever alert! That’s a good thing!

    I’m going to reread this for sure!

    1. @Pearls… Honey.. i love you to death but I am sorry.. I cant let you have number #25… his magic fingers are only for my back… although i can lend him to you for your feet… I am still having issues with that…. As for my husband.. he is wonderful.. but.. always all up in my business…(smile)… I was only trying to get the .. Kinks out of my back.. and legs, and neck.. and arms…. mmmmmm

  9. randomthoughtsfromcali

    Coming back to read this in its entirety after coffee. I really should take up sleeping. Apparently, that too, is all the rage.

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