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Gua sha Therapy: A Natural Remedy for Common Childhood Ailments - Efficient, Effective and Safe

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Gua sha Journal - A Blog About Everything Gua sha by Clive Witham/Gua sha Therapy: A Natural Remedy for Common Childhood Ailments - Efficient, Effective and Safe

The Benefits of Gua sha Scraping Therapy for Children

One of the great strengths of Gua sha scraping therapy is that it can be used on children of all ages. It can be used with some confidence with the common ailments that most children suffer from like occasional stomach aches, colds, coughs, headaches, fevers and tight muscles. Instead of heading for the medicine box and giving your child pharmaceutical pills, give Gua sha a try. It works so well that you'll be amazed that you didn't know about this before.

My Personal Experience with Gua sha and My Son

I'm an acupuncturist and my number two son, Keigo, is not a lover of needles. Well, in fact, who is? But he really, really doesn't like acupuncture needles. They don't hurt him of course but he just doesn't like the idea. He has to be seriously distracted by some genuine sickness for him to allow me to even come close with anything sharp. This is where Gua sha comes in. A Gua sha tool is a lot friendlier, less invasive and all round nicer in the eyes of a child. And more than a few adults come to think of it.

Gua sha for children on my son in Bournemouth, UK

Important Considerations When Using Gua sha on Children

When treating children with Gua sha scraping therapy, there are some important points to note. The obvious one is that if the child you are treating is not your own, their parent or guardian should be present at all times and be completely informed. But I'm just going to presume you're treating your own kids.

So How Do I Do It? - The Gua sha Scraping Therapy Process Explained

You spread some lubricating oil over your child's skin in the place you want to treat and then scrape a Gua sha tool gently over the area. That's it. It really isn't very complicated.

Why Happens When I Scrape? - Understanding the Science Behind Gua sha Scraping Therapy

As you scrape over with the side of the Gua sha tool, you are pushing down onto muscle, tendon and connective tissue. This may or may not cause the tissue bed to release blood cells into the space between your skin and tissue and if so, there will be red dots which appear in a group on the surface of the skin. This isn't a bruise and the capillaries remain unbroken. This is why it can look so strange.

Gua sha marks on the back after Gua sha treatment for children

But for these marks to come out you usually need two things. For there to be an issue in the tissue/ muscular area being scraped over and for there to be sufficient pressure of your tool (not much really) to activate the release.

Children are quite literally a big bundle of energy. If you look after any, you'll know this from personal experience, they have so much energy because they take yours! They're running around like crazy and you're flopped in a chair unable to lift your index finger. They therefore don't need much pressure in order for Gua sha to work. Please note however that if you have a teen or pre-teen who is in full adolescence angst, you going to have to use more! And expect lots of tension and therefore lots of marks.

What Benefits Does It Have? - What Does Gua Sha Scraping Therapy Do for Your Body

Studies show how it primarily restores unrestricted blood flow through a targeted tissue area. If that tissue area is somehow bunged up, then there can be symptoms either here where it is obstructed or somewhere seemingly unrelated on the body. It gets bunged up through a variety of reasons - perhaps due to repeated postural habits (eg. mobile use), perhaps due to being outside on a cold or windy day, perhaps stress from school etc. They may not even notice that anything is wrong.

How to Perform Gua sha Scraping Therapy at Home

Here is a video of how you hold the tool and scrape for the most common 'Wide stroke' technique.

Example Gua sha Treatment: How To Treat A Stomach Upset with Gua sha

1. Start with the mid-lower back. For obvious reasons it's right behind your stomach area but this region is closely connected to digestion. Scrape downwards with your Gua sha tool on the wide area of muscle either side of the spine. Feel for any tense areas and concentrate on those. Start lightly and increase pressure depending on age - the older your child is, the more chance to retain tension here.

Gua sha areas to scrape on lower back for stomach pain

2. Then move on to scrape the front of the thigh and on the outside muscle area of the lower leg with your Gua sha tool. Scrape downwards only. Skip over the knee area and stop before the ankle.

Gua sha areas to scrape on leg for stomach pain

3. Scrape down the palm and in particular follow the digestive organs zone. Press with the Gua sha tool on any sore spot.

Gua sha areas to scrape on palm of hand for stomach pain

If no marks come out onto the skin, you can repeat the Gua sha the following day, but if there are red or purple Gua sha marks, you need to wait a few days until they have faded.

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Hi, It's Clive

Director of Komorebi Institute

Hi, It's Clive

From researching underfunded healthcare in Uganda, to running a thriving chronic illness clinic in North Africa, to collaborating with hospitals in Sri Lanka to train staff and empower communities - My journey has been dedicated to democratizing access to beauty and health.

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