An Australian tourist in Bali was left shocked when he discovered huge red marks across his back following what he thought was just a relaxing massage.
Candise Raison and her husband Matthew, from Paringa in South Australia, were six days into their holiday in Bali when they decided to treat themselves to a massage.
Ms Raison said that they decided to order a ‘go jek’ massage – a service where the masseur comes to you – as they were too tired to go out.
When it came to her husband’s turn, the masseur asked if he wanted to ‘get the red dragon out of him’.
Thinking the masseur perhaps wanted to ‘try some prayer thing’, Ms Raison said: ‘I don’t know what you’re saying but my husband will try anything, go for it!’
She then describes how the masseur started carving her husband’s body with a coin, telling them that by tomorrow it will be a ‘red dragon’.
This type of treatment is called gua sha and is designed to release impurities from muscle tissue.
The next day, Mr Raison’s back was pictured with huge red marks across it, spanning from the top of his neck right down to his tailbone.
However, Mr Raison is pictured smiling and Ms Raison also saw the funny side.
‘Fair to say we were all in tears of laughter,’ she said.
The couple had been travelling in Bali with Ms Raison’s sister when they got the unconventional massage, but Ms Raison said that the treatment worked wonders for her husband’s chronic back pain.
Mr Raison works for SA Networks on the power lines and Ms Raison said that he had been complaining about his sore back for the past three years.
‘He hasn’t complained about a sore back since!’ she said.
‘He said it felt like an itch waiting to be itched, and then when it finally got scratched it was fantastic!’
Ms Raison said that the marks didn’t break the skin and five days after the massage, Mr Raison’s back was almost back to normal.
‘The marks are still slightly there but almost non-existent,’ she said.
‘It’s something he will most likely get again with the way he enjoyed it.’
What is gua sha?
- Gua sha is an Asian medical practice where the side of a coin is rubbed in parallel stripes on the chest and back
- In English-speaking countries, it is often referred to as ‘scraping’ ‘spooning’ or ‘coining’
- In China, the practice is called gua sha, in Indonesia it is called kerokan and in Vietnam and Cambodia it is called cao gio
- The technique is believed to release unhealthy body matter from sore, tired, stiff or injured muscles and stimulate new, oxygenated blood flow
- Folk belief states that gua sha can treat symptoms of the common cold such as nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness and fainting
- After treatment, people tend to feel tired and sleepy but will feel refreshed after several hours of sleep
- Some people also take painkillers after the treatment
- The practice concludes with a massage using different aromatic oils
Source: The Conversation