6 Eastern Therapies That Actually Work (Warning: One Might Hurt)
Editor's note: Eastern therapies are met with skepticism by many (myself included), yet evidence abounds that certain ones work. Charlotte, for one, found six treatments with sound science behind them. Some, like Gua Sha, may seem strange at first (see photo below and you'll understand why). But whether you end up trying them or not, you'll come away with a newfound respect for these alternatives. – Judy
Gua Sha is performed by a practitioner who first lubricates the skin with oils and then firmly "scrapes" the skin with repeated strokes using a round-edged instrument like a Chinese soupspoon, a blunt bottle cap or even an animal bone. The scraping is continued along the acupuncture or "balance meridians" until small red or purple spots, called "sha," appear on the skin. Depending on the pressure used, these spots range from subcutaneous blemishing to bruising or broken capillaries and may take several days to weeks to disappear. The name, gua sha, literally means "scrape sand" in Chinese and describes the goal of treatment which is to "scrape away disease by allowing the disease to escape as sandy-looking objects through the skin."