My most unusual souvenir from Beijing

Yes, that is my back.  No, the Chinese government did not give me lashings as I went through customs.  Though it looks like something from The Passion, this is something that I paid to have done to me.  It's referred to as "gua sha" or skin scraping and it is a Chinese Medicinal practice that is supposed to remove disease and sickness from your body.  The red you see is not bruising, it's sub-cutaneous blemishing caused by the extravasation of blood from the peripheral capillaries.  

First she oiled my back and gave me a mini massage.  Then she proceeded to run her rock down the sides of my spine enough times to not really hurt, but to the point where I would tell myself, "If she does it one more time I'm saying 'ow!'"  Then she moved on to my other meridians, at least I guess that what she was doing since it's pretty symmetrical.

Danny and I just didn't do this with no knowledge of it, my friend has had it done multiple times before, and for the equivalent of $5 USD each, we had to give it a try.  I really felt light and mobile and awake after having it done.  Though I must say that it was uncomfortable during the process and it was sore like a bruise the next day on the flight home.

Would I do it again?  Only in China.


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  2. Was it a medical professional who did the procedure? "WOW".