The Cure for the Common Cold

About two days ago, I could feel a cold brewing.  Like anyone, I immediately went down to a nearby foot-massage place and had them give me a back-scraping, or “gua-sha”, producing the result in the above shown photo.

Ok, maybe not quite like anyone…

About 8 years ago, my wife’s grandmother noticed that had the sniffles and insisted on giving me a gua sha.  I had no idea what it was and agreed to humor her, which was much easier than saying no to her.  She was a very persistent lady.  A lot like a pit-bull, or a really angry Shar-Pei (she was very old and, well…saggy).

She sits me down, backwards, onto a chair, and then lifts the back of my shirt.  Before I could ask what the hell she was doing, she started smearing my back with tiger-balm and then scraping a dull, ceramic blade down the length of my spine.  It didn’t feel good.  At all.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who enjoyed a gua sha.  And I lost my gua sha virginity using super, industrial strength tiger-balm as a lube, which does not make the experience more pleasant.  In fact, it feels like your back is on fucking fire for about a half hour after.  But even if they’re using lavender baby-oil, it still feels like the person is trying to scrape your skin off, really slowly, one layer at a time.

BUT, the next day my cold was completely gone.  Over the course of the last 8 years or so, It’s worked every time I’ve tried it.  I’m a convert.  For 20 min of excruciating pain, I can miss out on several days of having a head cold.  To me, it’s a fine trade-off.

I have no idea how it works and fully realize that it sounds like voodoo, superstition bullshit.  But I will say that I’ve had a gua sha when I wasn’t sick.  It wasn’t comfortable, but it didn’t HURT and although my back got a little red, it was nothing like the above picture.  But when your sick, it DOES hurt, by Jesus.  And your pores open up and this clear shit comes out of your skin.  The Chinese medicine doctors I’ve spoken with say it’s just helping your biggest organ release toxins.  I have no medical background to support this claim…but the fact that it’s made me feel better, within 24 hrs, every single time I’ve done it makes me think they might be on to something.

Also…a new section:

My Spawn’s Quote of the Week:

My (almost) 4 year old <to my wife>  – “I’m not your slave.”

Can’t wait until she’s 13.

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Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 4:33 am  Leave a Comment