I have been dealing with a lot of pain and injury lately, and I'm not entirely sure of the cause. The most distracting injury currently is a tightness in my right shoulder, making retraction of my scapula pretty difficult.Practicing yoga daily is definitely helping but I have also been receiving chiropractic care on a weekly basis and have started receiving injury relief massage as well.
On Sunday I received my first acupuncture treatment accompanied with a bit of Gua-sha. I am by no means an expert in oriental medicine or acupuncture but I find the practice extremely fascinating. From what I was told, there are many different forms of acupuncture and the kind I was treated with targets the muscle nerves directly to help reset the muscles from the inside out, whereas something like massage helps to reset the muscle from the outside in. The sensation of acupuncture was completely new to me but I felt really relaxed and was a bit sore after treatment.
Gua-sha is an ancient practice of scraping that was more recently accredited and trademarked under the name of the Graston Technique, with special tools that cost $$$. It was explained to me as a way to help break down connective tissue adhesions. Below is an image of my shoulders right after the process. *It was not painful to receive, maybe a bit uncomfortable but really not bad.* The result looks pretty rough, but I was told it is the "bad blood" coming to the surface and being expelled by the body.
Even if you don't buy into Eastern medicine, from a western perspective it makes sense too, sore and/or tight muscles tend to hold on to waste and toxins and sometimes need help releasing. Bringing circulation to the area helps this process to happen, since blood brings nutrients to an area and eliminates waste.
Almost immediately after treatment, I had increased mobility to my shoulder and felt really great. I even went to the gym that night and worked on chest and biceps. The soreness I felt the next day could have been related to the gym sesh so I can't really say.
As far as long term results, I will try to post an update on the progress of my shoulder after receiving these alternative therapies, so stay tuned!