The source of what appear to be thrash marks on a young woman’s back in a now-viral image isn’t what you’d expect.
Hitesth Patel, a Leicester, England based massage therapist and healer uploaded the image of her client, Grace Campbell, to Facebook, with the caption that said her job had damaged her back. However, given the shocking photo, people would be surprised to learn her job doesn’t involve heavy manual labor.
Shockingly, Grace’s back injuries were the result of bending in awkward positions in her career as a hairdresser.
According to Patel, the marks weren’t the result of trauma, but rather a therapy called gua sha which released ‘stagnation’ in the muscles and appeared on the skin as red marks known as petechiae.
“With a job that involves holding a static position for a long time you build up stagnation in the blood flow which accumulates in muscle and causes pain,” she said.
“Through gua sha the body releases the stagnated tissue stored in the muscles. The red marks indicate where the damaged tissue is. We can massage her body accordingly, giving her a full release which in turn gives her mobility and flexibility back in the affected area.”
Petechiae presents as a rash or bruising, but it’s not painful as the discoloration is the results of blood cells being pressed out of the capillaries during the gua sha therapy.
As the body starts to reabsorb them, it improves circulation and creates an anti-inflammatory effect.
“Depending on how damaged that area is it can go from a light pink color to very dark black purple color,” Hitesh explained.
Light pink is the result of everyday fatigue, while red marks indicate a greater severity of damage. Markings that turn from purple to black indicate old injuries that might take a little bit longer to deal with.
Grace is one of the several hairdressers treated by Hitesh, who states that many of her clients work in careers requiring them to manipulate their bodies into awkward positions regularly such as dentists or nurses.
Hitesh had no idea his photo of Grace would capture people’s attention and imagination as it did, having now been shared 20,000 times since he posted it.
What do you think of this therapy? Would you get a treatment that’d leave your back looking like this?
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