Muscle soreness is normal for a seasoned traveller. When you walk or sit too much, sit in a bus/plane/ car/ boat/ train too long or sleep in the wrong position, you will wake up with your muscle feeling sore.
As such, I have learnt to bring my mini portable guasa board during my travels as it is so small and light that I can easily slip into carry-on bag.
What is Guasa/ Quadsa, also known as Meridian Scraping Therapy
According to Elken’s website, the explanation is “Guasa, a well-known traditional Chinese therapy, works in principle with acupressure and finger massage by employing the power of touch with a Guasa Board, which works on skin, blood, nervous and lymphatic systems to boost circulation and strengthen the body” (so far, Elken is the only company that I know is selling it- I was not able to find it via other sources).
From young, I have heard about quadsa- older Chinese generations used buffalo horn to make the guadsa board but in the absence of buffalo horn, they used other daily stuff like a durable steel spoon or a coin. Once, a ex-colleague of mine were suffering one of her severe migraine attacks and a kind Indonesian cleaner took a coin and rub at the back of her neck till it was all red. My friend almost relieved from her condition.
When I was staying at a friend’s house during my travel, the hostess was feeling sore because she had to spend the entire day doing housework. I took out the guasa board and used it to massage in deep strokes on her back and shoulders. She felt so much better and relieved.
To give you a rough idea of how it works, you can watch the following video (note- it does not look pleasant but it is effective.)
Personally, I normally do not use the board on the bare skin as it can be painful and causes bruising. I also do not use massage oil because there normally isn’t any around. But it does offer instant relief – especially if you know the working of meridian points and know how to activate the points. If I am at home, I normally use with combination of the cane exercise as a form of detox.
The slight downside:
- you may work out a sweat as you attempt to perform the guadsa in repeated motions. But think of it as a good workout
- you require the help of someone to do it on your back as you will not be able to reach your back if you do it on your own.
- the person on the receiving end would enjoy it so much that he/she may beg you not to stop.