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Ashley Graham shared a slew of new Instagram photos on Wednesday, including a shot that showed the painful-looking results of a recent body treatment: a butterfly-like pattern of red, raw-looking bruises across her neck and upper back.
Unsurprisingly, the snap sparked concern amongst some of of the supermodel’s followers. “Oh my gosh… What happened to [your] back,” one asked, while another wrote, “What’s with the bruises?”
But it wasn’t long before some savvy fans swooped in to set the record straight.
“That’s gua sha. Removes toxins from your body and gets your blood flow going,” one wrote. “In Indonesia, it’s called ‘kerokan,’” another clarified.
The traditional Chinese medicinal practice of gua sha — which literally translates to “to scrape sand,” a reference to the sand-like, temporary bruising it causes — involves the repeated scraping of a smooth-edged, blunt instrument like a spoon, coin or stone across the skin.
Practitioners believe that the treatment stimulates flood flow, in turn encouraging cell regeneration and repair, easing sore or stiff muscles and promoting healing. And in addition to the body, it can also be performed on the face.
“It’s one of the easiest ways to boost micro-circulation,” celebrity facialist Ada Ooi, who’s worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding, told the Post last year. “More blood circulating to the skin means more oxygen delivery, which rids toxins and excessive fluids that might be creating unnecessary weight in combination with gravity.”
As for the scary-looking marks it leaves? Those are only temporary — so Graham fans needn’t fret.
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