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Gua Sha has been used widely as the Chinese traditional medicine for quite a while as the means of enhancing microcirculation of blood and, thus, increasing the process of healing. Although Gua Sha is typically viewed as complementary medicine, it may be used for addressing clinical issues in the healthcare setting (Siqueira et al. 26). Particularly, it can be used as the means of addressing myalgia in cancer patients that are undergoing therapy. In their article “The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects,” Arya Nielsen et al. address the issue of applying the Gua Sha treatment as the tool for managing myalgia occurring in cancer patients as a result of chemotherapy. Despite the fact that the use of convenience sampling may have contributed to the creation of research biases, the choice of the Laser Doppler imaging (LDI) as the means of retrieving the relevant data along with the incorporation of the latest software (Moor Software V.3.01) for the analysis of the research data makes the outcomes of the study rather significant and provides the foundation for the design of a Gua-Sha-based myalgia treatment tool.
Nielsen et al. explore the effects of Gua Sha therapy as the means of addressing myalgia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Despite the fact that the technique has a long history and has been established in the traditional Chinese medicine as a legitimate tool for improving blood circulation for quite a while, the framework has not been the focus of researchers’ attention, which is why its effects on patients with myalgia are yet to be studied. Nielsen et al. have studied the effects of Gua Sha on cancer patients that have developed myalgia as a result of chemotherapy sessions. The relevant information was collected using Laser Doppler imaging (LDI). The authors used quantitative analysis as the primary tool for interpreting the data received in the course of the study. The Moor Software V.3.01 was used as the primary analysis tool. The results of the study indicated that the use of Gua Sha has a significant positive effect on the management of myalgia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; particularly, a fourfold increase in positive patient outcomes has been registered (Nielsen et al. 461). However, despite the evident positive effects that Gua Sha has on patients’ well-being, a significant question has not been answered. Particularly, it has not been identified whether Gua Sha has any effect on the integrity of capillary functions. Therefore, a follow-up study is required.
The fact that the study explores the problem by using the latest technological advances as the means of data collection and analysis should be viewed as doubtless advantages of the research. The incorporation of the LDI tool as the means of retrieving the relevant data can be viewed as a relatively new and, therefore, an efficient strategy for retrieving the required information. Despite the fact that the technique was suggested in 1987, it has been introduced to several upgrades and improvements over the past few years, which makes it a rather trustworthy device for acquiring the necessary information. Thus, the adoption of the said tool can be viewed as one of the advantages of the research (Nielsen et al. “Addendum: Safety Standards for Gua Sha (Press-Stroking) and Ba Guan (Cupping)” 446-447).
Among other strengths of the article, the fact that it does not shy away from discussing the negative effects of Gua Sha needs to be mentioned. Particularly, the authors address the phenomenon of extravasation, which typically occurs when using the said technique. Indeed, the subject matter has been the reason for concern among healthcare experts, thus, making them take the Gua Sha technique with a grain of salt as a possible therapy and treatment against myalgia (Nielsen et al. “Addendum: Safety Standards for Gua Sha (Press-Stroking) and Ba Guan (Cupping)” 446). However, the authors also provide concise yet convincing clarifications about the nature of the identified adverse effect, mentioning that its threats to the patient’s well-being are overrated ().
The incorporation of different Gua Sha tools into the study as the means of providing the patients with the said services should also be viewed as a strength of the research. It is crucial to make sure that every possible opportunity for proving the chosen framework efficiently should be exhausted before the conclusion regarding its efficacy should be made. The use of different Gua Sha tools, in turn, helps build the foundation for an all-embracing analysis of the efficacy of the identified technique.
The fact that one of the essential questions has not been answered throughout the study, however, makes the research somewhat incomplete. Particularly, the authors of the study did not specify whether the use of Gua Sha on patients with myalgia may possibly lead to the damage of the capillary functions and, therefore, to more drastic outcomes in the target population. As a result, there is a significant loophole in the overall strongly canvas of Nielsen et al.’s argument concerning the application of Gua Sha to the process of managing the needs of patients with myalgia.
Furthermore, the choice of the sampling strategy might be considered somewhat flawed since it opens the possibility of research biases. As the description of the framework provided by the author’s shows, the research was conducted in the setting of a local hospital; therefore, the inpatients thereof were viewed as the target population, from which the sample was taken. Thus, it could be argued that the sample was represented by a rather homogenous population. Indeed, the article mentions that most of the study participants were Caucasian women (Nielsen et al. 459). Therefore, there is a chance that the research outcomes may have been different if the sample was not so homogenous.
Nevertheless, the study results can be deemed as rather credible. The research itself was carried out flawlessly, and the analysis was conducted in a very careful manner. Thus, the study results provided the foundation for designing a new and improved approach toward the management and prevention of myalgia among patients undergoing chemotherapy. While claiming that the said approach should constitute the rest of the treatment strategies would be wrong, Gua Sha should definitely be included in the list of the approaches that should be used along with the traditional treatment techniques to enhance patient outcomes and contribute to a faster recovery.
As stressed above, the study has opened a plethora of opportunities for further research. For instance, the effects of Gua Sha on the capillary functions of cancer patients’ skin can be explored in more detail so that a well put together framework for managing the needs of the target population could be developed. By focusing on eradicating the negative side effects of the therapy, one will be able to design the approach that will help handle the issue of myalgia successfully and prevent its further development in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. As a result, the quality of care is bound to improve considerably, thus, creating the foundation for faster patient recovery. It should be noted, though, that further studies will have to be carried out among a more diverse population. More importantly, the sampling strategy must allow retrieving less biased results.
Gua Sha has been a rather well-known specimen of alternative therapy, yet it has not been used in the healthcare setting as the means of managing a relevant issue. Therefore, the idea of using it as the treatment of myalgia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is a rather new way of looking at the subject matter. Nevertheless, the study carried out by Nielsen et al. has proven that the approach clearly has potential and, thus, should be incorporated into the nursing inventory used for addressing the issue of myalgia management.
Despite the fact that the research conducted by Nielsen et al. has its problems, it provides a clear and detailed analysis of the issue. Furthermore, it suggests the solution that has not been considered before and may provide the foundation for a new and improved strategy. Combined with the current approach for managing myalgia, the framework in question is bound to make a difference in the field of managing cancer patients’ needs. Thus, the article should be considered an extremely useful addition to the existing body of research regarding the management of myalgia.
Nielsen, Arya, et al. “The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects.” Explore, vol. 3, no. 5, 2007, pp. 456-466. Web.
Nielsen, Arya, et al. “Addendum: Safety Standards for Gua Sha (Press-Stroking) and Ba Guan (Cupping).” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 22, no. , 446-448. Web.
Siqueira, Matheus de, et al. “The Effects of the Gua Sha Technique (Western View) on the Recuperation of Flexibility of the Sterior Chain in Parkinson: Case Study.” European Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 24-31. Web.