On the list of jobs that are considered the most damaging to your health, hairdressing doesn’t seem like it’d be very high up.

Many of us do our own hair every day and don’t have any issues, right? Well, we also aren’t spending full time hours cutting, dying and shaping other people’s locks. Hairdressers are on their feet all day, constantly using styling tools and hovering over their clients. That’s why, as alternative medicine practitioner Hitesh Patel explains, people in this profession often need a special therapy called gua sha.

Patel says the position hairdressers hold while styling hair can affect their posture negatively, causing their muscles to hold the “skeletal system in an unnatural off central position. So then when you finally do you put down your crimping equipment and try and sit down (in) a natural neutral position it just doesn’t work.”

The angry, red marks you see on the people pictured aren’t the results of damage to posture — rather, they’re the visible effects of gua sha, a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine which involves “scraping” the skin with a massage tool.

Looks pretty painful, right? Well, it actually relieves pain and stiffness in the area as well as fever, chill, coughing, wheezing, nausea and vomiting. It also helps improve blood circulation and reduces inflammation.

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