A photo of a woman’s back covered in painful-looking red marks has gone viral after it was revealed that her job was to blame.
Taking to Facebook, alternative medicine practitioner Hitesh Patel, posted a photo of one of his clients who, because of her job as a hairdresser – standing up all day, wielding heavy equipment and hovering over clients – required a type of therapy called Gua Sha.
“The joys of being a hairdresser,” he wrote on the post, which has since been shared more than 23,000 times.
Patel continued to explain that because the woman pictured had been spending “hours standing [with her] feet rotated forward, whilst holding a brush in one hand and a hairdryer in the other”, she had damaged her posture.
He then described how standing in this position causes a person’s muscles to hold their “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 and a natural neutral position it just doesn’t work.”
While the red marks look agonising, Patel insists that they are a natural side-effect of Gua Sha massage – a type of natural therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Known as petechiae, the markings are a result of blood cells that have been pressed out of the capillaries during the massage process and, depending on how damaged the area is, they can go from a light pink to a very dark, almost black colour.
While hairdressing was to blame for the woman’s back problems in this instance, Patel insists that almost any job that involves a repetitive stance, from “fitness instructors, dentists, mechanics and pharmacists” can cause your body to tighten up and trigger pain later on down the line.