Gua Sha is Back

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The other day I was reintroduced to the technique called Gua Sha. Have you ever heard of it? A friend gave me a link to a podcast on, I’ll share a link to the talk below. This podcast reignited an interest in this beautifully simple and effective technique. 

Gua Sha is a “scraping” technique that is really just glossed over in school but turns out is an amazingly useful treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘press or stroke.’ Sha describes the red “rash” or congested blood that comes to the surface of the skin. The therapist uses some type of tool often a soup spoon, jar lid or specialized tool to rub the areas that require treatment. 

Like cupping therapy Gua Sha also clears stagnated blood, increases circulation, releases fascia, etc. but unlike cupping it can be done anywhere there is skin. It has also been shown to initiate a systemic anti-inflammatory response. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also thought that because it is a hands-on technique and the repetitive nature of the scraping the vibrations produced by the repetition can penetrate deeper than surface level and actually work at the internal and organ levels. 

Guy Sha is commonly thought of by most providers as a treatment for pain or fever but the really cool thing is that its application can go way beyond that. It used to treat digestive complaints, menstrual complaints, headaches, chest congestion, concussion, and is great to use with kids! In addition to all of those great things, which only scratches the surface of what it can treat, (pun intended), it can also treat the emotions. In TCM “the blood is consciousness,” as we treat inflammation and address the blood we can affect the emotions as well. And if that is not enough it also supports and boosts the immune system. 
Another exciting thing about Gua Sha is that results can be seen and felt very quickly often within the same day if not during the treatment itself!

I also should mention that despite what it looks like, bright red, black and blue when done by a trained professional, it isn't painful or doesn't have to be. If you google image search Gua Sha you will see some very intense pictures that most people say looks painful, but when done right it doesn't hurt at all. Very similar to cupping the marks often times looks much worse than they are. Most people find the treatment relaxing and that it feels good.

So next time you get a treatment ask your acupuncturist if they will give you a treatment and feel the benefits for yourself!! 

Here is the link