Gua sha is a healing technique that originated in traditional East Asian medicine. Sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping’, Gua sha is defined as instrument assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ which represents extravasation of blood in the sub cutis.
Gua sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on stiffness, pain, fever, cough, chill, wheeze vomiting and nausea etc., and that’s why Gua sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders, including liver inflammation in hepatitis.
At "Acupuncture Services", we use Gua sha for muscle pain, mainly to upper back, neck and shoulders. This has also been known to help with headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.
Before treatment, lubricating oil is applied to the area being treated. A smooth-edged instrument is then used to stroke the skin. This movement encourages the blood to flow more smoothly, thus easing pain.
This rubbing action causes the blood in the subcutaneous tissue to rise. The red bump that results should fade in a few days. The tools for this purpose may be a ceramic Chinese soup spoon, water buffalo horn, or jade.
Gua Sha therapy is used to treat excessive (replete) conditions. It drains the stagnation to promote healing and to reduce inflammation and pain.
The therapist will perform consistent 4”-8” strokes on the skin either on a meridian pathway or a particular skin area. The purpose of the scraping is to allow the flow of slow blood and blocked qi.
When small red dots appear, it means that “sha” (fever or illness) is freed and that qi now flows freely again. If the area is unblocked, then the skin will turn pink but no dots will appear.
Gua Sha is normally performed in conjunction with a massage or acupuncture treatment. The area of treatment is not painful and redness often significantly improves directly after a session.
The technique is useful in any licensed therapeutic practice and of particular interest to acupuncturists, massage therapists, physical therapists, physicians and nurses who work directly with patients.
If you have any questions about these treatments, do not hesitate to contact us at 419-687-1928.
Or contact us to set up a consultation to learn more.