What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is a traditional East Asian healing technique that has been around for thousands of years.It’s still in wide practice today throughout China, Vietnam (where it’s known as Cao Gio) and Indonesia and is gaining popularity here in North America thanks to some high profile “celebrity sightings” and the fact that it WORKS!
The technique involves using a hard, smooth edge tool to stroke the skin at the site of injury, imbalance or congestion. Your skin is typically lubricated with an oil (coconut or castor), and the area being “Gua Sha’d” is stroked several times in 4″ – 6″ long strokes following acupuncture meridians until a redness (or “sha” as it’s traditionally known) is produced.
What are the benefits of Gua Sha?
Gua Sha has an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that lasts up to several days after a single treatment. I’ve used it to treat:
- Back & Neck Pain
- Colds & Flue
- And range of motion issues
Are there any side effects to Gua Sha treatment?
The treatment itself will cause your skin to become red and slightly tender. This usually dissipates within 24 hours.
Who shouldn’t get Gua Sha treatments?
You should probably wait until any of the following skin conditions have cleared up before we begin Gua Sha treatments (We’ll just stick to other modalities like traditional acupuncture):
- skin wounds and cuts
Does Gua Sha Hurt?
Gua Sha treatments typically do not hurt, but some people find it mildly uncomfortable. This IS a healing technique and it’s not going to feel like a relaxing afternoon at the spa. However, the majority of people find it less painful than a deep tissue massage.
Who should get Gua Sha treatments?
Anyone suffering with the following:
- Frozen shoulder
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Mobility and range of motion issues
- Chronic inflammation