Gua Sha is a soft tissue manipulation used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves using a tool to help break up stagnation, which promotes blood circulation in order to relieve pain, tension, and to heal the body. Gua Sha treatments are performed by using an angled tool to apply pressure in long strokes on the skin. Enough pressure is applied to create a red, bruised appearance, as the stagnant blood below the skin is raised to the surface.
Gua Sha is a safe and natural, alternative therapy that has been useful in treating chronic muscle pain. Gua Sha treatments will leave minor bruising in the area being treated, however, it is not supposed to be any more painful than a deep tissue massage. Traditionally, Gua Sha is done using herbal oil and a ceramic Chinese soup spoon. Gua Sha works great on larger muscle groups and most patients not only feel relief during the treatment but claim to have longer-lasting benefits than with a traditional deep tissue massage.
The first visit is an hour long and like an interview, involves the patient answering questions pertaining to their individual body. This is an important part of the Gua Sha treatment because everybody is different, and therefore every complaint should be treated as such. The interview process is a way for the practitioner to see a detailed picture of what is going on internally, so the treatment can be tailored to the patients’ needs.