What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is healing technique used throughout Asia. Gua means to rub, or friction. Sha is the term used to describe congestion of blood at the surface of the body. When friction is applied in repeated even strokes, the sha surfaces as small red petechiae (broken blood vessels). In minutes the petechiae fade into echymotic (bruised) patches. These will disappear completely within two to four days. The color and rate of fading are both diagnostic and prognostic indicators.

The benefits of Gua Sha are many. It moves stuck blood, promoting normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated. You will experiences immediate changes in stiffness, pain and mobility. Normal metabolic processes are restored by the movement of fluids as nutrients are carried to the tissues and metabolic wastes are carried away. Because Gua Sha mimics sweating, it can also resolve fever.

Gua Sha cools the person who is overheated, warms the person who is chilled, nourishes deficiency, and decreases excess. Hence, Gua Sha is regarded as an adaptogenic technique.

Gua Sha is considered in any case of pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory or digestive problems, and for any condition where palpation indicates there is sha. After Gua Sha, the patient is instructed to cover the area, avoiding wind and exposure to the sun or sudden change in temperature. Stretching is recommended but not a heavy workout on the day of treatment.

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