Gua Sha uses a scraping tool made up of the horn of an animal, bone, or metal to gently scrape the surface of the skin in order to boost the flow of Blood and Chi in the body. It is one among a variety of non-needle techniques in an acupuncturist’s arsenal. While gua sha is often utilized in combination with needles, it is a therapy in its own right. This healing modality is an East Asian method of stroking or scraping the skin and can be administered on many parts of the body, although most of the time, it is applied on the neck and back.
The following are the most commonly asked questions about Gua Sha therapy.
How does Gua Sha therapy feel like?
When performed by a qualified and experienced acupuncturist, gua sha therapy is an absolutely painless procedure. It is so painless that many people who have tried the therapy compare it to getting a relaxing massage. In as little as one treatment, people may experience relief of their symptoms. Symptoms associated with cold are particularly responsive to Gua Sha. Just like with acupuncture treatments, in regard to chronic illness or pain, treatment may require several sessions in order to experience relief.
Why does Gua Sha tend to leave marks on the patient’s skin?
It’s essential to point out that the marks caused by Gua Sha are not actually bruises. The treatment’s Sha pertains to the purple or red marks that arise on the skin after it is scraped. The dots or marks are blood that is being released from blood vessels in the skin’s innermost layer. A qualified acupuncturist will perform Gua Sha until the reddish dots begin to emerge. The acupuncturist will move to another area once the dots appear.
The color of the marks provides much information. Purple dots suggest a greater level of stagnating blood in the body. Because stagnation usually produces pain, people who come to acupuncture reporting of severe pain end up with purple dots during Gua Sha. If bright red dots appear on the skin, it may indicate too much heat in the body. If dots appear quickly, it suggests that the patient has an acute illness. If the dots take a long time to appear, it usually means the illness is chronic.
The dots from the treatment typically vanish within one to two days.
What conditions can be treated with Gua Sha therapy?
Gua Sha can treat nausea, vomiting, asthma, symptoms of flu and cold pain, and inflammation. It is also used to strengthen the immune system. Many acupuncturists believe that gua sha is a reliable treatment for any type of chronic disorder involving inflammation or pain.
“Blue Mountain Acupuncture
2200 Melrose St Suite 9
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone: (509) 876-4597