For the past few years, more and more healing techniques that are dissimilar from the conventional modes of treatment practiced by physiotherapists and physicians are coming to the fore. Thanks to social media and the internet, healing practices from different cultures are now easily being taught and shared with each other.
Gua Sha therapy is one of these. It is a natural non-invasive therapy that is one of the branches of an ancient healing system called Traditional Chinese Medicine. Having been used by acupuncturists for thousands of years, gua sha is now being integrated into the practices of physiotherapists and chiropractors who are starting to take notice of it.
What is Gua Sha Therapy?
A form of treatment that entails the scraping of the skin for a few moments (half a minute to a full minute in any part of the body), gua sha works by clearing out toxins and fostering blood flow in the targeted area. According to Chinese medicine, this is known as freeing the Chi or Qi. One of the side effects of the therapy is the light bruising caused by the scraping motions. The bruising is often thought to be discomforting and painful, whereas it actually enhances the flow of energy and blood throughout the body.
Gua sha is a therapy indigenous to China and has been passed down and used for thousands of years. In the same manner that cupping has turned to be a popular treatment in North America (though still associated with looking horrible and pain), Gua Sha is now only beginning to find its way into Western culture and its benefits are being garnered by people who are willing to try it.
When you first come in to an acupuncture clinic in order to undergo this gua sha therapy, the acupuncturist may first apply lotions or special oils over your skin so that it is well lubricated which facilitates the treatment process. The acupuncturist may use a relatively blunt and smooth tool and stroke it over the problematic areas of your body. They can include your back, leg, arm, neck, etc. The acupuncturist may apply mild pressure in order to remove the toxins and cause the redness.
The tool is used to stroke away in every spot for no more than a minute. We need to emphasize that the red marks that appear on the skin signs that the treatment is successful. The acupuncturist should not work on any body parts that do not cause redness.
The petechiae or red bright marks tend to linger for no more than three to four days so there’s really nothing to worry about.
The Treatment’s Benefits
One of the biggest reasons folks use the treatment is its extreme effectiveness in dealing with joint or muscle pain like an inflamed back, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, or arthritis. You can find other natural forms of healing techniques, but this is the most common.
People usually see results within minutes of the treatment.
One of the greatest things about qua sha is that you can break up the connective tissues in the body, while other techniques such as trigger balls, foam rolling, and massages that just simply provide compression is less effective.
One of the other uses of Gua Sha is for the treatment of colds and flu. And while it may not seem as though it would work for the treatment of a cold, this technique is known to enhance the function of your immune system and help recuperate in that aspect. How the treatment works has not yet been sufficiently explained although it is believed that the treatment fosters the distribution of nutrients by improving blood circulation that allows for healing.
Where can you get the treatment?
A Miami acupuncturist who is licensed and has a clinical staff that is well-trained in Gua Sha practices is the person who can administer this type of treatment. If you know how to perform Gua Sha, you can administer it on yourself on the parts of the body requiring treatment. If it’s on your neck, legs, or shoulder you can easily get a Gua Sha tool and perform self-treatment. You just have to follow the red marks to know where to stroke.