The name gua sha ( gwahshah )comes from the Chinese word for scraping also known as skin scraping, spooning, or coining. It is a tool used by practitioners to diagnose and treat Qi & blood stagnation as according to traditional Chinese medicine, Qi is energy that flows through the body. It is believe that Qi can become blocked, causing pain or tension in the muscles and joints. Gua sha aims to move this blocked energy to relieve aches or stiffness. In Traditional Chinese Medicine we believe that Qi must be balanced and flowing freely to ensure health and wellbeing.
Gua Sha stimulates the skin’s surface and is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. When used the blood rushes to the surface as the skin is stimulated, this breaks up the stagnant energy, reduces inflammation and promotes healing. It can also be used as a diagnostic tool as the “sha” which is the red marks left behind indicated where the stagnation is for further treatment and identification.
It may look sore but the feeling that the majority of my patients remark is how free their back feels of tension. They feel lighter and far more relaxed. The Gua Sha dose not hurt but you may feel a slight discomfort when a blocked area is discovered, but it tends to be a massive sense of relief too. It is not supposed to be a painful experience at all so i always check the pressure and feeling and adapt to the individuals requirement and stop when needed.The redness is mainly what we believe to be heat leaving the body as the back will now feel warm to the touch but the darker areas are the indications of blocked Qi or Blood stagnation in that area. These marks tend to last from 2 to 7 days at the most and are only temporary.
Gua Sha can be included into any acupuncture treatment or cupping session for no additional cost.