In Eastern Medicine, blood stagnation is believed to cause illness or pathological states. One effective way to reduce or eliminate stagnation is with Gua Sha therapy: otherwise known as scraping or rubbing.
It is a non-invasive therapy and involves a mild to moderate pressure of rubbing lubricated skin with an instrument that is made of porcelain, jade stone or stainless steel. At Living Pure, we use jade stone because it is cooling to the skin and has balancing properties. The therapy lasts only a few minutes in each area of skin and is applied skillfully in one direction to break up scar tissue, release the heat trapped in the tissue, and Qi stagnation and improve circulation. “Gua” is the term for scraping.
What to Expect:
Your skin will turn pink or red. This is good. This means the stagnated blood underneath is released to the surface. (This is the “Sha”.) The result is improved blood flow in this area and throughout the body, expelling pathogens. The deeper the red or a purple color indicated a higher level of stagnation that was released.
When Will the “Sha” Fade? Yes. Normally, it fades in 2 to 4 days, however hydration after the treatment is essential to facilitate the release of toxins. We may recommend additional nutrients to assist in the tissue toxin release and recovery.
How Can Sha Improve your Immune System? It has a positive effect on immunity. This is especially effective during periods of high stress, flu season, or first signs of congestion and other symptoms. Since it improves circulation, it assists in expelling pathogens before they infiltrate deeper into the tissues.
Conditions Commonly Treated with Gua Sha:
Chronic pain and arthritis
Neck Pain and Back Pain
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Headaches and Migraines
...and more (just ask about a complaint or condition, not on this list)
Does it Hurt? No, it shouldn’t. You will feel pressure and depending on the level of inflammation and discomfort, it may get a little uncomfortable at some points when very tight or sensitive areas are contacted. This is much more comfortable than a trigger point therapy (which applies focal deep pressure to release the knots). The instruments used in Gua Sha have round smooth edges and we always check with our patients for feedback during the therapy.
We use 100% natural oils, balms, Ayurvedic salves, and lotions. The lubricant is chosen based on your preference, your constitution, or therapy objectives.
Gua Sha with the Chiropractor vs Gua Sha with the Acupuncturist
In chiropractic sessions, Gua Sha is used to release the soft tissue adhesions in a strategic manner to reduce stiffness and pain and improve your range of motion. Sometimes it is applied while the patient is instructed to actively move the involved joints slowly to amplify the therapeutic effect. Dr. Dias provides gua sha therapy as part of her integrative chiropractic service.
In acupuncture sessions, Gua Sha is applied along the meridians necessary to balance the “qi” and restore energy to the involved systems.
Precautions and Contraindications
Anyone with deep vein thrombosis, conditions affecting skin or veins, implants or pacemakers should not receive Gua Sha, especially in the involved or nearby areas. Patients on blood thinners or who bleed easily should also refrain from receiving this therapy. Our clinic screens for any contraindications prior to treatments.
To schedule your consultation and treatment, please call our office or select your appointment online.