Did You Know We Do Gua Sha at Our Lacey Massage Clinic?

Gua Sha, also known as Scraping Therapy is an ancient Chinese folk medicine practice as well as a part of modern Chinese medicine training. Gua Sha, when used by a License Massage Therapist, is used to address muscular tension and fascial restriction.

When do we use Gua Sha as a complementary modality to massage?

GS is indicated when a client presents with stubborn pain, knot, feeling of stuckness, congestion, persistent stiffness and muscle aches. GS therapy is not a systemic detox treatment.

How does Gua Sha therapy fight stubborn tightness and pain?

Gua Sha uses a round-edge tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to resolve congestion within your muscle tissue. The pressure and scraping technique draws out sha and relieves stagnation in the
tissues. This action is a perfusion of blood and fluids to the superficial vessels, as well as breaking up adhesions and separates fascia.

The most important detail of GS Therapy when presenting my clients with this modality is the Sha. Sha is a Chinese term that translates to “sand” or “gravel” which refers to the granulation of tissues that occur in areas of myofascial tension and pain. GS draws stagnant fluids to the surface which temporarily fill up the superficial blood vessels and appear as Sha.

It’s important to remember that Sha is not a bruise. A bruise or contusion is damage to the vessels underneath the surface. I say the discussion of Sha is important when discussing treatment with a client because of the discoloration to the skin that some may mistake as bruising or an irritant to the skin. Also, Sha usually will fade in a few days but can last up to a week. Sha will not present itself without blood stagnation in the surface but as a therapist we are also looking for change in your muscle tissues regarding color, texture, temperature and flexibility, as well as what the client is experiencing.

A common fascial release symptom is itching, and can occur post treatment.

Post Care Instructions: drink water, expect soreness, feeling of heat, increased flexibility/instability. It is important to keep treated area covered from extreme temperatures for 24-36 hrs after treatment, avoiding saunas, ice, direct hot sun, cold wind, intense activities and alcohol.

Gua Sha Therapy has been an extremely beneficial treatment technique for clients suffering from neck and back pain where the body is not responding to massage and is allowing more work to be done in a shorter amount of time.

As a therapist, I use GS therapy for my forearms and hands to relieve tightness and pain.

If you’re struggling with stubborn aches and pains come on in to Warwick Chiropractic and Massage and let’s get started on your wellness goals!