Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese treatment for pain. It is also used by therapists to treat asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms. If you are suffering from any of these ailments, consider a Gua Sha treatment from George, one of our therapists who also has extensive training in Chinese medicine.
The technique involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation where the skin is pressured, in strokes, by a round-edged instrument. It is an intense treatment that results in the appearance of small red petechiae called “sha” that fade in 2 to 3 days. While the bruising that occurs can be startling to those who are unfamiliar with Gua Sha, it is normal, and does not cause any harm to the body.
For those who haven’t experienced Chinese medicine or are skeptical, there is documented evidence showing how effective Gua Sha is. A team of German doctors conducted a controlled trial where patients suffering from chronic neck pain were separated into two groups. One group received Gua Sha treatments, while the other was administered heat packs. The first group saw a significant decrease in symptoms, while the second group did not.
“Raising Sha” removes blood stagnation considered pathogenic, and promotes normal circulation and metabolic processes. Gua Sha is generally applied across the back, neck, and shoulders, but on some occasions may be applied across the buttocks, limbs, chest, and abdomen. Modern research shows that Gua Sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune-protective effect that persists for days following a single treatment. This accounts for the immediate relief that patients feel from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea, and vomiting.
Because pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong, it’s important that we listen to our bodies and find remedies that are effective, healthy, and long-lasting. At Balance Orlando, we offer an alternative to medication, although our treatments, including Gua Sha, can be used in combination with medication.