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Scrape Away Discomfort and Pain

Today, many people are turning to alternative therapies to help with a myriad of health concerns from mild pain to injuries and chronic inflammation. Consequently, more and more research and scientific study is being conducted with amazing results. One such treatment is Gua Sha.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha, which "roughly translates into English as dredging meridian stagnation," (1) is a traditional and natural healing method used to treat stress, aches, stiffness, and pain throughout the body. It has its roots in China and South East Asia, is also known as scraping, and is similar in intent to cupping.

How It's Done

Gua, or scrape, "means to rub or press" (2) while sha, or rash, refers to stagnant or congested blood. Gua sha uses tools, often made of jade or rose quartz, as well as coins, spoons, and metal instruments, to apply friction on the skins surface to intentionally raise petechiae, or 'sha'. The pressure is light, although there may be some mild discomfort. Like cupping, the petechiae could take a day or two to clear but may resolve immediately

What It Does

The evidence suggests that Gua Sha may result in a number of physiological responses with benefits to the skin, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. In addition, Gua Sha impacts the muscles and fascia, the thin membrane that surrounds the muscles, directly by increasing blood flow. One study by the National Institute of Health reported that "Gua sha caused a fourfold increase in microcirculation" (3) which is an important factor for reducing myalgia or pain and inflammation. Indeed, that same study found that "Gua sha moves this stagnancy and increases cellular turnover allowing for reabsorption of cellular waste, making room for fresh substances to nourish the surrounding and underlying tissues." (3) Finally, the benefits often persist between treatments with no adverse reactions. (1)

New Kid on the Block

In spite of the fact that this treatment has been around for more than 700 years, it is only recently become somewhat common. (4) With the potential for numerous health benefits, the full efficacy of Gua Sha is unknown yet in depth research is ongoing.

Potential contraindications

- bruising or burns

- rashes or lesions in the skin

- directly on bony prominences

- pregnancy

- certain drugs and supplements

To learn more or have questions, contact the Oakhouse Day Spa (727) 202.7411.

For scientific, scholarly, or general information, please check the references.

(1) Pu Chu, E. C. et al., 2021.

Exploring scraping therapy: Contemporary views on an ancient healing - A review - PubMed

(2) Live Oak Acupuncture. What are the benefits of gua sha. 2021.

GUA SHA | Live Oak Acupuncture

(3) Nielsen. A., 2007. The effect of Gua Sha treatment on the microcirculation of surface tissue: a pilot study in healthy subjects - PubMed

(4) Arizonapain. (2018) What Is Gua Sha And Could It Help Me Manage My Pain?

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