Gua Sha: A Form of Therapy

Gua sha is an eastern therapeutic modality that involves using a tool(s) to scrape/press stroking the body to relieve blood stagnation (Sha).

Unlike a bruise where the healthy tissue is bruised, Gua Sha is a gentle technique that clears out coagulated blood trapped between muscle cells. This coagulated blood comes to the skins surface leaving red marks that generally fade away within 4-7 days.

When there is the presence of Sha (blood stagnation) there is usually muscular pain and restriction of movement. This is why after a Gua Sha treatment there is often immediate relief of pain, and mobility is restored to previously trapped muscles and joints with increased flexibility. Gua Sha also removes metabolic irritants trapped in over worked or strained muscles, alleviates stiffness in muscles, can help stimulate the immune system, and can help to release long held deep muscle binding or fibrositis (from either past injuries of even poor postural habits).

Gua Sha is a technique that can be adjusted to suit individual needs and pressure, and it should never hurt.

Generally there are no side effects of Gua Sha except for the temporary skin marks, but some people may experience a mild achiness in the muscles the following day. If this occurs gentle stretching and or a bath in Epsom salts can usually resolve any discomfort. Also it’s always a good idea to drink lots of liquids to help the body flush out the released toxins from the Gua Sha treatment.

To learn more about various massage therapy techniques, book an appointment with our LIV Health & Wellness Centre, Massage Therapist, Cindy!

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