By: Kevin Tangeros, L.Ac., MSOM
Have you ever heard of Gua Sha? It’s an ancient healing therapy that dates back thousands of years. If you haven’t heard of Gua Sha, you may have also heard of Graston technique or IASTM therapy. This is the same thing, just new terms used by physical therapists and chiropractors.
Gua Sha works by using a smooth-edged tool to scrape across the skin to break up any adhesions and stimulate blood flow to hat specific area. By doing this, it helps to relax muscles, improve range of motion, reduce pain, and promote healing. Gua Sha is commonly performed on the neck, upper back, chest, shoulders, and elbows. Although it is used mostly for musculoskeletal conditions, it is also used other ailments as well, such as bronchitis or a common cold.
A typical Gua Sha treatment will last around 5 minutes depending on the condition. The redness (sha) that appears after the treatment is simply stagnated (stuck) blood and lymph being brought to the surface of the body, so that new blood production can take place. It is very important to keep the area of the body covered after treatment and to also drink a lot of water. Most patients feel relaxed during a Gua Sha treatment.