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What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha or Chinese scraping is a technique used to release adhesions and scar tissue in muscle and fascia (saran wrap-like covering holding your muscles together under your skin).

 

Western therapies use similar scraping techniques originating from Gua Sha such as:

  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

  • ASTYM

  • Graston Techniques

 

The pressure applied may be firm or gentle from the gua sha tool depending on patient comfort, the area being treated and tenderness prior to treatment.

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Benefits:

  • Improves range of motion and overall functional capacity to muscles and joints.

  • Improves circulation.

  • Used for headaches. migraines, sinus drainage, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

  • Many patients note feeling very relaxed following gua sha treatments to their head, neck and scalp.

  • May provide relief for individuals experiencing dizziness if related to muscular tightness.

  • Great for awkward areas like hands, fingers, feet, toes, and scalp.

Taking care of your body post treatment:

Tenderness approximately 1-2 days after treatment with possible bruising in the area of treatment.

1.       Rest / pace physical activity levels.

2.       Hydrate: water, Powerade, Gatorade, coconut water and/or milk.

3.       Reduce timeframe of marks:

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Does it hurt to try Gua Sha?

Gua Sha applications may be tender depending on location and pressure applied to areas of discomfort and pain.

Will there be markings after Gua Sha application to my face?

Facial techniques use gentle pressure limiting redness to the patient's face. 

  • Should redness present on the patient's face, apply cold face cloth to face for 2-5 minutes. 

  • Take a face cloth, soak with cold water or place in freezer to chill then apply to face. 

  • Do not exceed 5 minute recommendation, however cold compress can be applied once per hour during first 24 hours.

Are Gua Sha marks similar to cupping marks?

No. Gua Sha marks present with small red, brown, and/or purple spots known as petechiae caused by breaking capillary blood vessels bleeding into the skin.

How long do Gua Sha markings last?

Approximately 1 - 2 days with possible redness and tenderness.

What to do after treatment:

  • Rest / pace physical activity level.

  • Hydrate: water, Powerade, Gatorade, coconut water and/or milk.

  • Reduce time frame of marks:
     

    • Neuro-proprioceptive tape

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