Guasha is a healing technique that originated in traditional East Asian medicine. Sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping’, Guasha is defined as “instrument-assisted, unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface, to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae, called ‘sha’, which represents extravasation of blood in the subcutis”.
What this means in plain English: Before treatment, a lubricating oil is applied to the area being treated. A smooth-edged instrument is then used to stroke the skin, in one direction. This movement encourages the blood to flow more smoothly, thus easing pain.
This rubbing action causes the blood in the subcutaneous tissue to rise. Tiny blood vessels (capillaries) are purposely broken by this treatment, resulting in temporary redness and possible slight bruising of the treated area.
Guasha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Guasha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chills, coughing, wheezing, nausea and vomiting, etc., and explains why Guasha is effective in both acute and chronic internal organ disorders, including liver inflammation in hepatitis.
At "RBSN Acupuncture", we use Guasha for muscle pain, mainly in the upper back, neck and shoulders. This has also been known to help with headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.
The tools used for this treatment may be a ceramic Chinese soup spoon, a water buffalo horn, or a smooth piece of jade.The skin reddening that results should fade in a few days.
GuaSha therapy is used to treat extreme conditions. It drains the stagnation to promote healing, and to reduce inflammation and pain.
The therapist will perform consistent 4”-8” strokes on the skin, either on a meridian pathway, or on a particular skin area.The purpose of the scraping is to allow the improved flow of slow blood and blocked qi.
When small red dots appear, it means that “sha” (fever or illness) is freed, and that qi now flows freely again. If the area is unblocked, then the skin will turn pink, but no dots will appear.
GuaSha is normally performed in conjunction with a massage or acupuncture treatment. The area of treatment is not painful, and the redness often significantly improves directly after a session.
The technique is useful in any licensed therapeutic practice, and is of particular interest to acupuncturists, massage therapists, physical therapists, physicians and nurses who work directly with patients.
If you have any questions on these treatments, do not hesitate to contact us at 513-662-8233 or contact us to set up a consultation to learn more.