gua sha

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What is it? 
Gua Sha is a therapeutic technique of traditional Asian medicine. Often called spooning, scraping, or coining, your practitioner will use a smooth edged instrument—often a ceramic spoon—to apply stroking pressure to a lubricated area of the body. Through extensive research, Gua Sha is shown to produce anti-inflammatory and immune protective responses that persist for a couple of days after treatment.

Who should try it? 
Mentally file this as another option to help with tense shoulders or neck pain. Gua sha is often used to treat the onset of a cold, fever, releasing of heat from the body, as well as any muscular injuries new and old. Gua Sha is used on any and all bodies from a gentle application on babies to geriatric patients. Athletes LOVE this modality as it increases range of motion, improves performance, and heals over used muscles.

What can I expect? 
The treatment usually lasts 30 minutes as a stand-alone treatment or can be included with your acupuncture treatment. It's typically not uncomfortable, but it can be intense in the way that a deep tissue massage can be intense. Like cupping, the most alarming part is the red marks (transitory therapeutic petechiae) or "sha" that it can leave behind. These marks may not come up for everyone or every time you receive Gua Sha, however the marks typically fade within a couple of days.