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.

Cupping

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What is it? 
A practice that dates back as early as 3000 B.C. throughout Asia and Europe, cupping is basically just what it sounds like: Practitioners use cups to create suction over targeted areas of the skin. Cupping moves stagnant blood and fluids in the tissues of the muscle, removes obstructions in the fascial layer, and activates the lymphatic system. Cupping is used in various forms, from fire cupping to plastic suction cups depending on the presentation. 

Who should try it? 
Cupping is useful for all ages from toddlers to grandparents. Cupping is most popularly used for pain management, often for sore muscles or knots. Historically used to treat the common cold, which is why it is so great for children. Another modality loved by athletes. 

What can I expect? 
There are various ways to use Cupping: stationary (left in one place), moving, and flash cupping. The sensation is… interesting. It really just feels like the weight of the world is being lifted off your shoulders or body. Most stand alone cupping treatments last around 30 minutes and are often included in with your acupuncture treatment. As with Gua Sha, Cupping can typically leave its mark, usually in the form of a red to purple circle due to the nature of the cups. These marks will fade within a few days. 

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