Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Gua Sha is a healing technique also known as “scraping” or “spooning”. Physiotherapists refer to this modality as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. Unidirectional press stroking against an oiled area of the body is repeated bringing “Sha” to the surface. Sha is intentionally created, temporary therapeutic petechia that reaches the skins surface through specific movements. This is essentially creating friction on the surface of the exterior layers of the body. There can be light to dark marks on the body after treatment, lasting 2 to 7 days.
Bringing Sha to the surface removes blood stagnation and moves stagnant Qi. It can alleviate acute and chronic pain, stiffness, fever, chills, cough, wheezing, and nausea! It is also utilized to reduce inflammatory symptoms in chronic illness, to break down scar tissue, address fibrosis, and perimenopause symptoms. Modern research has shown that incorporating Gua Sha into treatment can even lower liver inflammation.
In New York, NY at the Beth Israel Medical Center’s Continuum Center for Health and Healing, a study of gua sha was completed. The study entitled, The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects, studied the physiological process of microcirculation that occurs during treatment. This traditional East Asian Healing technique has a widely accepted reputation for alleviating pain, why?
At the University hospital of Essen, Germany, in the department of Nephrology, sequential measurements of microcirculation before and after a Gua Sha treatment were taken. The team used a Laser Doppler Imaging, known as LDI, to record measurements. It concluded with 4 times the increase in microcirculation post treatment, with no adverse reactions reported, and every subject experienced an immediate decrease in myalgia. Interestingly, females in the study showed much higher rates of a particular response; significantly higher pain elimination. This result is definitely a study within itself! The coalescence of ancient healing modalities with modern science can only help, not hinder, our ability to evolve health physically, mentally, and spiritually.