Gua Sha Massage
What is Gua Sha Massage?
Gua Sha has its 2000 year old origins in Ancient Chinese Medicine. Translated, Gua Sha literally means to scrape away pain. Gua Sha Massage was originally performed with a goat horn or ceramic spoon. The modern method involves the use of six high-quality, stainless steel massage instruments. The Gua Sha massage has the ability to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons and is applied to the muscles by scraping in one direction along the fibres or along acupuncture meridians.
How Does Gua Sha Massage Work?
The pressurized scraping of a Gua Sha massage breaks up tight knots and removes blood stagnation, thereby promoting microcirculation or the increased flow of blood in the treated area. This, in turn, releases the opioid systems, the body’s natural pain relievers.
What Are The Benefits of Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is used in diagnosing and treating disorders of the skeletal muscles and related connective tissue. Most commonly, Gua Sha is used to treat pain associated with muscle adhesions (knots), strains, sprains, and spasms.
Is There Evidence To Support Gua Sha?
Yes. Researchers from institutions as prestigious as Harvard and Beth Israel Medical Center in the United States have demonstrated both the efficacy and the physiological impact of how and why Gua Sha works.
Over the past decade, clinical research studies have used a variety of techniques including Doppler imaging to prove that microcirculation is indeed increased in the treated area, resulting in a decrease in both local and distal areas of pain.
A study published in the 2011 edition of Pain Medicine demonstrated how Gua Sha measurably decreased pain for chronic neck pain patients, noting that “neck pain severity after 1 week improved significantly better in the Gua Sha group compared with the control group (heat therapy).”
As is the case for most healing modalities in Eastern Medicine, modern science has yet again validated the effectiveness of this ancient technique.