I am the Queen of Gua Sha.
Yes, it's true. Ask my patients.
Gua Sha, pronounced "Gwa Sha", is an ancient healing technique used throughout Asia with amazing results. Gua means "to rub". Sha is the term to describe the incredible appearance of the skin once it has been rubbed during a session of Gua Sha:)
Let me tell you, once they can pronounce it -- patients request Gua Sha with gusto. They love it!
Why? Because Gua Sha breaks up the stagnation that causes you to feel pain and stiffness. It smooths your energy. It allows for congested blood, metabolic waste and toxins that lie deep within the tissues to be released and promotes normal circulation to the muscles, tissues and organs directly beneath the area being treated. It just plain feels good. You experience an immediate improvement in stiffness, degree of pain and mobility. Gua Sha rocks.
Here's why I like Gua Sha:
(1) It makes you feel better.
(2) It helps to release toxins that have built up over time as a result of past injuries, poor diet, chemical and environmental exposure and emotional traumas.
(3) It shows me exactly where you have stagnated energy!
You see, to perform Gua Sha, I use a water buffalo horn, smoothed to the size and shape of a credit card. It is said that jade and water buffalo horn are best to conduct the qi (life-force energy) that is being moved by the technique of gliding or scraping the tool along the skin in repeated, even strokes. The pressure depends on how you like it -- kind of like a deep tissue massage or a restorative massage -- it's up to you. Gua Sha works either way. In fact, Gua Sha is so powerful that it often works to loosen tight muscles where other massage techniques, or even myofacial release, does not.
When there are a lot of congested toxins or a stagnation of energy in an area, small red petechiae usually appear. I refer to this as sha, and in minutes you see it as a really cool rashy bruise. It is always exactly where you feel the most pain, tightness, tenderness or stiffness! I can then see exactly where you are experiencing your pain, and I can go from there in specializing your treatment.
The bruising fades over 1 or 2 days - but be sure to tell me if you are doing a bikini photo shoot or plan to wear a strapless gown -- I'll go easy and make sure we stop before any sha appears! Most patients don't care about the bruising because Gua Sha is so amazing.
Gua sha actually pre-dates acupuncture and was used in villages as a means of self-care or a way to care for each other until the village doctor could make it out to see you. It can be used for any pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory or digestive problems, to create a smooth flow of Qi along an acupuncture meridian, to help clear toxins from the body or to stimulate the acupuncture points along any acupuncture channel.
Want to experience the amazing benefits of Gua Sha for yourself? Contact me for an appointment -- you'll love it. After a Gua Sha session, I'll ask you to keep the area treated covered, avoid wind, drafts and strong exposure to the sun. I'll also remind you to drink plenty of pure water to assist in flushing toxins from your body. Your sha bruising will be a conversation piece! (Sorry, it will fade in about a day or two.) And, with regular Gua Sha sessions, you'll find that you no longer reveal sha because your muscles and your energy are soothed and you feel great!