Do you suffer from chronic pain? Excess systemic toxicity?  Poor circulation? Lymphatic congestion? Inflammation? Fatigue? Infections? Physical or emotional stress? If so, then you will greatly benefit from Gua Sha treatments.

Gua Sha, “What is that?”  You may ask. Gua (gwa), meaning to scrape or extract and Sha(shaw), meaning sand or toxins. It is a traditional ancient Chinese healing technique that dates back over two thousand years. This ancient method of promoting Chi or bioelectric vital life energy, blood circulation and removal of toxic heat, stagnant blood and lymph fluid from the body is an extremely important, almost miraculous method of improving ones health. Chi or Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the constant and vigorous movement of energy or life force that keeps us healthy and alive.

It is the fastest way I know to release muscular tension, and works amazingly well to remove pain from both recent and old injuries. I apply it most often to the upper back, shoulders and neck (where many people store tension and stress), but I also use it across the low back and down the legs for low back pain, sciatica, knee pain, and menstrual problems; and down the shoulder and arm for injuries and tendinitis. I also use it for internal problems. Anywhere there is pain, tension in the skin or muscles, congestion, discoloration or vascular spiders is an area that may benefit from Gua Sha.

If muscles are so tight that they are ischemic, then nourishment cannot flow into them, and waste products cannot flow out. It is not surprising, then, that pain is a result.

A classic Chinese medical aphorism states: "No free flow, pain; free flow, no pain." One of the bases of Chinese medicine is ensuring the free flow of Qi and Blood to all parts of the body to maintain health. Gua Sha immediately improves circulation where it has been applied. I use acupuncture both before and after Gua Sha to help the muscles remember how to relax.

The particular technique of Gua Sha involves scraping the skin with a smooth tool. I apply massage oil as a lubricant. As the skin is scraped, it turns pink from the stimulation. Where there is no tension, the normal skin color returns in a few minutes. In areas of tension or stagnation, however, where the blood flow is restricted, the blood is forced out of the capillaries and forms red dots under the skin. The Sha rash takes 2-3 days on average to disappear. Where the blood has been forced from the capillaries, new blood must flow in. The body must also clean up the blood no longer in the capillaries. The result of these two processes is an improvement in the circulation in the area.

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