What is Gua Sha?
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 'scraped'. The scraping technique helps to drain excess fluids and toxins from your body.
What conditions can Gua Sha treat?
- chronic pain and acute pain
- muscle aches/strains and sprains
- muscle spasms
- negative effects on the body of smoking, alcohol and poor diet
- digestive problems / IBS
- weight loss
- smoking cessation
- alcohol cessation
- following course/s antibiotics
- build up of lactic acid following excessive training
.What Happens During Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is usually performed after massaging the area and tension/adhesions/scar tissue requires specific attention. It is often also used after acupuncture. We use a range of different sized Gua Sha tools, made from Jade, Wild Buffalo Horn and Metal, depending on the area of the body. The tool is pressed into the skin whilst moving in one direction and will feel like a deep tissue massage. The area it is being used on will determine the pressure, for example, greater pressure can be used on the shoulder and back, whereas extremely light pressure is used during a facial treatment.
When there are a lot of congested toxins or a stagnation of energy in an area, small red petechiae usually appear. It is always exactly where you feel the most pain, tightness, tenderness or stiffness! It is much easier for us to determine exactly where you are experiencing your pain, and we can then go from there in further specialising your treatment.
Does Gua Sha Hurt?
At first, the scraping against exposed skin can feel a little tender. We always work within your pain threshold though and if it feels too uncomfortable we would stop. Toward the end of the scraping, you will not feel pain but just the firm stroking motions. Where there has been stagnation they will be red marks, but these will not feel sore to the touch.
Does Gua Sha Work?
Gua Sha breaks up the stagnation that causes you to feel pain and stiffness. It energises your Qi (energy) and 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.
Although it seems a strange treatment the first time you have it, often the improvement in stiffness, degree of pain and mobility will convince you that it is well worth having.
What can I expect after Gua Sha?
You will normally tired after the treatment as your body moves into regeneration mode. We recommend, therefore, that you do not plan any strenuous activity or a large meal/alcohol afterwards.
The bruising fades over 1 or 2 days - but be sure to tell us if you are going on holiday or planning to wear strapless gowns etc and we would normally suggest waiting until the next treatment to treat with Gua Sha or Cupping.
We recommend drinking plenty of room temperature water, light meal and take an Epsom salts bath after a cupping treatment because the salts are anti-inflammatory and can help rid the body of toxins that have been released into your system.
If you follow the advice above, over the next few days you will feel more energised and you will have greater range of movement/flexibly if we have focused on a specific area of concern. Additional benefits are usually that your skin and eyes will look clear and bright and you will generally feel more alert.