Gua Sha, is an ancient healing technique used throughout Asia and more recently has spread throughout the U.S. It has been touted by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson as well as many Olympic athletes, fitness buffs, and lay people alike.
I have used Gua Sha pronounced (Gwa Sha) on many of my massage clients throughout my 20 years of practice with tremendous results. Often a simple Gua Sha treatment can do for the client what five or even six massages alone cannot! Gua Sha can be done as a stand alone treatment but in my experience it is most effective when done at the end of a massage.
Gua means “to rub”.Sha means sand and describes the bruised like appearance that raises to the surface of the skin, in sand like patterns immediately after treatment. The marks left by gua she can be daunting as they are quite intense but no need to fear they only last three or four days fading and then disappearing completely. And yet the relief is immediate!
Gua Sha breaks up the stagnation that causes you to feel pain and stiffness. 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.
Performing gua sha involves using a specific tool and rubbing or scraping the skin over the sore area. I use a Jade tool or sometimes even the simple but effective lid of a mustard or jam jar. The client may experience some mild discomfort during a treatment however Gua Sha is not painful and the scraping only lasts 30 to 60 seconds in any given area.
Gua Sha can be added to any massage session for $10. Done alone in an acupuncturist office this treatment would often cost $40, so adding Gua Sha to a massage treatment is both cost-effective and more importantly offers amazing relief!