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What is Gua Sha 刮痧?

Gua Sha (Chinese: 刮痧; pinyin: guā shā), meaning "scraping sha-bruises", is an instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in which the skin is scraped to produce light bruising. Gua Sha is sometimes referred to as "spooning" or "coining" by English speakers. Gua Shais defined as a therapeutic modality in TCM that uses several tools to scrape or rub the surface of the body to relieve blood (Xue) stagnation. It is believed that Gua Sha releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing. Tools for Gua Sha including a Chinese soup spoon, an edge-worn coin, a slice of water-buffalo horn, a cow rib, honed jade and a simple metal cap with a smooth round lip with oil or water are used in Gua Sha to scrape or rub the skin to relieve blood stagnation at the body surface.

A study at National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that there are three possible mechanisms of using Gua Sha to relieve musculoskeletal pain: (1) Gua Sha increases local microcirculation thereby decreasing distal myalgia; (2) pain is reduced through stimulating the serotonergic, noradrenergic and opioid systems; (3) GuaShaminimizesthe direct effects of pain at nociceptors, their surroundings and the interconnections within the spinal cord. Another study at NIH provides empirical evidence supporting that Gua-Sha therapy may be used as an effective technique in the management of breast engorgement. By using Gua Sha therapy, nurses can handle breast engorgement problems more effectively in primary care and hence help patients both physically and psychologically.

In a practice of TCM, Gua Shamay be used to treat many conditions such as all kinds of pain, common cold, flu, respiratory problems, digestive dysfunctions and many more. To learn more about Gua Sha feel free to visit us and talk with the doctors to find out what benefits you may receive from Gua Sha treatment.

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