Deepest Knead Therapeutic Massage, Inc.
Kellie Smith, Licensed Massage Therapist

What is Gua Sha?

What is Gua Sha?

This therapy has combined properties of Chinese medicine with what we know as conventional medicine. Gua Sha enables blood to flow more easily through the vessels, effectively cleansing the body.  Gua Sha breaks up solidifying waste products hiding in subcutaneous tissue, leaving these impurities for excretion via perspiration or by reintroducing them to the bloodstream for excretion by the liver and kidneys. Another reason why we advise you to drink plenty of water after a treatment!

As the body is scraped, it pushes a build-up of fluid ahead of it, and after it passes, it leaves an indention, or vacuum, behind which draws toxic fluid out to the skin's surface from deep within the tissues (similar to cupping). The toxic fluid (Sha), as it floods to the surface, is seen as small, red, deep purple, or green pools of blood. Red spots are an indication that toxins are being released. Deep purple indicates the blood is old and extremely stagnant. A dark green discoloration is a sign that stagnant blood and toxic chi are being released from the system.  Sometimes a clear fluid will draw to the surface in a form that resembles cellulite or goose bumps. Exposing the Sha to the surface of the skin is removing disease from deep within the system where it can now be more easily managed and discarded from the body. The visible signs, similar to a bruise, will heal and go away in a week or two.

Gua Sha also exhibits the benefits of muscle stripping. Stripping the muscle involves the application of slow, deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers.  Stripping the muscle releases and elongates tightened muscle and fascia, flushes the muscles with fresh blood, and erases trigger points.  When gently scraping the skin with the Gua Sha tool, the adhesions in the muscles and tendons are distinctly palpable. Repeating this motion breaks up the adhesions, allowing the muscle to elongate to it's appropriate length.  Adhesion free muscles allow the ratchet system of the muscle to maximize it's utility.  The repetitive scraping motion can bring about a controlled inflammatory response. The body often time has reset and accepted itself in it's chronically injured state, and therefore may ignore a chronic problem. A controlled inflammatory response restarts the healing process and the Gua Sha technique gives it a ''head start'' making the healing process easier for the body.  The process eliminates the old toxic blood, replacing it with nutritious, oxygen rich blood, assisting the body to repair new or old injuries.

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