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An Ancient Form of Bodywork

Gua sha is an ancient form of bodywork used for thousands of years throughout Asia. It is similar to Graston Technique, used by physical therapists, physiatrists, and chiropractors. Unlike Graston, gua sha leaves small red marks or petechiae over the treated area, and it is extremely effective when treating an entire muscle from attachment to insertion, tendons and peripheral nerves that are inflamed and painful. It is a type of manual therapy that uses a tool made of horn, ceramic, wood, or stone. Oil is applied to the affected soft tissue and the tool is used on this area with gentle pressure, in particular directions based on TCM theory to resolve pain.

Fitness Class Stretching

Benefits of Gua Sha

From a biomedicine perspective, gua sha initiates a vascular response and improves muscle and nerve performance. It also increases joint ROM. In addition, it reduces inflammation, pain, and scar tissue formation. Research has shown gua sha increases fibroblast production. This is important because fibroblasts are responsible for the cellular repair of elastin, collagen, and proteoglycans that make up tissues. Scarring in tissue is associated with an unorganized collagen fiber matrix. Gua sha repairs soft tissue in an organized fashion restoring function and reducing scarring.

Common Uses for Gua Sha

  • Muscle Strains or Pain
  • Tendinitis: Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Ulnar Neuropathy
  • TMJ
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Colds/Flus

Mederi Health Is Your Westminster, CO Resource for Full Body Wellness