Gua sha, also known as scraping, is a healing technique that uses a smoothed-edged bone or stone tool to release muscle tension. Also called the Graston Technique™, which is performed by athletic and physical trainers, gua sha dates back to Eastern Asian medicine. Like acupuncture, cupping and reiki, gua sha works to unblock qi (pronounced “chee”), a Chinese philosophy of energy medicine that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. It is believed that blockages of qi cause pain and other negative conditions in the body.
Gua sha treatment is performed by our team of skilled acupuncture practitioners to help heal both acute and chronic conditions, including:
During your gua sha visit: What to expectDuring a gua sha treatment, the practitioner isolates the area of skin where there is an injury or imbalance and creates a therapeutic rash using a technique called “press-stroking,” which involves rubbing a smooth-edged instrument across the surface of the skin several times in a therapeutic direction away from the head. The rash is believed to alleviate pain and other conditions attributed to congestion of blood and qi by increasing the surface circulation of blood.
Gua sha is most often used on the back, neck and shoulders. For some, gua sha can cause discomfort and leave temporary marking or petechiae (the end of blood vessels opening up below the skin of the treated area).
Gua sha is primarily used as a complimentary treatment to other therapies including acupuncture, massage and physical therapy. Your gua sha practitioner will work with you to determine how many sessions you need.