Four Conditions That Can Be Successfully Treated With Gua Sha Therapy

Gua sha is an ancient Chinese healing technique that involves the scraping of the skin with a massage tool to boost blood flow in the body. It is an alternative and natural form of therapy that may provide you with a unique approach to good health and well being, mostly in resolving issues such as chronic pain.

Gua sha therapy is performed by a practitioner of Chinese medicine who scrapes your skin with long and short strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which boosts blood flow. The strokes are made with a smooth-edged tool known as a gua sha massage instrument. Before scraping, the practitioner first applies massage oil to a client’s skin, and then utilizes the instrument to repeatedly scrape the skin in a downward motion.

Gua sha is designed to treat energy or chi that has become stagnant. According to practitioners, this stagnation is due to inflammation, which is the underlying cause of various conditions related to chronic pain. They believe that rubbing of the surface of the skin can help break up the stagnation, promote healing, and relieve inflammation.

Usually performed on the legs, arms, neck, buttocks, and back of a person, gua sha massage therapy can also be performed on the face as some sort of facial massage. The practitioner may administer light to medium pressure, and slowly increase the strength to ascertain just how much force you can handle.

Benefits Derived from Gua Sha Therapy

Because it can lessen inflammation, gua sha is commonly used to resolve ailments that bring about chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis and, conditions that can cause joint and muscle pain.

It can also be effective in the relief of the following conditions:

1. Migraine headaches

Gua sha therapy may help if over-the-shelf drugs are useless against migraine headaches. A case study involving a 71-year-old woman who was suffering from chronic headaches was treated with gua sha over a two week period. During this time, her migraines got better indicating that this ancient healing art may be a viable treatment for headaches. Additional studies are required.

2. Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B virus can cause an infection that may lead to liver scarring, liver damage, and inflammation of the liver. Studies show that gua sha can help lessen chronic inflammation of the liver.

One study observed a man manifesting high liver enzymes which is a sign of liver inflammation. He was treated with gua sha therapy and after two days of treatment, his liver enzymes started to decline. This has caused researchers to believe that gua sha has the power to treat liver inflammation, thus reducing the risk of liver damage. More studies are underway.

3. Neck pain

Gua sha therapy has been shown to effectively treat chronic neck pain. To ascertain the efficacy of this therapy, 48 test subjects were divided into two groups. One group used a thermal heating pad to treat neck pain and the other group was given gua sha therapy. After a week, the subjects who were given gua sha experienced less pain compared to the group that was not treated with gua sha.

4. Breast engorgement

A lot of breastfeeding women tend to experience engorgement of their breasts. This is the time when the breasts are overfilled with milk. This condition often arises in the initial weeks of breastfeeding or if the mother is separated from her infant for any reason. The breasts become painful and swollen, making it very hard for the infants to latch. Fortunately, this condition is usually temporary.

In one research, women were treated with gua sha from the 2nd day after giving birth up until the leave the hospital. In the weeks after giving birth, the hospital followed up on these women and discovered that many of them reported fewer incidents of breast discomfort, breast fullness, and engorgement. This made it easier for them to breastfeed.

5. Perimenopausal syndrome

Perimenopausal symptoms arise as women more and more approach menopause. Symptoms include:

• Irregular periods
• Insomnia
• Hot flashes
• Fatigue
• Anxiety

It is believed that gua sha therapy can help decrease the symptoms of perimenopause in some women.

In one case study, 80 women with symptoms perimenopause were observed. The treatment group was given 15 minute gua sha treatments once a week along with conventional treatment for two months. The control group was just given conventional treatment.

At the end of the study, the treatment group experienced a greater decrease of symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia compared to the control group. Scientists have considered gua sha therapy to be an effective and safe treatment for this syndrome.

6. Tourette syndrome

The involuntary movements associated with Tourette syndrome (vocal outbursts, throat clearing, and facial tics) have been known to respond well to gua sha therapy. In a single case study, when gua sha combined with other treatments, gua sha has shown to lessen the symptoms of Tourette syndrome among the subjects in the study.

The research included a 32-year-old male who had been suffering from Tourette syndrome since he was 9 years old. He modified his lifestyle and was treated with gua sha, herbs, and acupuncture. After he had received once-a-week treatments at the age of 35, his symptoms were significantly reduced.

Side Effects

Side effects related to gua sha therapy

Gua sha is safe as a natural healing remedy. Although the method may alter the appearance of your skin, it’s not supposed to be painful. The appearance of your skin may change because the therapy entails the scraping or rubbing of the skin with a massage instrument which causes the capillaries or tiny blood vessels near the skin surface to burst. This can lead to minor bleeding and bruising of the skin. The bruising typically vanishes two days.

After a gua sha treatment, some folks may also show some indentations on their skin.

There’s also the chance of being infected with bloodborne illnesses in if any bleeding arises; therefore it’s essential for practitioners to disinfect their instrument after each patient.

If you’ve had any surgery in the last six weeks, avoid getting gua sha therapy.

People with have clotting disorders or those who are taking blood thinners are poor candidates for gua sha.

Takeaway
When mainstream treatments fail to improve your symptoms, studies show that gua sha may help provide the person with some type of relief.

Gua sha therapy may appear simple and straightforward. This thing is, it should only be administered by a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine or licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana. This guarantees a person a proper and safe treatment. More studies are needed, although but there are few risks related with this massage procedure.

Whomever practitioner you go to for treatment, make sure that he or she is a certified gua sha practitioner. Certification proves they have a basic understanding of this healing art. Seeking treatment from a professional boosts the efficacy of the treatment and decreases the risk of severe bruising or pain from too much force.

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