By Renee Pilgrim, R. Ac, R. TCMP
One of the least known and most immediately effective modalities for treating muscles tension and pain is Gus Sha. However it’s a common practice in my treatment room.
This week I’ve used Gua Sha to treat 7 different conditions. 3 out of those 7 were a stiff neck and shoulders. When I was in the beginning of my studies in 2007 I remember being told that I’d likely not use this treatment so much because it can leave marks and ‘people in the west’ don’t always like that.
Gua Sha has been translated to ‘scraping sand’. This literally describes the visual action and appearance of little dots that appear on the skin, resolving in 3-5 days.
As we have advanced in science and understanding of ancient mechanisms like Gua Sha, the newer understanding can help us better describe the action and its effects on the body. It doesn’t always leave visual evidence but when it does, well as my grandfather used to say; “Better out than in!” And for the purposes of providing instant relief for a stiff neck, I agree.
“Gua Sha is defined as the instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis.” Dr. Arya Nielsen
What does it do?
- relieves pain
- supports early recovery for a cold
- prevent pneumonia
- eases bronchitis and quickens the resolve
- treats digestive issues
- treats migraine
- treats muscles tension
- relieves inflammation in the blood
- reinvigorates skin tissue
And that’s just scratching the surface;)