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What is Gua Sha ?

Gua Sha is a primary treatment that has been used throughout Asia for centuries. The Gua Sha intended to relieve an internal disorder consists in rubbing the skin of the patient, on the appropriate zone or zones, with a specific tool often made of jade or synthetic material until an intense redness is obtained. Facial Gua Sha, which aims to rejuvenate the features, is much softer and leaves no visible traces. Gua means "to rub", Sha is a term that describes blood congestion (or blood stasis) in surface tissues that accumulates in areas where the patient may experience stiffness and pain; Sha is also the term that qualifies the small red dots that appear during the application of Gua sha. When Gua Sha is applied, the "sha" appears as small red dots called "petechiae" and the pain immediately subsides. Within minutes, the small red dots fade into a reddish area. The "sha" disappears completely in two to three days after the treatment. The color of the "sha" and the rate of discoloration can give important information about a patient's condition. (reminder: The Gua Sha of the face, aimed at rejuvenating the features, is much softer and does not leave visible traces.) The pain relief persists after the "sha" has completely disappeared. The benefits of Gua sha are numerous: It relieves spasms and pain and promotes normal circulation to muscles, tissues and organs, as shown by the immediate effect of Gua sha on coughing and wheezing. Research has shown that Gua sha causes a fourfold increase in surface tissue microcirculation and can reduce inflammation. The patient experiences immediate improvements in stiffness and pain with increased mobility gain. Because Gua sha mimics sweating, it can help bring down a fever. Gua sha cools the patient who is too hot, warms the patient who is too cold, while releasing tension and reducing anxiety.


Acupuncturists and traditional medicine practitioners in East Asia consider Gua sha for any disease or condition where there is pain or discomfort, for respiratory and digestive problems, and any condition where tactile palpation indicates that there is "sha". Gua sha is often combined with acupuncture for problems that acupuncture alone cannot solve. After the treatment, the patient is advised to protect the treated area from wind, cold and direct sunlight until the "sha" disappears. They are also encouraged to drink plenty of water and eat moderately.

Référence : "Gua sha A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice" - Arya Nielsen.



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