Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edge. Gua Sha is pronounced “gwa shaw.” Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a reddish raised “rash like” area (aka petechiae). Sha is the term used to describe Blood stasis in the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae. Gua Sha is one technique that intentionally raises Sha rash or petechiae.
The scraping creates an extravasation of blood from the peripheral capillaries (petechiae) and may result in sub-cutaneous blemishing (ecchymosis), which usually takes 2-4 days to fade. Sha rash does not represent capillary rupture as in bruising, as is evidenced by the immediate fading of petechiae to echymosis, and the rapid resolution of sha as compared to bruising. The color of sha varies according to the severity of the patient’s blood stasis — which may correlate with the nature, severity and type of their disorder –appearing from a dark blue-black to a light pink, but is most often a shade of red. Although the marks on the skin look painful, they are not. Patients typically feel immediate sense of relief, ease of tension, an overall change.
In classical Chinese practice, the Gua Sha technique is most commonly used to reduce fever, cough and dyspnea, and bronchitis. Help in muscle and tendon injuries as well as reinvigorating overall circulation. Assist in reducing stiffness, pain, immobility. Ease digestive disorders. As well as treat urinary, gynecological disorders.
Cupping therapy is the method of using glass cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum on the patient’s neck, shoulders, or back to dispel qi and/or blood stagnation. The vacuum inside the cups causes the blood to form in the area figuratively “breaking up” the stuck energy, thus helping to heal in that area. Once the overall blockage is removed; qi, blood and lymph fluids are better able to circulate resulting in a better sense of health. It can be used for a host of musculoskeletal conditions as well as respiratory aliments such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
Another healing aspect of cupping therapy is through the release of toxins in your body. The suction from the cups can penetrate deep into your tissues causing the tissues to release harmful toxins. It triggers the lymphatic system, clears the blood vessels, and stretches and activates the skin.