Repost from one of our lovely acupuncture graduates @hayley_stobbs on why she loves using gua sha in her practice ✨
One of my favourite Chinese medicine modalities is gua sha, 'gua' meaning to scrape or rub (with a smooth edged tool), and 'sha' referring to the reddish skin colour that appears. Gua sha, along with cupping, are amazing therapies for releasing fascia. The fascia are a continuous network of moist membranous wrappings that connect the entire body, holding everything in place. Interestingly, fascia can be considered your body's secondary nervous system since it's filled with receptor membranes that communicate to others throughout the body. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our physiology is inseparable to our mental-emotional wellbeing. Fascia responds to emotions and stress -- holding (tensing) or relaxing (spreading) in response to our deepest held emotions and feelings. Gua sha can help lift emotions to the surface, to be released and let go of. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gua sha is most commonly used for pain, stiffness, achiness, respiratory inflammation, fever, detoxification, metabolic dysfunction, and emotional release. It's also used preventatively to help regulate the immune system during cold and flu season. Western mechanisms behind its healing effects include flushing of inflammatory cytokines, lactic acid buildup, and histamine, increased circulation, upregulation of the antioxidant heme oxygenase, and regulation of the immune system.