Gua sha is the centuries-old practice of applying pressure and friction to the surface of the skin usually with a smooth-edged spoon (or other therapeutic tool) to release toxins held in muscular tissue, invigorate blood and lymph circulation in specific areas of the body, relieve chronic muscle tension, and more. Gua sha is often used for treating chronic migraines and headaches, neck/shoulder/back tension and pain, colds/flu, and more.
Depending on your body and being’s unique pattern of imbalance and your health goals, acupuncturists and bodyworkers often use gua sha, moxibustion, and/or cupping as part of a complete acupuncture or bodywork treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about any of these modalities, please ask your practitioner at your next visit or contact us!
Cupping and gua sha often leave marks that can last from one day to one week. Because these techniques open the skin’s pores to facilitate the release of heat, wind, or toxins, the areas we have worked on should be considered vulnerable to “invasion” by wind, cold, dampness, and other elements that can create stagnation and pain. Therefore, please make sure to keep the areas worked on covered and away from coldness or wind for several days. If possible, try not to bathe for 24 hours after cupping or gua sha. Please make sure to drink enough water so that your body can flush out any stagnation that was released from your muscle layer. Sometimes after cupping or gua sha, the area may feel a little sore or you may feel a little tired, as if you did some exercise. This may last for up to 24 hours after a treatment.
Cupping and gua sha may not only remove physical blocks, but also emotional stagnation. Therefore, after cupping and gua sha please do your best to observe your feelings and give your body and and being what it needs or is asking for, whether that is water or rest, great food, silence, or anything else. At any point after your treatment, please feel free to contact your practitioner or anyone at Sage if you would like to discuss any of the effects of your treatment that concern you. We are here to support your healing process, no matter what it looks like.