tracie braylock

Holistic Practices

The Healing Power of Gua Sha

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Writer, Holistic Nurse Educator & Mama of 4, reminding entrepreneurs and creatives  to care for your health and well-being as you build your businesses and get your work into the world.

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Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese healing practice in which a professional applies pressure to a smooth edged tool while scraping along the skin. This pressure and stroking motion can produce petechiae, or small, red, raised dots, due to small blood vessels called capillaries breaking open and causing bleeding under the skin. The petechiae caused by gua sha is harmless and will fade over time as the body heals and the blood is reabsorbed from the affected tissue.

Gua sha, pronounced “gwa shaw”, may help break down scar and connective tissue, improving movement in the joints and can be used to treat chronic pain all over the body. The practice also promotes lymphatic drainage, can help improve circulation and relieves tension in the muscles.

Gua sha practitioners believe that gua sha releases unhealthy, and painful, matter from the body, and allows new oxygenated blood to flow into treatment areas.

As this useful technique releases blockages throughout the body, toxins that are within deeper tissues can be released, body fluid circulation can increase and normal cellular metabolic processes can be restored, both nourishing and detoxifying the body.

Gua sha is also believed to address the stagnant energy within the body responsible for inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of many conditions, including chronic pain, and ridding the body of it can promote healing.

The treatment is provided with an oil or balm to enable smooth strokes of the gua sha instrument along the surface of the recipient’s skin.

Following a gua sha treatment, you may experience bruising, soreness or tenderness at the treatment site.

Gua Sha should not break the skin during treatment and may not be suitable for those with medical conditions affecting the skin or veins, those who bleed easily or have an infection or wound that hasn’t fully healed.

Gua Sha can also be called dermal friction therapy, tribo-effleurage or kerokan.

Have you tried Gua sha? Tell me about your experience in the comments section.


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Tracie Braylock is a holistic nurse educator and writer inspiring you to live well in every area of your life.