A traditional form of Chinese medical massage, gua Sha therapy is a healing art that is not as well known as acupuncture in Tarzana, but just as effective. The term gua sha comes from two Chinese words, “gua” and “sha” where gua means “to scrape” and Sha means “toxins”, where the latter indicates how the practice is used. In a Gua Sha treatment session, the practitioner utilizes a special instrument to scrape your skin gently in order to stimulate blood flow.
Gua Sha therapy enhances the movement of your chi or life energy. It works well for emotional stress, infections, fatigue, weak blood flow, and chronic pain.
This therapy is a two-step process, the first step of which is applying oil onto your skin. The oil used in gua sha therapy contains healing herbs that help with the removal of toxins. In the next step, the practitioner uses a special instrument to scrape certain patterns over certain parts of your body, usually, your back and neck.
Small green, purple, or red dots will start to appear as the practitioner moves along the skin surface. Green spots indicate the presence of both toxins and stagnant blood. Purple spots are signs of stagnant blood being revived. Red spots appear when toxins are being released. In certain instances, the therapy may generate small bumps that are colorless and may look like goose bumps; these spots and bumps all vanish within a few days.
The scraping produces a reddening of the skin that doesn’t hurt. After the initial therapy, you may observe some painless bruising over the site of treatment. There will be a push up of fluid ahead of the instrument during the scraping and a vacuum will be left afterward that pushes toxins up to your skin surface and out of your body.
You don’t need to undergo Gua Sha therapies every week. To maintain the benefits of the treatment, you may visit your practitioner every month or every two months. After your initial therapy session, your acupuncturist may offer Gua Sha as a complementary treatment to your acupuncture treatments.