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Exploring the ancient art of gua sha

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Wednesday, 31 May 2023

chinese medicine gua sha

Gua sha may be having a bit of a moment, but did you know that it's a traditional healing technique that has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years? Gua sha involves using a smooth-edged tool to scrape the skin in a specific pattern, which is said to stimulate the flow of qi (energy) in the body and promote healing.

The name gua sha comes from two Chinese words: gua, which means to scrape, and sha, which refers to the redness or petechiae (tiny red dots) that appear on the skin after the treatment. While the idea of intentionally causing redness or bruising on the skin might sound strange, it's believed that this process helps to release toxins and stagnation from the body, allowing the body's natural healing processes to take over.

What is gua sha used for?

Gua sha is often used to treat pain and inflammation in the body. By stimulating blood flow and breaking up scar tissue and adhesions, gua sha can help to relieve muscle and joint pain, headaches, and even respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. It's also said to have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a useful tool for stress relief and relaxation.

While gua sha is generally safe for most people, it's important to note that it can cause some temporary redness or bruising on the skin. This is a normal part of the healing process and should fade within a few days. However, if you have a bleeding disorder, are taking blood-thinning medication, or have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, you should speak with your healthcare provider before trying gua sha.

So, who can benefit from gua sha?

Anyone who is looking for a natural way to promote healing and relieve pain and tension in the body can benefit from gua sha. It's particularly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts, as it can help to speed up recovery time and prevent injuries. It's also a great option for people who prefer natural healing methods and want to avoid medication or invasive treatments.

If you're interested in trying gua sha, it's important to seek out a qualified practitioner who is trained in the technique – or visit our Endeavour Wellness Clinic where one of our students under the guidance of a clinical supervisor can treat you.

While you can purchase gua sha tools online and try it at home, it's a good idea to receive treatment from someone who has experience and knowledge in this area. They can help to ensure that the treatment is safe and effective, and can provide guidance on how to use gua sha as part of a holistic wellness routine.

Interested in trying gua sha?
Visit an Endeavour Wellness Clinic and book yourself in for a Chinese Remedial Massage (Tui Na) appointment today. Keen to learn more? Explore our Diploma of Chinese Remedial Massage to better understand this technique.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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