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Archive for April, 2018

Gua Sha Can Be Used As Treatment For A Myriad Of Illnesses And Ailments

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One traditional Chinese medicine technique in Austin that uses pressured strokes on oiled skin with various instruments such as jade stone, water buffalo horn, or a coin is Gua Sha therapy. It is a natural safe form of treatment and has a myriad benefits to health. It is rapidly becoming popular in the US and Europe.

In Chinese medicine, Gua Sha means to literally scrape away illness. It is a type of folk medicine that has been practiced in Southeast and Northeast Asia for thousands of years.

As a traditional Chinese therapy, Gua Sha demonstrates its therapeutic effects in the following ways:

1. Helps eliminate toxins in the blood
2. Activate the collaterals and relaxes tendons and muscles
3. Strengthens the immunity of the individual
4. Removes blood stasis and enhances the flow of blood

After a session of Gua Sha, the back of the patient has several extravasation of blood from the peripheral capillaries that result in subdermal blemishing which usually takes two to four days to disappear. Since Gua Sha is known to be safe and cause zero side effects, it can be used in a person’s daily life. It can be used by almost any individual as treatment for a myriad of illnesses and ailments. However, it is contraindicated people with the following conditions and diseases:

1. People who are tired, full, or very hungry.
2. Women who are pregnant should not have gua sha therapy on their belly.
3. People with swelling in their body.
4. People suffering from hypohepatia, renal insufficiency, or severe cardiovascular diseases.
5. People with mental disorders.
6. People suffering from trauma, fracture, or acute lumbar sprain.
7. People with bleeding disorders.
8. People suffering from advanced leukemia, anemia, or diabetes.
9. People suffering from infectious diseases.

People suffering from one of the above diseases or from one of the above conditions should get permission from their doctors in order to avoid unnecessary problems.

Written by Valerie

April 17th, 2018 at 4:55 am

Posted in Traditional Chinese Medicine

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The Various Benefits Of Gua Sha Therapy

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The benefits of gua sha therapy are numerous and it especially works against any chronic disorder that involves inflammation or pain.

Gua sha promotes smooth flow of blood to the organs, connective tissues, and muscles; enhances range of movement; and relieves pain and spasms. One session of this therapy often heads off an oncoming cold and can be an effective way to quiet a persistent cough. Studies have revealed that gua sha results in a four-fold boost in microcirculation, stimulates the immune system, and treats inflammation. It also increases the activity of an enzyme that helps lessen inflammation of the internal organ: the heme-oxygenase-1. The upregulation of HO-1 explains in part the use of gua sha for internal organ conditions such as liver disease cough, hepatitis and asthma.

Does gua sha leave bruises or abrasions in the body?

While the site of treatment in gua sha will look like road rash after the therapy, surface of the skin is totally intact and there is no bleeding related to this technique. Gua sha will leave skin discoloration that looks like a bruise but is not. Bruising happens when a sheer force or blow damages the capillaries and leads to bleeding in the tissue. In gua sha, however, blood cells are pressed or extravasated via the capillary walls without the surrounding tissues and the capillaries being damaged. The site of treatment will usually feel a bit tender after treatment but all in all, the result is rapid alleviation of pain and an increase in range of movement.

What happens during and after the therapy?

During the procedure, the therapist utilizes a smooth-edged instrument to stroke the skin repeatedly. Gua means “press stroke” or “to rub” while Sha is a word that denotes the congestion of blood in the surface tissue in parts of the body where the patient experiences pain and stiffness; sha can also refer to the tiny red spots that are elevated during the procedure. “Petechiae” is the medical term for the red spots that occurs during the therapy.

Those petechiae are the blood cells that have been pressed outside of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) as the therapist strokes the skin time and time again. The process of re-absorption within the body immediately starts and it is the this process, combined with a significant rise in local circulation, that leads to the pain-relieving, immune-boosting, and anti-inflammatory benefits that gua sha provides.

Why is the color of sha important and how quick does it fade?

The associated petechiae from gua sha range in color from bright to dark red, and from blue to almost black. When the therapy is performed at the site of an acute or relatively new problem, the color of the petechiae usually is bright red. The reason for this is that the blood stuck beneath the skin in the connective tissue arises during only the procedure. In contrast, the ensuing petechiae when the therapy is done on the treatment site that experiences chronic injury or pain are usually bluish or even black in color. This is due to the blood that has been stagnant for a considerable amount of time.

Also important is how rapid the petechiae dissipate following the procedure. Among young healthy individuals with strong circulatory systems, petechiae vanish quite rapidly. If the gua sha is performed on children in the morning, the petechiae usually vanish by the end of the day. On the other hand, among older people suffering from chronic pain or with slow or weak circulation, the petechiae may need almost a week to completely vanish.

Individuals with stagnant circulation may find that their skin takes longer than usual to return to its normal appearance.

It’s important to remember the following instructions days after your gua sha treatment:

1. For three days following treatment, drink lots of water.

2. As the site of treatment becomes more flexible and dramatically less painful, be informed that if the site is overburdened by strenuous activity days following treatment, it will be prone to re-injury.

3. Wear a scarf over the treated site during windy or cool weather. Use a shirt to cover the treated site at night.

4. Avoid exposing the treated site to extreme temperature, direct sunlight, or drafts till the appearance of your skin goes back to normal.

Dr. Guoen Wang is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and doctor of Chinese medicine in Austin Texas.

Written by Valerie

April 17th, 2018 at 4:53 am

Gua Sha Treats A Wide Range Of Health Issues Including Chronic And Acute Pain

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An ancient form of East Asian healing technique, Gua Sha is used to treat a wide range of health issues including chronic and acute pain. This technique uses a smooth instrument to scrape the skin in order to generate a therapeutic and temporary rash. The rash that develops is believed to relieve pain and other issues associated with stagnation of blood flow or “congestion” of blood.

According to Gua Sha healers, chronic and acute inflammation and pain are due to sluggish movement of vital energy or Chi and blood of a patient. They believe that when the skin in the affected area of the body is scraped, the area develops an elevated rash that treats pain and other symptoms of illnesses by forcing stagnant fluids and blood to move. When the fluids and blood start to move, they transport metabolic waste towards muscles and surface tissues, and boost microcirculation in the site of treatment.

The rashes from the Gua Sha therapy consist of tiny blood extravasations just deep to the skin surface (Sha). In Western medicine, these tiny blood leakages are called “ecchymoses” or “petechiae” and are an apparent sign that static blood has been restored to a healthy flow. The rashes normally clear around two to four days.

Some of the health problems that can be treated with Gua Sha therapy include musculoskeletal problems such as spasm, strain, and fibromyalgia and respiratory conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold. In the management of pain, Gua Sha is known to alleviate chronic and acute pain that may be attributed to these and other conditions.


During a session of Gua Sha therapy, the practitioner or healer presses or palpates the skin of the patient in order to locate tender knots and points in the substratal musculature. The healer also searches for parts of the body that display delayed capillary refill or blanching. Then based on the findings, the healer lubricates the site of treatment with oil and then using a smooth instrument scrapes the treatment site with broad strokes until the telltale rash develops. Some of the instruments typically used to create the rash include slices of animal horn, coins, or soup spoons; and the treatment sites usually treated are the stomach, chest, limbs, buttocks, shoulders, neck, and back.

The duration and color of the rash is believed to aid the Gua sha healer to diagnose and customize a plan of treatment to specifically address the needs of the patient. For instance, a light-colored Sha can indicate a Chinese medicine diagnosis known as “blood deficiency,” while dark-colored Sha may indicate stagnant blood that has been going on for an extended period of time.

Gua Sha Benefits

A growing body of research provides clinical evidence that acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, massage, and other reflex therapies aid in reducing the symptoms of pain by influencing the function of the spinal cord and pain-sensing neurons called nociceptors. In addition, these comforting social therapies may be good for patients suffering from pain by promoting relaxation.

A controlled clinical randomized open trial revealed that Gua Sha generated positive short-term effects on functional status and pain in patients suffering from chronic pain in the neck. The trial recruited 48 patients who were randomly treated with local thermal heat pads or with Gua Sha therapy. The effects of the treatment were monitored for seven days. Compared to the control group, the group given gua sha therapy experienced significant improvement in the severity of their neck pain. The patients in the gua sha group also experienced reduced scores on the NDI (Neck Disability Index (NDI), relief of pain, and a higher quality of life. The researchers reported that the Gua Sha treatment was apparently well tolerated and totally safe.

In another similar controlled randomized study, the effects of gua sha therapy on the pressure pain thresholds and pain ratings in patients suffering from chronic low back pain and chronic neck pain was measured. It was discovered that the patients treated with Gua Sha therapy reported decreases in these two pain scales.


Neither the current national standards nor the literature adequately address Gua Sha therapy safety standards. It is widely believed, however, that Gua Sha should not be performed on patients suffering from bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners. Gua Sha should also not be performed in parts of the body where there are open sores burns and other superficial skin lesions, in areas where there is bruising, and in areas such as the spine where there are overlying bony prominences. It should also not be performed on the genitalia.


The response of the patient to Gua Sha therapy guides the healer into creating a customized plan of treatment. The duration and color of the rash, for instance, can provide information that can be used in planning future treatment.

Moreover, the personal experience of the patient may determine whether Gua Sha is a proper treatment for their pain. Those likely to benefit from additional sessions are patients who report relaxation and pain relief.

Blue Mountain Acupuncture
2200 Melrose St Suite 9
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone: (509) 876-4597

Written by Valerie

April 10th, 2018 at 4:50 am

The Chinese Five Elements System And The Meridian System In The Body

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The meridian system uses the Chinese Five Elements system as its infrastructure. This Five Elements model, developed in Asia for over thousands of years, is what Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure, acupuncture, and several other modes of treatment are based on.

These Asian modes of treatment, refined in a culture that sees the body as a self balancing system that in case of an imbalance, necessitates action to help the body rebalance itself. Rather than the Western concepts of disease or pathology, it’s all about pattern.

You can use an acupuncture diagram to know where the meridians are located in the body. However, these meridians are not really visible in the body. You wouldn’t be able to find tiny tubes through which chi or vital energy moves, unlike veins through which blood flows. However, research done suggests a quantifiable change in electric charge on specific points on the body which conform to the points that have been mapped on acupuncture diagrams. Research has also determined skin surface conductivity which suggests a conductivity change around the mapped acupuncture points. Unfortunately, Western science does not follow the energy model concept of a system or the body which considers the spirit/ mind/body as a whole instead of the affected part of the body affected and so is inclined to discard it as fantasy.

Meridians are the channels of energy that radiate around and throughout the body, which the Ancient Asians noticed, utilized and continue to use up to the present.

Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
12301 Taft St #200
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Phone: (954) 880-0090

Written by Valerie

April 10th, 2018 at 4:42 am

Treatment Of Respiratory Conditions Using Gua Sha Therapy

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One of Chinese medicine’s ancient home remedy for respiratory conditions and other ailments is gua sha therapy. This technique is known as scraping and is starting to find more and more adherents in the West.

As with a lot of alternative therapies, the West has not subjected this therapy to comprehensive scientific studies. The Pain Medicine journal, a few years ago, published the findings of a small study, which showed that when compared to a thermal heating pad, the use of gua sha led to positive short-term results in the treatment of chronic neck pain.

Physical therapists use it to treat foot conditions such as back pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and other muscle problems in the leg. The therapy in general isn’t actually pleasant for the patient and can be a bit uncomfortable.

To locate part of the body that feel tight, gua sha therapists, like massage therapists, palpate their patients and when they find areas that require treatment, the therapists rub them with a spoon or another scraping tool until they area turns red. Basically, the therapist is scraping the blockages in their skin.

For tight muscles, obviously, the area to scarpe is where those muscles are located. Scraping for other ailments, however, is determined by traditions that target the various organs associated with certain parts of the body. The patient’s back, after the first treatment, appears as though he had fallen off a high diving board backward down to a pool. The skin looks completely red with welts and scrapes showing, particularly in areas where the patient had complained of tingling that he thought was because of poor circulation and muscle stiffness.

The redness fades after a few days.

In Germany, researchers at the teaching hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen formulated a randomized clinical trial that some showed patients with chronic mechanical neck pain being given gua sha therapy while a control group was administered with heating pads to the neck.

The researchers concluded that “compared to the control group the severity of the neck pain of the gua sha group significantly improved after one week compared to the control group. Major therapeutic effects were also discovered for pain at motion and the quality of life of the treatment group significantly improved.

They also noted that “in the long-term management of neck pain and other issues, the efficacy of gua sha needs to be clarified.”

Vancouver Acupuncturists believe that gua sha therapy is a potential treatment for mastitis and neck pain although mastitis (engorgement of the breast) affects people especially some breast-feeding mothers. The therapy also elevates temporary therapeutic petechiae or other few hemorrhages from broken blood vessels. It stimulates the body to produce an immune and anti-inflammatory response.

Gua sha is safe and is a surprisingly painless treatment. It triggers the immune response of the body that in turn, can lead to the treatment of infection or can make the antibiotic more effective.

While gua sha therapy is often taught at Chinese medicine schools, no one needs a certification or license to practice the therapy. The way gua sha is done is simple but unscientific. When a person gets sick, the sickness inside his body can’t get out. The strokes of Gua sha therapy allow the sickness to escape.

Written by Valerie

April 3rd, 2018 at 6:37 am

The Human Meridian System With Its Collaterals And Meridians

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Based on the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a human being is a small representation of the universe. Through the ceaseless observations of a whole human being and by compiling the findings of these observations, the existence of the human meridian system with its collaterals and channels has been established. The human meridian system is nothing less than an invisible system of interconnected and definite pathways through which energy or qi is moved and transported throughout the body. This system surely cannot be determined by dissecting a cadaver, because the object of study is merely a body of flesh without life. For thousands of years, the concept of the human meridian system has been shown to be accurate in the annals of medical practice. The system of traditional Chinese medical massage, moxibustion, acupuncture, as well as deep-breathing exercises, among others were all designed based on the concept of the human meridian system.

Thousands of years ago, scholars of TCM saw that close relationships between time and man and the seasons and man did indeed exist.

Does anyone know why early in the morning most healthy people rush to the lavatory to pass stool? According to traditional Chinese medicine, the human body has a dozen energy meridians or channels in the meridian system and that each of these meridians has its essential time of the day for passing stool. Around five to seven A.M. is the time in which the movement of the qi or life energy of the body goes into the meridian of the large intestine. This is usually the time most people feel a need to defecate. In a related matter, why do some individuals talk about the need to “adjust the time difference”? The reason for this is the flow of qi through each meridian is tied to the time of the day. An individual feels an instinctive urge to make some adjustment of their daily habits when they arrive at a new place. This is needed for their body to adapt to the changes to the primary time in the movement of qi through each of the meridians.

How are practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine able to evaluate the internal health condition of a patient by merely drawing inference from the patient’s external characteristics?

Let’s take as an example the simple case of evaluating the internal condition of an apple when buying from among a throng of watermelons at a market stall. A stall owner in China often offers gratuitous service to his customers and so he may have selected a good choice for you. Someone who has worked in raising or selling apples all his life knows how to make the best choice by simply banking on his experience. In the same manner, a healing practitioner can visually evaluate the internal condition of a patient by trusting on his personal experience, as well as utilizing his grasp of traditional Chinese medicine, which is fundamental. This is because traditional Chinese medicine is a natural science with an extensive history of development through constant practice and observation.

Ling’s Acupuncture, Inc.
120 Gatlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32806-6908
(407) 851-2533

Written by Valerie

April 3rd, 2018 at 4:40 am