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Gua Sha Therapy To Relieve Both Chronic And Acute Pain

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An ancient Chinese healing technique, Gua sha is used by a lot of traditional Chinese medicine therapists. It is a procedure that involves the application of massage oil or any other lubricating medium on the site(s) of treatment and the use of a smooth-edged tool to scrape the skin, usually on the back parallel to the spine or in the area of pain to relieve various types of ailments. This scraping movement produces ecchymosis (raised bruising) and/or petechiae (redness).

Gua sha is most commonly used for both chronic and acute pain. According to traditional Chinese medicine, pain is usually the result of blood stagnation in the area of discomfort. Practitioners of this therapy believe that Gua sha has the ability to promote the smooth flow of blood in the area boost the unfettered circulation of blood in the area and to eliminate stagnation which then leads to the relief of pain.

Gua sha is often indicated for the relief of pain; however, it is also sometimes used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to treat problems such as muscle spasms, sprains, strains, fibromyalgia, heatstroke, fever, flu, colds, bronchitis, and asthma.

Most experts believe that Gua sha works because it boosts microcirculation (blood flow) in the soft tissues, sets off the release of endorphins, natural pain-relieving chemicals of the body, and obstruct the pathways of pain response. All these result in the relief of pain.

Gua sha is considered by some as a type of folk medicine; interestingly however, scientific research community has come to its defense! Harvard medicine researchers have revealed the effectiveness of the treatment and have provided insight as to how it works. The journal Pain Medicine in 2011 published a study showing how gua sha was able to reduce pain among chronic neck pain patients. They noted that “After a week the severity of the neck pain significantly improved better in the group treated with gua sha compared with the group treated with heat therapy (control group).”

Doppler images and other techniques were used by the researchers, to prove that microcirculation has indeed improved in the site of treatment, which then led to the reduction of both distal and local areas of pain. In animal studies, gua sha was shown to affect the Heme Oxygenase-enzyme which has an antioxidative effect in the cells in mice. One human study revealed that gua sha can lower inflammatory markers of a Hepatitis B patient with liver injury which suggests that the treatment may even have a beneficial effect on the liver.

For those who are interested in getting gua sha treatment, you need to look for an Orlando experienced and licensed acupuncturist in or near your area. During your initial consultation, your acupuncturist will first conduct an exhaustive assessment to make sure you are eligible for this form of treatment. You may find an acupuncturist near you by going online and visiting the website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Written by Valerie

December 12th, 2017 at 6:57 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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