There is More to Gua Sha than You Know

There is More to Gua Sha than You Know

Featured Speaker: Katherine Teisinger DAOM

Most of us were taught Gua Sha in school. I did very little of it; patients came in for Acupuncture, not a massage. In a continuing education class, I took another course in Gua Sha and Cupping. That's where I learned about the nature of pain and the toxic buildup in muscle and tendon tissue.

Have you ever wondered what causes pain? Nerves must be fed blood, body fluids, and energy to feel good. Please take one of these away; the nerve is not being fed, so it sends a pain signal. As an example, intertwine your fingers and clutch them very tightly together. You can see how your fingers are no longer getting the blood supply, body fluids, and energy they need. The longer you clutch your fingers and hands together, the more pain you are in. When you release them, the pain goes away.

As we age, our muscles and tendons get tighter and tighter. When muscle regeneration occurs, old cells die and cannot escape tight muscles. This is the cause of the toxic buildup that prevents good circulation. I use the analogy of sand in a shoe. If there is sand in the shoe, the area will hurt.

With this information in mind, look at upper back and neck pain. When you take a Gua Sha scraper across the trapezius muscles, you can feel the knots that have formed. You can also feel crunchy areas; these are fascia adhesions. Helping the body remove this toxic buildup will help the patient get out of pain much faster.

A problem for you when doing Gua Sha several times a day is that it can be hard on your hands.

This is why the Gua Sha Massage Stick is a better instrument. You can remove toxins from knots in the muscles and fascia adhesions much quicker. It saves time and energy. The Gua Sha Massage Stick uses grooves cut into the stick to pull on the skin and break up the fascia adhesions and the knots in the muscles. This allows the toxins that have been trapped to come to the surface of the skin. The red marks are called petechia. Because the toxins are now at the skin level, the lymph system can easily clean them away. The red marks are not painful and usually go away in 3 days.

I like to use this analogy: Sand is in the carpet. Stepping on it moves the carpet fibers but does not remove the sand. Sweeping the carpet with a broom will open the carpet fibers and release the sand. This is why Gua Sha, or scraping, is so effective. It detangles the fascia, breaking up the adhesion. It also opens the muscle fibers so you can remove the knots.

Have you ever experienced a crunchy sensation when inserting a needle? As a practitioner, I would describe it to my patients as feeling like I'm needling a Kit-Kat - smooth creamy filling, then crunch. It turns out the crunch is caused by hardening fascia. I only knew how to address this issue once I fell off a step ladder and fractured my pelvis. It was then that I accidentally learned about the world of fascia.

How much do we know about the Fascial System anyway? We certainly didn't cover it in school because fascia wasn't even studied until 2007, and it is now gradually beginning to make its way into mainstream medicine.

Understanding the Fascial System and how Gua Sha and Acupuncture affect it is a real game changer. It explains the science behind the effectiveness of Acupuncture, Gua Sha, and Cupping. 

When our profession incorporates Gua Sha as a regular part of our pain treatment protocols for patients, we can enter a new level of effectiveness. Combining this ancient massage technique with Acupuncture has significantly improved my ability to relieve people of their back pain.

Qi, the life force energy that flows throughout the body, can be enhanced by freeing up the fascia and releasing old body fluids, which allows new ones to come in. This sets the body up for faster and better healing.

The Gua Sha Massage Stick massages the back in around 7 minutes and is less painful than a regular deep tissue massage. You can adjust the pressure during the massage according to the patient's preference. You can do it slowly and gently or lean into it for a deep tissue massage if required. It is an easy process and doesn't put a physical burden on your hands.

Made of natural wood, the Gua Sha Massage Stick is harmonious and energetic. Cleaning with 70% alcohol will not damage the natural wood but will kill germs. This simple tool can improve the effectiveness of your treatments when used with oil or over cloth. Combined with Master Tong Acupuncture points and stretching, it will bring pain relief faster to your patients.

For free training on how to use the Gua Sha Massage Stick, please visit my website: training.

Katherine TeisingerKatherine Teisinger DAOM has treated patients since 1997. She graduated from the Florida College of Integrated Medicine in Orlando with her master’s degree. She received her Doctorate from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, and completed an internship working in a hospital in China. To give back to her profession, she served as Chairman and a member of the Board of Acupuncture for the State of Florida for twelve years. She treats her patients using Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Chinese Dietary Therapy, Gua Sha, and Cupping. Her office is located in Winter Haven.

Share this post:

Comments on "There is More to Gua Sha than You Know"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment