Gua sha (gwa sha), more commonly known as scrapping or spooning, is a treatment that has been around for many years. It originated out of Eastern Chinese Medicine and provides phenomenal results. That is why in more recent years similar methods such as Graston Technique or ASTYM have originated essentially attempting to reproduce the same response.
What is it for?
The main focus is to increase blood flow and get energy flowing through the body. What is so great about that is the result of increased blood flow has many added benefits. It brings fresh blood to the area to help better allow healing, breaks up scar tissue and adhesions and helps to release lactic acid stored up in the muscles.
Common conditions that respond well include:
- Back & Neck Pain
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Tension
- Respiratory Conditions or Colds
- Stress & Tension
- General Wellness
How does it work?
First Dr. Abbie will apply a massage oil to the area to allow for a gliding surface. The oil that she chooses to use has essential oils in them so that they provide an extra added benefit of relaxation or pain relief. Next, she performs long stroking motions over the area of concern. Usually the skin will turn red from the increase in blood flow. Also, it is common that petechiae will form, which is the natural response the body makes to the therapy. These are not bruises and usually go away within a few days.
Since this is a treatment very different than what you have had it is common to be apprehensive, but don't worry, you are in safe hands. Dr. Abbie has been performing this treatment for years and her patient's love it.
During your first visit you will most likely have the most reaction in terms of petechiae, possible soreness, and detoxification from lactic acid being pushed into the system. This is completely normal and the majority of people say that it felt like things were getting worked out. Almost always a person will state that they immediately feel looser.
How long is the appointment? I would allow for 15-20 minutes for the treatment. If you are getting more than one area done then it will take a little longer.
How often do I need to come? Truthfully, it depends. To start I like to see patient's 1-2 times a week. This allows the body enough time to recover between visits, but not allow the tissue to remold back into a bad position. Once you have achieved there results you are looking for you can come on an as need basis or schedule a routine wellness visit every 3-4 weeks.
Does it hurt? Certain areas commonly are more tender than others such as arms and legs. As for the back, shoulder and neck area it depends on the person. Many describe it as being a hurt so good feeling. As if they feel the area is getting worked out in a good way.
Is it covered under insurance? This is one of the few Chinese therapies that is actually covered under most insurance policies (Medicare & Medicaid do not). Depending on your deductible and copay it may not make sense to submit to insurance, but we will be more than happy to look into your benefit for you and guide you in the direction that makes the most sense financially.