Gua Sha is a healing technique traditionally used throughout Asia; however, it is now becoming popular in the U.S.A. It incorporates instruments which are used to detect scar tissue, or "knots" in muscles, which develop over time due to constant stress to the area, overuse, or sports injuries. The instruments are then used to break down the scar tissue adhesions, thereby decreasing pain and increasing range of motion.
The benefits of Gua Sha are numerous. The patient usually experiences immediate changes in stiffness, pain, and mobility. Normal metabolic processes are restored by the movement of fluids as nutrients are carried to the tissues and metabolic wastes are carried away.
Patients usually receive 2-3 treatments per week for 4 weeks; however, most patients have a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment. After Gua Sha, the patient is instructed to apply ice to the treated area for 15-20 minutes. Stretching is recommended but not a heavy workout on the day of treatment.