You may have heard the term “gua sha” because it seems to be surging in popularity these days or you may even be practicing it yourself. Do you know everything it can be used for, what’s really happening under the surface, and the steps to take for public safety?
Mark your calendar for November 9-10, 2019
In addition to being a Licensed Acupuncturist, I’m also the Education Coordinator for the Montana Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. For the second year in a row, I’m coordinating the fall continuing education seminar for my fellow acupuncturists AND inviting other practitioners to attend.
Gua sha is widely applicable in therapeutic practice
This seminar will be of particular interest to acupuncturists, massage therapists, physical therapists and any physician or nurse who works directly with patients.
I’m so excited because this year the seminar will be right here in Downtown Bozeman AND we’re hosting Dr. Arya Nielsen – known in the acupuncture world as a leading researcher, educator and practitioner for her work on the gua sha technique.
What we know about Gua sha
Gua sha is a long-standing medical treatment that originated in Asia. Practitioners use a smooth-edged tool in repeated uni-directional strokes on a particular area of the body to relieve pain and spasms, improve blood circulation, and reduce fever. However, there are other benefits and some contraindications, too.
Modern research in this area is really fascinating especially when you consider that people have been performing this practice for centuries. Dr. Nielsen co-published a study that shows gua sha can increase microcirculation of blood in surface tissue by as much as 400%.1 It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, too.2
If you’ve seen the petechia or red dots that often appear after gua sha, you can understand that blood cells are let out of the vessels and there is the risk of blood borne disease transmission. For this reason, it’s important to think about gua sha tools.
Safe practice of Gua sha
Gua sha can be performed safely with the right technique and when tools are disposed after one use or properly disinfected or sterilized between patients. At this seminar, Dr. Nielsen will demonstrate how to perform gua sha from patient assessment to proper clean up.
To learn more or register, contact or go to www.montanamaaom.org.
1 Nielsen, A. et al. The Effect of Gua Sha Treatment on the Microcirculation of Surface Tissue: A Pilot Study in Healthy Subjects. Explore 2007; 3(5): 456-466.
2 Braun M, Schwickert M, Nielsen A et al. Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese “Gua Sha” Therapy in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain; A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Med. 2011; 12(3): 362-9.