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Gua Sha Therapy

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Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change themselves.
Leo Tolstoy

Gua Sha is an important component of Classical Acupuncture treatments. It is an ancient Chinese therapeutic modality used to break down tissue blockages, blood stasis, and the releasing stored toxins and improving circulation. The first historical reference to Gua Sha goes back to the Shang Han Lun, a treatise on cold damage disorders written by Zhang Zhong jing some time before 220 A.D., one of the oldest canonical medical texts in the world. Fast forward to the 21st century and we see a renewed interest in this millennial therapeutic technique.

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Studies on Gua Sha were carried out by Dr. Arya Nielson in 2009 at the University of Duisberg – Essen, Essen Germany using laser doppler imaging. Nielson found that there was a 400 % increase in tissue microperfusion after a Gua Sha treatment.

In 2007, a University of Harvard study, using bioluminescent imaging showed that Gua Sha upregulated gene expression for an enzyme that is both an anti-oxidant and cyto protectant – heme oxygenaze (H0-1) at multiple internal organ sites immediately after treatment and over a period of days following a Gua Sha treatment.

HO-1 also regulated cell cycle and smooth muscle hyperplasia offering protection in many inflammatory disease models. Inducting HO-1 decreases Hepatitis C replication as well offering protection from oxidative damage and viral protection. Upregulation of the HO-1 enzyme has also been reported to be even effective with the Hepatitis B virus.

In 2011, at the Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, (Chan etal) showed that a single Gua Sha treatment on a patient with chronic Hepatitis B reduced levels of the liver enzyme alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) with modulation of T-helper and th1/th2 balance, clearly indicating a positive therapeutic effect on Hepatitis B.

The benefits of Gua Sha include:

  • Loosening of muscles and restrictions in connective tissues

  • Increase in microcirculation by flushing capillary beds and lymphatic ducts

  • Stimulation of tissue regeneration by stimulation of cellular growth factors

  • Reduction of fever, headaches, migraines, neck, shoulder, back and knee pain

  • Improvement of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema

  • Strengthening the immune system

  • Efficient treatment of colds and flu

  • Reduction and elimination of blood stasis 

  • Reduction of ear ache

  • Elimination of gastritis

  • Elimination of pain caused by post-herpetic neuralgia

  • Elimination of pain caused by toxic build-up in muscles

  • Elimination of pain caused by blood stasis

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