Sandra Lanshin Gua Sha: Ancient Technique, Modern Beauty

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    Sandra Lanshin Gua Sha is a method employed in traditional East Asian medicine for treating muscle discomfort and tension. Limited research, however, is available to establish its efficacy.

    The aim of Gua sha is to enhance the circulation of energy, also known as qi or chi, throughout the body. This technique entails using a tool to create minor bruising by rubbing the skin in long strokes with adequate pressure.

    Gua sha may aid in the breakage of scar tissue and collagen fibers, leading to improved joint mobility. The procedure lacks significant adverse effects; however, individuals with specific medical circumstances should avoid it.

    We will explore gua sha’s efficacy and potential side effects further.

    What is gua sha?

    Sandra Lanshin Gua Sha

    Gua sha can be used to alleviate muscle pain and break down scar tissue by applying
    pressure with a tool and scraping the skin. This technique, known as skin scraping, spooning, or coining, may leave purple or red spots called petechiae or sha due to light bruising. The term gua sha is derived from the Chinese word for scraping and is pronounced gwahshah.

    In Chinese medicine, Qi (also spelled as Chi) is believed to be energy flowing through the human body. It is widely acknowledged that the balance of the Qi is essential for ensuring one’s overall health and wellbeing.

    Blocked Qi can cause pain, tension, aches, and stiffness in muscles and joints. Gua sha is a technique used for healing that aims to remove such blockage in the body to relieve pain and stiffness.

    According to traditional East Asian medicine, blood stasis or stagnation also contributes to pain and illness. Another goal of gua sha is to alleviate symptoms by circulating pooled or stagnant blood.

    Certain physiotherapists perform a modified version of the procedure called instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), which employs a tool rather than hands for applying additional pressure during a massage.

    Uses

    Sandra Lanshin gua sha is commonly used to alleviate muscle and joint pain which can be caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Conditions such as back pain, tendon strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome fall under this category.

    Practitioners endorse gua sha for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, gua sha may be applied to treat colds, fever, and respiratory problems.

    Small injuries to the body, such as bruises resulting from gua sha, are sometimes referred to as microtrauma. These injuries trigger a response in the body that may aid in breaking up scar tissue.

    Microtrauma may also assist in addressing fibrosis, which is an excess buildup of connective tissue during the body’s healing process.

    Physiotherapists may employ IASTM on connective tissue that is not functioning correctly in joint movement, often resulting from a repetitive strain injury or another condition. Gua sha is often administered in conjunction with other treatments, such as stretching and resistance exercises.

    Benefits

    Studies suggest that gua sha may alleviate neck and shoulder pain for those who use computers.
    Researchers conducted small studies on different groups to examine the effects of gua sha, including women nearing menopause, individuals with

    • computer-related neck
    • shoulder pain, male weightlifters for post-training recovery
    • older adults with back pain.

    Women reported a reduction in perimenopause symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, and headaches after undergoing gua sha.

    A 2014 study revealed that gua sha improved movement range and decreased pain in individuals who frequently use computers in comparison to a control group who received no treatment.

    In 2017, weightlifters who underwent gua sha treatment expressed that lifting weights required less effort post-treatment, implying that the treatment quickened muscle recovery.

    Elderly individuals with back pain were treated with either gua sha or a hot pack. Both treatments were equally effective in relieving symptoms, however the effects of gua sha were more long-lasting according to a Trusted Source.

    Participants who received gua sha treatment reported increased flexibility and less back pain compared to the other group after one week.

    Sandra Lanshin Gua Sha Side effects and risks

    Gua sha results in the bursting of capillaries, the tiny blood vessels located near the skin surface. This process causes sha, which refers to the characteristic reddish or purplish bruises.

    The bruises may remain tender while healing for several days or up to a week. To alleviate pain and swelling, individuals can take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen.

    Those with bruises should protect the affected area and prevent bumping into objects. Application of an ice pack can help ease any discomfort as well as reduce inflammation.

    During gua sha treatments, it is important for practitioners to avoid breaking the skin as this can increase the risk of infection. During gua sha treatments, it is important for practitioners to avoid breaking the skin as this can increase the risk of infection. To reduce this risk, tools should be sterilised between treatments.

    It is worth noting that gua sha is not appropriate for everyone and should be avoided by certain individuals, including:

    Patients with medical conditions affecting the skin or veins,those who bleed easily, individuals taking blood-thinning medication, and those with deep vein thrombosis, infections, tumors, or unhealed wounds should seek medical advice before proceeding.

    Individuals with an implant, such as a pacemaker or internal defibrillator.

    Is gua sha painful?

    Gua sha is intentionally bruising, which may result in discomfort for some individuals. However, the treatment should not be painful. Any bruises still present should heal within a few days.

    Sandra Lanshin Gua Sha tools and technique

    Gua sha tools and technique

    Traditionally, a spoon or coin was used to scrape the skin, but modern therapists use a small handheld tool with rounded edges.

    Gua sha tools are often weighted to help the practitioner apply pressure during the procedure.

    Practitioners of traditional East Asian medicine recognize certain materials, such as bian stone, jade and rose quartz, as having healing properties due to their energy. Medical grade stainless steel is frequently utilized for IASTM or when carrying out gua sha in a clinical setting.

    The therapist applies oil to the area being treated to allow for smoother tool movement across the skin.

    The gua sha practitioner presses the tool into the body with smooth, firm strokes in one direction. Should gua sha be performed on the back or back of the legs, the individual may have to lie face down on a massage table.

    Takeaway

    Gua sha is used to treat various illnesses and disorders, but it has only been extensively researched for a limited number of medical conditions. Further evidence is required to establish its efficacy as a treatment. Therefore, it is vital that individuals seeking gua sha treatment consult a skilled practitioner.

    Although unlikely to cause serious side effects, gua sha can be painful for some individuals.