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Gua Sha

What We Offer


Gua sha is done as part of a 60 or 90 minute session, usually at the end of the session.  Gua Sha was developed thousands of years ago by the Chinese, but has been referred to as the “Graston Technique” by physical therapists in the west. This technique, one of Ashley’s personal favorites, is an extremely effective way to break up “knots”, or fascial adhesions. Gua Sha involves using a blunt, rounded tool, such as a ceramic soup spoon, to glide over the affected area and target stubborn or deep pains. 


Who Would Benefit?


Gua Sha is excellent in many areas of the body, but is especially effective for tension headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and plantar fasciitis due to its ability to target very specific locations deeper in the muscles.  Gua Sha is often used to access stubborn areas of pain under the scapulas (shoulder blades), or in the occiput (the base of your skull, where a lot of muscle tension can be stored and cause headaches and migraines).  It can also be used on the scalp to gently target muscles that often feel tight when people clench or grind their teeth.


What to Expect


Gua Sha is done as a part of the massage session, usually at the end.  Depending on the area being treated, Ashley will use massage oil to protect the skin and ensure that we are able to access the deeper muscles.  She will begin gliding the Gua Sha tool over the area with increasing pressure up to your comfort level.  Gua Sha can be done gently, but does often illicit a sensation of “tenderness” because it is so great at accessing the tender parts of the muscle.  Generally people feel at least some relief almost immediately after it is performed.

Because it works to bring blood to the surface and increase bloodflow to the area, Gua Sha can result in skin discoloration similar to cupping.  This can range from imperceptible to a deep red color.  Whereas cupping creates distinct round marks, Gua Sha creates a sandy like appearance.  This is an excellent sign that you are likely to see significant improvement, and the marks will go away in as little as 3-7 days.  This discoloration will be discussed at the time of treatment so you won’t be surprised. 

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