Gua sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment in which a smooth-edged tool is used to strongly stroke a muscle group. This technique will raise small red dots called petechiae. Gua sha is used for chronic and acute pain all over their body. Recently, the technique has been adapted for cosmetic uses (no petechiae) by promoting lymphatic drainage, skin elasticity, and increasing collagen for puffiness, wrinkles, acne, and sagging skin. At American Acupuncture Center we are trained to effectively and safely gua sha to address your concerns in a comprehensive and convenient manner.
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Every acupuncture appointment includes cupping, gua sha, electric stimulation, or moxibustion
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Gua sha helps with a variety of health conditions, the most common being musculoskeletal problems such as muscle tightness. However, it also alleviates tension headaches, migraines, and body swelling. Our Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Bloomfield Hills offers helpful tips and gua sha treatments that ensure your experience is satisfying, safe, and effective.
What Is Gua sha?
Gua sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine hands-on modality that has been used throughout Asia for centuries. Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘press stroke. When gua (press-stroking) is applied in repetitive even strokes, sha appears as small red dots called ‘petechiae’ and the pain immediately shifts. In minutes the small red dots fade into blended reddishness. Practitioners of Traditional East Asian Medicine consider gua sha for any illness or condition where there is pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory and digestive problems, and any condition where touch palpation indicates there is sha.
How does Gua sha work?
Gua sha is often used for muscle stiffness and pain with decreased mobility because it immediately resolves spasms and pain, and promotes normal circulation to the muscles and tissues. Research has also shown that gua sha increases microcirculation of surface tissue, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the immune system. Gua sha up regulates heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which reduces internal organ inflammation. HO-1 plays a critical role in conditions such as asthma, hepatitis and liver disease. Because gua sha mimics the body’s mechanisms of sweating, it can also reduce fevers. Gua sha can cool a patient who feels too warm, warm a patient who feels too cold, while relaxing tension and reducing anxiety. Gua sha is often done in combination with acupuncture for problems acupuncture alone cannot resolve.
Cosmetic Gua sha
A smooth stone is used for facial gua sha. It tones and lifts the face through gentle strokes over the skin to relax stiff muscles and promote lymphatic drainage. There is an established link between manual lymph drainage (facial massage) and reduced facial swelling is well established. Through this mechanism gua sha reduces puffiness and treats acne. Gua sha also improves blood circulation, skin elasticity to address wrinkles and sagging skin. Gua sha is a great option for women seeking natural and non-invasive solutions for acne, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
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I have been seeing Dr. Serena now for about 6 months and she has helped me with my migraines and digestive issues. As a dancer I have also have had multiple muscle pins that she has relieved quickly. Not only does she care for my well being but she also care for my career. I am so blessed I have found an acupuncturist that has been so beneficial. Also, cupping is magical! Thank you Dr. Serena!