Gua sha is a hands-on treatment that has been used throughout Asia for centuries. Gua means ‘to rub’ and Sha is a term that describes inflammation in surface tissue in areas where the patient has stiffness and pain.. The benefits of Gua sha are numerous. It resolves spasms and pain, and promotes normal circulation to the muscles, tissues and organs, as seen in Gua sha’s immediate effect on coughing and wheezing. Research has shown that Gua sha causes a four-fold increase in microcirculation of surface tissue and can reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system.. Gua sha acts to reduce internal organ inflammation, for example, in cases of asthma.. The patient experiences immediate changes in stiffness and pain with increased mobility. Because Gua sha mimics sweating, it can help to resolve fever. Gua sha cools the patient who feels too warm, warms the patient who feels too cold, while relaxing tension and reducing anxiety. We may use Gua sha for any illness or condition where there is pain or discomfort, for upper respiratory and digestive problem. Gua sha is often done in combination with acupuncture for problems that acupuncture alone cannot address. After treatment the patient is advised to keep the area protected from wind, cold and direct sun until the sha fades. They are also encouraged to drink plenty of water and eat moderately.
In the past few years, you may have seen professional athletes sporting red and blue stripes along their arms and legs. If you participate in any running events, you may have seen some of your fellow runners with the same strange colored stripes. This is no fashion statement, this is one of the most exciting tools to help injury recovery and improve performance to be developed in the last 30 years!
Kinesiotape is a therapeutic taping method using a uniquely designed elastic tape. It enhances the function of many different tissues and physiologic systems. It can be used for acute or chronic pain, as well as helping in rehabilitation. It can also be used to help prevent reinjury. Kinesiotape is great treatment to use in conjunction with acupuncture.
The purpose of Kinesiotape is to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, support normal muscle function, and reduce risk of re-injury. Traditional stiff taping methods compress and immobilize the joints. Kinesiotape is elastic and allows full range of motion. It can be used on muscle imbalances, postural problems, circulatory and lymphatic conditions, soft tissue injuries, neurological conditions, and more. It is comfortable, water proof, and can be applied and worn over extended periods of time to increase therapeutic benefit. The tape is made of 100% cotton and elastic fibers. The tape is roughly as thick and as the skin and latex free.
How does Kinesiotape work? The five main systems of the body kinesiotape works on are the skin, fascia, circulatory, muscle, and joints. This type of taping can actually support a healthy range of motion. For example, one of the most common applications is after successfully releasing muscles which cause a low back radiating down the leg (commonly called “sciatica”), the tape can be applied to give further relief and slow down the return of the pain.
Inflammation is modulated by the effect of Kinesiotape on the skin. The vascular (circulatory) system reacts quickly to the stimulation of the skin. The pressure of the tape on the skin may increase circulation and decrease inflammation. Taping a swollen area can actually reduce edema and swelling. Taping the bottom of the feet for plantar fasciitis will usually produce immediate relief. Kinesiotaping is one of the best methods for supporting acupuncture or any type of manual treatment ever devised.
Taping the ligaments or tendons can reduce stress on them. It can help restore a joint to normal function and protect it from further injury. Another common use is on “tennis” or “golfers” elbow; the compressive force of the tape really relieves this type of strain!