July 31, 2016

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation For Maximal Performance - AKA Gua Sha

First off, I just want to briefly update those who have followed my work over the last few years to explain why I’ve discontinued my work on the site. It is my personal belief that people these days are more prone to watch videos to obtain information as opposed to read, so I’ve directed my efforts towards creating content for YouTube as of late. For those interested, here’s a link to my channel


Now, as for what I’ve been up to in my personal/professional life, one of the tools I’ve added to my repertoire is a form of what is called “Instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation,” as it’s called in the West, better known as “Gua Sha,” in the East.

“Gua” simply means to scrape, while “Sha” is the term referred to the reddish looking type of rash that occurs as the result of the scraping. Bruising can take place in response to having Gua Sha done, but it shouldn’t last for more than 2-4 days – if it does, the practitioner likely doesn’t know what they’re doing, which is very likely as Gua Sha is perceived to be something that literally anybody can do, but then again, so is “working out,” and we all know that not anybody can effectively promote the response they wish to from their workouts.

Gua Sha has been around for thousands of years, and is commonly performed with the goal of treating the common cold, or flu, bronchitis, asthma, either chronic or acute pain, along with fevers and detoxifying the body as the treatment promotes excess heat and toxins to be brought to the surface of the skin and released from the body.

The colour of the Sha can be indicative of many things – lightness is indicative of deficiency of blood, while a more intense (red) visual is indicative that the condition is acute and has not yet penetrated deep into the body, but a darker visual (purple/black) would indicate blood stagnation suggesting the condition is more long standing.

Aside from the healing properties, the primary reason I’ve included Gua Sha into my assortment of tools that I use to give my clients an edge over the competition is because of the performance enhancement that accompanies having Gua Sha done. Immediate improvements (which would otherwise take weeks, and/or months of physiotherapy to accomplish an even similar result) are seen in flexibility (passive range of motion), and mobility (active range of motion), along with a marked improvement in speed/power/explosiveness, and an increased capacity to recruit your muscles – all of which benefits athletes of all kinds, especially fitness competitors.

Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits once again, should Gua Sha be something that you’re interested in having done:

·         Instant improvement in flexibility (passive range of motion)

·         Instant improvement in mobility (active range of motion)

·         Instant increase in speed, power, and explosiveness

·         Instant increased capacity to recruit (especially beneficial for physique competitors who are required to hit, and hold poses)

·         Decreased risk of injury when training, or during athletic competition

·         Stimulates the immune system (prevents cold/flu, bronchitis, asthma)

·         Instant alleviation of pain (chronic, and/or acute)

·         Facilitates detoxification

·         Increases circulation

·         Regulates organ function

·         Normalizes metabolic processes

·         Diminishes stress/fatigue/exhaustion, facilitates release of emotions

·         Relaxes, revitalizes, rejuvenates, and helps create a sense of clarity of the mind and senses

Gua Sha is a simple (this does not mean easy), but incredibly effective treatment for virtually anyone, and the effects last a lot longer than something like massage, while accomplishing a lot more than something like physiotherapy.

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