A good way to think of how they work is summed up perfectly by this quote:
Bu tong ze: tong; tong ze: bu tong
No free flow: pain; free flow: no pain
GUA SHA (Scraping, Coining, Spooning, Graston Technique)
Gua Sha is a therapy to remove stagnant blood (no free flow; pain) stuck in the subcutaneous facia. This therapy involves your Acupuncturist scraping over the skin with a smooth surface to create a temporary therapeutic petechiae, the result of the release of stagnation to improve circulation where there is pain.
You and your practitioner will be communicating throughout the session, so if it is ever too uncomfortable for you, you can control the “dosage” and intensity.
Gua Sha is applied to the back most often, for many conditions. Even if you have digestion issues or migraines, when Gua Sha is applied by a trained TCM provider, they know it is the channels in the back that release the cascade of healing chemical reactions for strongest effect. They may also apply Gua Sha directly to the area of pain. For example, you may have shoulder pain, so the best therapy would be Gua Sha across the back, as well as locally to the shoulder.
Here are symptoms your acupuncturist may treat with Gua Sha:
Shoulder, back, neck, limb and joint pain, autoimmune disorders, asthma, Bell’s Palsy, allergies, migraines, anxiety and depression, premenstrual disorders, surgical scar pain, to name just a few.
Moxa is the application on or near the skin of burning Mugwort in the form of a cigar, cones, loose herb, or liquid moxa. Moxabustion creates heat in a specific area to improve circulation, warm the muscle area, and trigger a healing response from your body. It is very soothing physically to injured areas, and calming emotionally.
Some of the symptoms your acupuncturist will use moxibustion for are:
Swelling and pain from an injury or surgery (near not on the area), cramping and digestive complaints, anxiety, acne on the back, and turning breech babies.
Contact us for more information on our traditional Chinese medicine treatments!