What Is Gua Sha aka Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation aka IASTM?
Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese therapy practiced for over 1500 years using tools in a wide variety of shapes made from many materials like bone, jade, stone, plastic, stainless steel, and wood. Gua Sha means to scrape in Chinese. The Western version of this therapy is called IASTM which stands for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation. How this therapy benefits the body is hand held tools are used to move fluids and waste from tissues, increase blood flow, stimulate nerve endings, decompress skin layers, and relax tight muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments. Using hand tools and briefly rubbing at different speeds and levels of pressure on the skin activates neuro receptors which helps trigger the body’s natural healing response to that area. IASTM
Gua Sha/IASTM therapy can be applied on it’s own with no other treatment or can be combined with other therapies such as massage, K-Tape, and/or cupping. Gua Sha/IASTM has best results when done directly on the skin and can be applied with or without lotion.
Beware of untrained Gua Sha/IASTM Practitioners
Although the literal translation of Gua Sha in Chinese means scraping, to provide beneficial therapy using Gua Sha or IASTM it does not require actual deep muscle scraping which can cause unnecessary bruising and pain for the person receiving the therapy. Untrained practitioners take the term scraping literally and cause more harm than good and turn people off a treatment that is extremely beneficial. In addition to being a Licensed Massage Therapist I also received training and certification from Rock Tape as a Functional Movement Therapist and have been trained in Gua Sha/IASTM therapy.
What to Expect During a Gua Sha IASTM Session
When you first arrive we will have a consult session and assessment. Once we are ready to begin the treatment session you may need undress to your comfort level depending on the areas we will be working on and the clothing you are wearing. Bare skin is needed for Gua Sha/IASTM therapy. You may be asked to sit or and lay on a massage table depending on what area of the body being treated. A hypoallergenic massage lotion may be used to reduce friction. Please let me know if you suffer from any allergies to ingredients that may be in the lotion. At the end of the Gua Sha/IASTM session we will discuss your treatment plan. Drink plenty of water over the next 24 hours to help flush any toxins and keep hydrated.
Gua Sha/IASTM may not be appropriate for:
- Healing wounds
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Unexplained pain
- Pregnancy with complications
- Some types of cancer
If you have any of the above please consult your medical doctor to discuss if gua sha/IASTM therapy is an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Booking a Gua Sha/IASTM Therapy Session
Consider a Gua Sha/IASTM session with Licensed Massage Therapist Kim Crinella if you have:
– pain or tightness in the back
– pain or tightness in shoulders
– pain or tightness in the wrist and hands
– pain or tightness in the ankle and feet
– pain or tightness in hips
– pain of tightness in legs
– elbow pain
– knee pain or feeling like knee cap is stuck
– sciatica pain
– sports injuries or overworked muscles
– migraine headaches or frequent headaches
Gua Sha/IASTM Therapy Rates
Gua Sha/IASTM therapy is available without massage services for targeted areas: Low Back, Mid Back, Upper Back, Full Back, Shoulder, Leg, Hip, Ankle, Foot, Elbow, Arm, Hands, Head, Neck, Abdominal, Pectorals.
$15 for each 15 minutes of therapy to the targeted areas.
Gua Sha/IASTM, Cupping, K-taping, Sonic Massage, Reiki Therapy and Crystal Therapy can be incorporated into any massage session at no additional charge. The rate is $1 per minute, you tell me how long of a massage session you want. If you have multiple pain issues or want a thorough full body massage with multiple services incorporated a two hour or more session is recommended.
Contact Licensed Massage Therapist Kim Crinella
I am Licensed Massage Therapist Kim Crinella and I specialize in helping people reduce pain and improve the quality of life using natural holistic wellness modalities. In person therapy services are available on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Reiki and crystal therapy services are available anywhere in the World.