An Ancient Technique Used to Relieve Pain is Making a Comeback

If you are like most people, you are most likely not familiar with The Graston Technique. This is the modern adaptation of a much older Chinese method known as Gua sha.

Gua sha when translated means “scraping bruises”.  Before you cringe and click away from this page hear us out…

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment where the skin is scraped by a smooth edged instrument often made of stone, ceramic or bone in order to regenerate blood flow to the damaged areas of the body. Oil may or may not be applied to the skin, but it does make the instrument slide more easily.

Gua sha can be done on any area of the body where the patient is experiencing pain. Though mostly you will see no visible results on the skin, only a slight redness which is typical if you rub any area repeatedly. When you do reach an area where there are underlying adhesions and attachments of muscle fibers you can feel a difference. While still not exactly pain, the sensation can become intense as the trapped blood and fibers work themselves free under the pressure of the practitioner’s touch and the instrument itself. This will leave a distinctive tell-tale Gua sha treatment bruise. Bruising from this treatment tend to fade within 24-72 hours.

How is the more modern Graston Technique different from traditional Gua sha?

gaston techniqueOriginally developed for athletes due to the tremendous stress and strain they place their bodies under it was soon realized that it could greatly benefit the general public just as well. It has been steadily making its way more and more mainstream for the past 20 years.

The Graston Technique is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) and can improve patient outcomes from a huge array of injuries by increasing range of motion as well as healing time. Tools are now stainless steel rather than older less durable materials. They are used to both assess and treat the patient by a knowledgeable practitioner who is versed in what to look and feel for. Abnormal tissue texture is detected and an area is identified that needs attention such as areas of fibrosis, lesions or damaged tissue.

What are Gua sha and The Graston Technique used for?

They are commonly used for relief from:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Common colds that will not go away

  • Congestion resulting from colds or allergies

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Muscular pain

  • IT Band injury

  • Tennis Elbow

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Golfers Elbow

  • Achilles Tendonitis

  • Arthritic joints (secondary soft tissue lesions)

  • Breaking up old scar tissue to allow healing of soft tissue injuries

How Long Does It Take to Feel Results?

There is no blanket answer. The longer ago an injury was sustained and more damage the body has taken on, the longer it will take to recover. Treatment results can be seen in as little as one session but can take many more depending on the severity of the condition.

Everyone’s favorite question: Does it hurt?

Everyone’s tolerance for sensation is different. A single treatment itself usually will take 10 to 15 minutes. The majority of people have no trouble at all tolerating the treatment. Others say they enjoy the feeling as they can feel the pained area literally breaking up. If you have an incredibly low pain tolerance, do mention it before you begin your first treatment and make sure to speak up if it becomes too much.

Daily life takes its toll on our bodies. Making sure to do proper maintenance on yourself, including regular chiropractic treatments, can do wonders for your overall health and quality of life. Working The Graston Technique into your health plan can boost your mobility and reduce your pain levels in ways you may have never expected.

Being a competitor in the world of men’s physique this treatment has greatly helped my ability to perform in the gym by expanding my range of motion and getting much-needed blood to muscles that had gotten fatigued and formed adhesions. I am very thankful to have found it!

Interested in learning more? Give Gindele Chiropractic a call 239-936-5545 or visit

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