kate uses cupping and gua sha primarily to relieve pain and improve range of movement
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes muscle soreness and injuries are in essence traffic jams of blood and energy stuck in our body. Both cupping and gua sha are techniques to relieve pain and stagnation and are often used in conjunction to acupuncture to help problems with necks, backs and muscles.
CUPPING - lifting the pain out
During cupping a glass cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup. In some cases, the cup may be moved while the suction of skin is active, causing a regional pulling of the skin and muscle (the technique is called gliding cupping).
This treatment has some relation to certain massage techniques. Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points, as well as to regions of the body that are affected by pain (where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled). Cupping has been made famous by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and has amazing results in reducing aches and pains.
gua sha - scraping away the pain
Performing gua sha involves taking a spoon or a gua sha tool and repeatedly rubbing or scraping the tool on the skin over the sore area, where there is pain and stagnation a bruise will usually appear. After a day or so the bruise will disappear and the pain will subside. It looks barbaric yet is a wonderful treatment to help pain - as described by Harpers it is incredible but looks grotesque. Here is a picture of one of my patients Nicola who came for neck pain and had acupuncture and gua sha.
" I came to see Kate for the neck pain that I had beens suffering from for quite a long time. After acupuncture Kate used oil and scraped my neck. I thought it would hurt but in fact it felt like a relief. I was amazed to see that where the redness appeared was where my pain was. Two days later my pain had reduce significantly, I was surprised and impressed' Nicola, Clapham
Read the Harpers review of gua sha by using the following link http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/a11234/gua-sha-treatment.