Here are some examples of guasha case studies where guasha has done a great job, drawn from my experience in clinic

Guasha Case study 1:

Male, 49 y/o. Electrician, Bilateral elbow tendonitis, past 9 years.

This case was a fellow who had spend many years doing a variety of mechanically oriented jobs, will plenty of both acute, and repetitive strain injuries. He presented with chronic elbow pain that did not respond to massage, active release or trigger point type therapies, or therapeutic laser methods.

Both elbows would be “hot” and sensitive not only to load bearing / lifting, but to small actions such as turning door handles, and even at times, to touch or manual pressure. Being in a position of significant responsibility requiring tool use and long hours, this was a real issue for this patient and it was necessary to get the problem under control, and on the path to recovery quickly.

Acupuncture was used to help get the pain down rapidly, and help him to recover range of motion, however, guasha was also used from the beginning to remove the accumulated wastes, help clear the excess inflammation quickly, and also start cleaning out the myofascial adhesions that were contributing to the pain, stiffness, and ongoing inflammation.

At first, the tissue was sensitive enough that I had to use a very light pressure, but even with this, the tissue rapidly reddened and produces a lot of petechia, a distinct pattern of redness association with the extravasation of blood. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cause actual bleeding!

From the first treatment, the elbows were noticeably better for a period of 3-4 days, and then became sore again, by the third treatment, the patient reported that they were feeling 50% better over all. By the 4th treatment, it was 65% better, and by the 7th treatment the patient reported the the left elbow was feeling “like a new arm”.

As happens with some cases, other equally relevant problems, such as lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder and neck pain, began to take precedence as the elbows improved to the point that he was able to use them well again, and we revisited the elbows as needed over the coming months. Some modifications to the treatment were needed, including discontinuing guasha at point point to prevent the tissue from being over stimulated, and switching to topical herbal remedies and regular acupuncture.

Guasha played a similar role in reducing adhesion and accelerating healing in the various other areas of concern for this patient, and it continues to be a helpful part of our regular treatments in keeping him tip top and on the job without undue pain or difficulty.

Case study 2:

Female, Aesthetician, chronic neck, shoulder and upper back pain.

This patient had ongoing, recurrent pain related to the long hours of maintaining different postures and sometimes awkward positions as an aesthetician. She initially indicated that the pain was ranging from a 5 to an 8/10, with numbness and other odd sensations referring down the arm and into her hands.

Much like the above case study, acupuncture was used in conjunction, with guasha following the application of the needles at the end of treatment. In the first weeks, pain in the shoulders was reduced significantly, and was beginning to trend towards a more dull pain, as compared to being sharp and stabbing at the outset. By the 5th treatment, the patient was feeling well enough to take a break from treatment for 2 months. When treatment resumed, we were focused on other problems also related to the repetitive stresses of work, in this case, the elbows and forearms.

It’s important to note, that while treatment has continued, the neck and upper back only require occasional maintenance. After another 4 months of twice monthly treatment, the elbow and forearm pain was also resolved, and we have since moved on to treating other issues, which in turn, are also improving with a steady, classical approach to treatment.

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