Gua sha is the 2000 year old Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that predates all methods of treating soft tissue with an edged tool. It is evidence based and effective with regard to chronic soft tissue pain. Our uniquely shaped instruments match all body contours and feature a refined, sensitive treatment edge that is ideal for gua sha and all modern instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques.
Gua Sha vs Modern IASTM
Gua sha's longevity is directly linked to its effectiveness. The evidence base supports gua sha as a valid method of addressing chronic soft tissue pain. But modern techniques deviate from gua sha and deemphasize sha or petechiae and focus on elimination of abnormal tissue texture. Raising petechiae is not needed in all cases and abnormal texture is not always present. In most cases raising petechiae results in pain relief and a healing response. The success of using an edged tool is greatly diminished when one fails to raise petechiae. The clinician is not entirely at fault here. Hesitancy to raise petechiae is very common but it can also be the edge of the tool that fails to provide the needed stimulus.
The radius of the treatment edge or the relative sharpness of the edge determines how much pressure is needed to elicit a histamine response, raise petechiae and mobilize soft tissue. The radius also determines how sensitive the tool is regarding palpation of scar or chronically affected soft tissue. If the edge is too sharp, it is uncomfortable. If the edge is too dull the ability to palpate is muted and the clinician must work harder and apply more pressure.
Our edge radius minimizes stress on the clinician's hand and maximizes the ability to palpate soft tissue irregularity. Our tools require very little pressure to elicit a histamine response and raise petechiae.
The edge is symmetrical. Unlike a beveled edge this allows the tool to be held in either the right or left hand.
Our tool shapes match the muscular contours of the body. This allows an even amount of pressure to be applied to the treated tissues. The evenly applied pressure is more comfortable for the client. And the treatment time is minimized because the tool treats a wider area of tissue to improve efficiency and minimize stress on the clinician's hand. A poorly shaped instrument will require more strokes to cover the same area.
The tools are relatively thin to minimize weight and enhance palpation. Weight is further reduced with use of a plastic polymer composite material which is extremely durable and highly resistant to chemical damage. Our proprietary material allows the use of any skin lubricant and choice of any disinfectant or cleaning solution. Our confidence regarding durability merits a lifetime replacement guarantee if any tools are damaged.
Our Tools Versus Common Objects
In comparison to common objects like spoons, coins, or bottle caps, our instruments are comfortable and provide a safe and consistent edge that is never sharp, always the desired shape, professional in appearance and easy on the user's hand.
Versus Biological Materials
Unlike animal horn or wood our material is non-porous and does not soften when exposed to water. Therefore the tool can be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. This feature ensures a safe instrument that can be used with multiple clients.
The shapes that can be achieved by carving biological material is limited. Modern manufacturing methods allow our tools to achieve the desired shape. In other words, one does not have to force the tool to fit the body.
In comparison to jade or other minerals our instruments are lightweight to reduce fatigue and will not shatter if accidently dropped.
Versus Metallic Tools
Unlike metal our tools are a poor conductor of both heat and electricity and more comfortable because they do not feel cold to the touch. Our proprietary composite material is much lighter than metal reducing user fatigue. Our material also offers a significant savings over costly metal tools.
Gua Sha For the Athlete
Athletes use gua sha to relieve muscle soreness, improve flexibility and promote healing of chronic injury.
Athletes and clinicians use our products to maintain peak performance by addressing soft tissue problems before they become serious. The growing number of professional organizations that use our products include the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Golden State Warriors, Kansas City Royals, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. GSO Tools are also used by members of the Professional Golfer's Association.
The GuaSha Professional Tools were designed with a handle to minimize stress on the user’s hand. The handle directs pressure into the larger, more stable joints and protects the thumb CMC joint. The small joints of the fingers are also protected from undue pressure with joints resting in a slightly flexed and stable posture. The handle allows the fingertips to rest lightly on the treatment blade which enhances the ability to palpate tissue texture.
About our Company
Guashatools.com was founded in 2005 by Matthew Lott, MS, OT/L, CHT. Matt is a practicing occupational therapist and certified hand therapist. He has a BA in Biology from Hiram College and BS, MS in Occupational Therapy from D'Youville College. Matt designed the tools and uses them in his daily practice. Matt also authored the treatment manuals found here. Our products are locally produced in Kent, Ohio.