Gua Sha for Pain

Back in the spring, I demonstrated how to use gua sha to alleviate a cough or shortness of breath and to improve lung health. This tool also has the ability to alleviate muscle tightness!

In this video here, I have a patient who came in with ankle pain and lateral lower leg pain. The source turned out to be a trigger point in the Peroneal Longus muscle. Trigger point therapy can be very intense for some people, so gua sha is an excellent tool to use to loosen muscles up for those that are sensitive.

Gua sha smooths the fascia that encases the muscle allowing the muscle to expand and relax more easily and it pushes lactic acid out providing pain relief in the area. Gua sha also breaks up blood stagnation in that muscle promoting better blood flow to the area.

If you are highly sensitive to needles or trigger point therapy – that’s okay! Gua sha can be a great tool for you as it’s effective, but more comfortable.

❤️Alyx Soesman, Acupuncturist



You think, “I’ll just look at the news online for a quick second, that’s all.”  The first thing you see are dire warnings of the market about to crash, COVID19 numbers growing again, and yet another story about a disaster.  Your heart starts to race and palpate, and you take a few deep breaths to remain calm and stable and turn away from the news to focus on your day and dealing with what happens during it.  Sometimes that alone is a lot.

These days many of us are facing a constant “fight or flight” syndrome, where our sympathetic nervous systems are staying on more than they should be, causing our parasympathetic nervous system’s rest and digest abilities to be a little less capable.   They say the body keeps score of this tension and trauma, creating holding patterns in our muscles.  But we also know that when our sympathetic system is in fight or flight all the time and doesn’t get a chance to rest, less blood flow is sent to the organ systems – they have less of a chance to recover.   When we are stressed and anxious it can often impact sleep patterns, and sleep is another time our body can recover.

This is why boundaries are important during this time.  Acupuncture can help all of these side effects, relaxing muscles, calming down the sympathetic nervous system, calming the spirit, improving blood circulation and stimulating a healing response.  But if you do not have boundaries that are firm it will be hard to recover from so much bad news.  By boundaries I mean very consciously deciding what you take in and who you allow into your world and not giving attention to the rest.  Watching your reactions and responses as well, so that you have the stamina to offer compassion even when you are inundated by confrontational or difficult or anxious conversations.  Choose who and what you want to invest in and stay the course.  Maybe you are putting up your hand to more things, but this will mean that the people and things you value enough to give your attention to have more of that attention, because you are investing it carefully.  

Kat MacKenzie, MS, LAc