What is Graston Technique

While this is pretty much gua sha, it’s known as the Graston Technique in the industry.


In 1990, David Graston, an amateur athlete, introduced his version of gua sha to the United States.


“The Graston Technique is just a trademarked version of the gua sha massage technique.


Graston Technique, is performed by some Chiropractors and Physical Therapists who sometimes incorporate muscle scraping to stretch and relax muscles or scar tissue.


Dr. Hardy has been trained in both Gua Sha and Graston Technique.

Benefits of Gua Sha

Gua sha treatment is performed to help heal both acute and chronic conditions, Including:


Tension Headaches

Releases stress

Neck and Shoulder pain

Arm, Elbow and Wrist pain

Upper and Lower back pain

Hip, Buttock and Knee pain

Leg, Ankle and Heel pain

Hamstring Injuries

IT Band (Iliotibial Band)

Tennis Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow

Joint and tendon

Scar Tissue / Adhesions


Prevents and treats the common cold.


Promote normal circulation to the muscles and tissues.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha dates back to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been used for decades
to treat and prevent illness and discomfort.


The name is comprised of the two Chinese characters Gua, meaning to scrape or rub,

and Sha meaning sand. This name indicates both the action and the visual result of the practice.


Unfortunately, like other techniques in Traditional Chinese Medicine such as

acupuncture and cupping, gua sha is widely misunderstood in the West.


Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.) are formally trained in gua sha.


According to the principles of TCM, your qi (pronounced “chi”), or energy,

and blood flows throughout your body so you can feel your best.


Like acupuncture and cupping, gua sha works to unblock stagnant qi and blood. 


When qi and blood become stagnant in certain areas, it’s believed that health

problems can occur and especially pain.


Dr. Hardy explains that stagnant qi and blood is similar to a woman who has

menstrual pain, prior to the blood clots passing.


Once the blood clots pass, the woman will start to feel better.

The blood clots are a form of qi and blood stagnation.


A contraindication is a specific situation in which a drug, procedure, or surgery should not be used because it may be harmful to the person.


Bleeding disorders such as thrombocytopenia, leukemia 

or severe Anemia.


On the lower abdomen and lumbosacral region in women during pregnancy or menstruation.


Severe acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, or insufficiency of the liver and kidney.


Local scrapping in areas where malignant tumors were operated on,

and areas around malignant tumors or unidentified masses.


Near infectious skin diseases, skin lesions in diabetic patients, and severe varicosities on the legs.

Gua Sha includes scraping the skin with the rounded edge of an instrument to encourage the formation of petechiae, red spots on the surface of the skin that resemble sand.


The objective is to create friction through the rubbing motion, causing blood to evacuate the capillaries.


This causes the appearance of Sha, or petechiae, which fade within a few days.


The markings of Gua Sha do not indicate injury to the body.


This appearance on Sha should not be confused with rupture of the capillaries, as in bruising.


Rather, the appearance of the Sha marks on the skin indicates that there had been a stagnation of blood in that location of the body.


In fact, the color of the Sha marks may indicate the nature and severity of blood stagnation within the body.


For example, darker Sha indicates a more long-standing congestion of blood and energy.

What to expect

Dr. Hardy will use a smooth-edged tool to gently scrape areas of your body where there is inflammation and/or stagnant qi and blood to help improve circulation and promote healing.


Gua sha is gentle overall, and the intensity can build depending on the types of knots that you have or the intensity that is most comfortable to you as the patient.


You will not feel like you are going to be cut, stab or pinched.


Before Dr. Hardy starts, he will massage the treatment area with cream or lotion first and then take things to your comfort level.


Dr. Hardy won’t just dig in as hard as he can right away on the area being treated.


Dr. Hardy is going to find the tense tissue, work on it gently and gradually build  up the intensity to promote circulation to help break up the areas that are all twisted up.”

Speak up if you’re uncomfortable

If you’re new to acupuncture, cupping and gua sha, you might not know what to expect when it comes to the intensity of these services.


Know right off the bat that these services should not hurt you.


If you find yourself digging your nails into the table or tensing up a great deal at any point during  your session, you need to let Dr. Hardy know immediately so he can adjust accordingly.


“You have to be comfortable saying, ‘Ouch that hurts,’ because Dr. Hardy won’t know  if you don’t tell him.


At the same time, Dr. Hardy will explain to you that if you’re in pain, you’re not getting a beneficial treatment, since he is trying to loosen things up.


If it hurts too much, you’re just going to tighten up more and Dr. Hardy is just going  to be running around in circles as he’s trying to get you to feel better.


So, in order for you to get relief, everyone needs to be on the same page.”

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