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What are Graston / Gua Sha Muscle Treatments?

Graston is the common name for a procedure known as “Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization”.  This style of treatment utilizes stainless steel instruments and an emollient to resolve any fascial scarring, muscular over activity, or in its advanced usage, can be used to re-educate muscular activity in terms of posture or sports rehabilitation.

This technique requires more advanced screening to ensure the patient is not at risk for any vascular conditions that may increase bleeding, slow healing, or promote blood clot formation.

The treatment feels like an aggressive deep tissue massage.  It is always conducted to a patient’s tolerance and to a therapeutic threshold.  Minor bruising may occur, but should only last about a day.  It is quite common for the treated area to be sore the next day, after which the patient should begin to feel better.

Gua Sha Muscle Treatments can be compared to the action of making a messy bed with your hands. Except in this case, the gnarled and scrunched bed sheets are your muscle tissue, and the tools or the “hands” that would be used to smooth the sheets out again are the Graston / Gua Sha stainless steel instruments.

The treatment’s purpose is to cause very controlled, localized tissue damage, while increasing blood flow to the area to promote more effective healing of the tissue, that may previously had healed in a much more resistant/fibrotic way.

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