Emily Armstrong is a 2015 graduate of East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, FL. Prior to completing her Masters of Oriental Medicine, she studied Chinese herbalism for two years, interning with Dr. Bob Linde in St. Petersburg, FL. She has completed extensive study in using Gua Sha for both acute and chronic conditions. Emily practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, utilizing Acupuncture, Herbal Therapies, and Moxibustion along with Fire Cupping and Gua Sha body work.
Emily firmly believes that healing is a partnership between the practitioner and patient and strives to meet her patient wherever they are on their individual journey.
A treatment session with Emily empowers the patient to take part in their own healing. She has conviction that the root of many modern diseases are diet or lifestyle related and teaches her patients to use food and meditative techniques as medicine and supplementation when necessary.
Emily has a particular interest in the treatment and recovery of physical injuries and the pain associated with them. Women's Health, menstrual and menopausal issues are also of particular focus in her work. She enjoys having a general practice and working with patients on any and all health concerns they have.
Personally, Emily has resided in St. Petersburg, FL for over 13 years. She and her partner spoil an old dog, two cats and an innumerable number of fish and frogs. An avid outdoors person, Emily has been stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking for years and enjoys any activity in the woods, mountains, or on the beach.
What is it? Gua Sha, also known as coining/scraping/spooning has been used for centuries throughout Asia. Gua "scrape" Sha "rash" is a modality that employs repeated unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated body area with a smooth-edged instrument to elicit a transitory therapeutic petechia reaction in the subcutaneous tissues. This resultant petechia resembles bruising, but is painless to the touch.
What does it do? Gua Sha treatments are adaptogenic! It can reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, stimulate the immune system, relieve pain, and lower fever among other things. It can warm what is cold and cool what is hot. Where there is pain, there is stagnation (of blood, fluids, lymph, etc...) and gua sha moves this stagnancy and increases cellular turnover allowing for reabsorption of cellular waste and making room for fresh substances to nourish the surrounding and underlying tissues. This modality can affect fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone and organ levels of the body. Gua Sha has been shown to raise hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels, which fight inflammation, and to measurably lower elevated liver enzyme levels.
What is Gua Sha used for? Injury, pain, fever, numbness, tingling, limited range of motion, organ disease, inflammation, spasms, cold/flu...
What tools are used? Just about everything has been utilized in Gua Sha. Tools have been fashioned from stone, wood, horn, bone, plastic and everything in-between. One teacher preferred jar lids, I love Chinese soup spoons and water buffalo horn. Different body areas can require different implementation, as well.
Does it hurt? Gua sha should not be a painful process! The patient is constantly encouraged to give feedback and if something is causing too much discomfort, the pressure applied can be altered. This is not a "harder is better" scenario and patient comfort is our utmost concern. Even the lightest stroke can produce a sha reaction and enable the body to dispose and detoxify the stagnancy in the superficial micro vessels. Furthermore, the resultant "bruising" is not painful.
What do I do after a Gua Sha treatment? Patients should always drink plenty of water, but especially after body work! Part and parcel of detoxifying cellular waste and transporting fresh nutrients to the areas affected, We also recommend protecting the areas treated from wind, sun, and cold while petechia is still visible. Expect the sha to fade 3-5 days after treatment. If there is any tenderness, we will sometimes suggest heating the area.
What if I have questions? Contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org