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, and interned extensively with Bob Linde, AP, RH in St. Petersburg, FL. She has completed further specialized 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.
I firmly believe that healing is a partnership between the practitioner and patient and strive to meet my patients wherever they are on their individual journey.
No two patients are alike and everything in your body is interconnected. I encourage my patients to take part in their own healing. I have conviction that the root of most modern disease is diet or lifestyle related and teach my patients to use food and meditative techniques to mitigate whatever life is throwing at them, I believe food is medicine or poison and that our diet is how we both heal and harm ourselves, Herbal prescriptions and nutritional supplementation are also utilized when deemed necessary.
I have a particular interest in the treatment and recovery of physical injuries and pain of any sort. Acupuncture is absolutely incredible with pain of ANY kind from ANYTHING, be it injury or intervertebral disk issues, bone degeneration, arthritis, inflammation, stenosis, neuropathy, etc...I can go on! Women's Health, menstrual and menopausal issues are also of particular focus in my work. I really enjoy having a general practice and working with a wide population of patients on any and all health concerns they have.
Personally, I have resided in St. Petersburg, FL for over 14 years. My partner and I are fortunate enough to live in the wonderful Old Southeast neighborhood where we spoil an old dog, two cats and an innumerable number of fish and frogs. An avid outdoors person, I love stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking and enjoy doing just about anything in the woods, mountains, beaches or lakes that this world has to offer. Yoga has been life altering for me and I have completed a 10 day Vipassana Meditation course that was truly transformational. I think everyone should go fly a kite on occasion, get a glimpse of totality at least once this lifetime and love each other.
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