How does Gua sha therapy work?

Gua sha therapy

Gua sha therapy as practiced in by the practiionwrs at Sydney Acupuncture clinic is a technique from traditional Chinese medicine which is believed to aid healing and stimulate blood flow. According to practitioners, Gua sha can be used to remove unhealthy elements from the body, especially targeting injured areas.

Gua sha therapy has been indicated and promoted for any condition which presented with blood stasis internal or external resulting in pain. Whilst investiaging the Chinese medical litriture an array of conditions can respond  to gua sha therpy which include  headaches, igraine, neck, shoulder, back, and knee pain, as well as acute diseases such as fever, flu, asthma and bronchitis in children and adults. Gua sha is also effective in chronic disease including hepatitis.

How old is Gua sha?

The earliest reported use of Gua sha as a medical treatment in China dates back around 2,000 years. The literal meaning of Gua sha therapy  is “scrape rash”. The term appears to originate from an ancient text of Chinese medicine, Shang Han Lun, which is believed to be as old as 220 CE.

The Gua sha technique was soon transferred to south eastern countries like Vietnam where it became popular almost instantly. Multiple variations of Gua sha exist in Asia . Some variants of this ancient Chinese medical technique use different tools from a coin through to spoons, cow horns. Using oil or balm as lubrication, pressure is applied to the affected area using a implement.



As the translation suggests, Gua sha involves scraping the body. Commonly, a lubricant is applied to the area which is to be treated using Gua sha therapy , after which, pressure is applied in strokes using an edged instrument. Even though the most common scraping instruments are metal caps, the instrument can be anything from a ceramic Chinese soup spoon to coins- and even animal bones!

The instrument is pressed down firmly on skin and then moved/ stroked down along muscles or along acupuncture meridians. The strokes for Gua sha are typically four to six inches long. These strokes, however, may result in small capillary rupture, these are not causing internal bleeding or bruising as opposed to what people believe. Since the strokes do not because what can qualify as bruises, the marks also disappear in a considerably short amount of time.


Other names for Gua Sha therapy 

Graston Technique (GT) is a “trademarked” therapeutic manual method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the muscles, skeletal and related con

gau Sha , GUASHA

Gua Sha therapy by Rodd Sanchez

nective tissue condition s. The Graston Technique was initialised by David Graston which uses a collection of stainless steel instruments of particular shape which practitioners to rub / scape over muscles in order to sense and resolve adhesions in tendons and muscles.  Practitioners must be licensed in order to use the Graston Technique name, but results are very similar to tradition GuA Sha


Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for myofascial restriction. IASTM uses specially designed instruments to provide a mobilizing effect to scar tissue and myofascial adhesions.



How is cupping different from Gua sha?

Even though both techniques are essentially used to remove toxins from the body and stimulate blood flow, there are a few differences in the way in which these techniques are performed. Cupping makes use of heat or suction to create a vacuum within a cup which is placed on lubricated skin. The purpose of this suction or heat is to open any blocked passages of nutrients within the body.

Contgade gua sha rary to what most people believe, both cupping and Gua sha are completely painless as long as the technique is performed by a skilled professional. If you live in Sydney or Sylvania and would like to be treated using Gua sha or cupping, contact Rodd Sanchez.

Sydney Gua Sha Therapy & Sylvania Gua Sha  Therapy







The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically a bony bump on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) where these muscles elbow

A typical tennis elbow sufferer will experience pain mild to very server) when performing even simple tasks like gripping or resisted wrist/finger extension. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. Tenderness could be felt directly over the bony aspect (epicondyle) but there maybe active / trigger points in the wrist muscles also .

Tennis Elbow can be caused by repetitive damaged to the muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when large forces are applied to an area which the healthy tissues can not handle. Some of the common causes for tennis elbow include,

  • Unaccustomed hand / fore arm use. eg painting, excessive typing, excessive repetitive gripping or wringing activities
  • Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles

In some cases clients will develop Chronic Tennis Elbow which is when the soft tissues in poor health, which are easily injured. Inflammation follows the injury, which leads to swelling and elbow pain.

There is also evidence that longstanding forearm muscle imbalances can distort your elbow joint position and result in chronic tennis elbow pain. This results in decreased ability to perform normal elbow activities and reducing elbow and grip strength.

Tennis Elbow can be clinically diagnosed by history taking and using some confirmatory clinical / physical tests, which can give a provisional diagnosis. An ultrasound scan or MRI are the best tests to identify any tendon tears or inflammation


Stretching Exercises

wrist range of motion: Bend your wrist forward and backward as far as you can. Do 3 sets of 1020170220_17514120170220_175144



Wrist Flexion Stretch: Stand at a table with your palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.



Wrist Extension Stretch: Stand with the back of your hands on a table, palms facing up, fingers pointing toward y our body, and elbows straight. Lean away from the table. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.20170220_175208 20170220_175200



Strengthening Exercises

  1. wrist flexion exercise: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
  2. wrist extension exercise: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
  3. wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist in the sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a can of soup or hammer handle and gently bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10.
  4. forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand and bend your elbow 90°. Slowly rotate your hand with your palm upward and then palm down. Do 3 sets of 10.20170220_175150 20170220_175148
  5. Sit at a table with your forearm resting on the table. Hold a rolled up towel or small ball in your hand. Squeeze the towel in your hand and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch and do the other arm.

6.Sit in a chair holding a towel with both hands, shoulders relaxed. Twist the towel with both hands in opposite directions as if you are wringing out water. Repeat 10 times then repeat another 10 times in the other direction.

20170220_175233 20170220_175230

Supporting women health with Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Acupuncture / Chinese medicine and how we can support women’s issues

Woman health

Ladies, it’s time to have a chat about women’s health and what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can facilitate with women’s issues. In short acupuncture has long successful history assisting women’s health issues, ranging from infertility, amenorrhea, PMS to digestive and mood disorders. Many of these issues are common practice for are team of acupuncturists and moxibustionist. We have planned and co-ordinated a series of in-depth discussion papers for the future articles in the coming weeks. For today’s article, we’ll be outlining some of the conditions and how acupuncture can help. If you would like some areas explained or feel like you have had a positive response and would like to share please feel free. No names or personal details will be documented

Here are some of the conditions which Chinese medicine and acupuncture can assist:

  • Amenorrhea (no periods)
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • PMS, PMD
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis, polyps, fibroids and cysts
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Subfertility (commonly known as infertility)
  • Miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and immune infertility
  • Symptoms related to female hormone imbalance such as acne and fluid retention
  • Pregnancy and post-partum issues
  • Pre and post fertility issues
  • IVF assistance

We shall in the next coming articles discuss how both Western medical and Chinese medical model view / diagnosis / treat female health issues such as menses (periods). These in-depth articles will be looking at the language / and specific vocabulary of both Western and Eastern philosophies, reinforcing the ideas of qi, blood, yin and yang and how we integrate them for present times. Inclusive of diet and lifestyle choices and how this can impact on women’s health issues, we shall be discussing interpretation laboratory blood test results from Western medical and Chinese medical perspective.

Thank you for time to read article

Audrey Cortez

Acupuncturist and Moxibustion Specialist

Hua Tuo

hua_tuoHuo Tuo

In Chinese Medicine there is a very long and proud history of scholars, clinicians and pioneers. They have paved the way for thousands of practitioners; I am one of them. Hua Tuo (c.140–208) is one of my heroes, who medical skills made him one of the most famous Chinese physician. He lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty modern Anhui (which happens to be where I did my internship whilst in China). Hua Tuo was many hundreds of years ahead of his time in his medical knowledge and practice for both eastern and western medical knowledge.

Of the many wondrous achievements, historical records will have Hua Tuo as the first clinician to use anaesthesia during surgery. He used a general anaesthetic combining wine with a herbal concoction called máfèisàn (cannabis boil powder). Besides expertise in surgery and anaesthesia, Hua Tuo was famous for his abilities in acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, and medical DaoYin exercises.

He is said have developed the Wu Qin Xi which is the Exercise of the Five Animals, or five animals playing. Hua Tuo looked at the movement and form of the tiger, deer, bear, ape, and crane and applied it to exercise movement.

He was known as “the physician of the people”. He preferred to treat the common folks of the world and repeatedly refused to accept offers of the position as the Supreme Physician in the Imperial Palace. Hua Tuo will always be remembered for his mastery in several fields, including acupuncture, gynaecology, paediatrics, and surgery. Unfortunahua_tuo_2tely, Hua Tuo’s was arrested for his refusal and eventually put to death with his life works destroyed; hence his surgical practices went into disuse, with the exception of his method of castration.

The way Hua Tuo used acupuncture and herbs, was one of simplicity, only using a small number of acupuncture points and formulas comprising of only a few herbs. He practiced Qi Gong and taught the Qi Gong for health. He studied and mastered various classics, especially those related to medical and health measures, but also astronomy, geography, literature, history, and agriculture.




Rodd Sanchez

Acupuncture Sydney : Chinese Medicine Sydney


Facial guasha and Bioptron light therapy System

Facial Guasha and Bioptron light therapy System

Facial guasha and Bioptron light therapy System

Facial guasha and Bioptron light therapy System

By Vinko Kuzman

Well, the title itself is a mouthful so we need some short definitions to start us off into another topic about health, with concentration on our faces and skin in general. Certainly not too much concentration as any excess may cause wrinkles.

Facial: Care for the face that usually involves cleansing and massage and the application of cosmetic creams.

Guasha: Traditional Chinese treatment that involves instrument assisted “press stroking” of a moisturized body surface.

Bioptron: is a medical light therapy device with a specific optical unit emitting light that is similar to a part of the electromagnetic spectrum produced naturally by the sun, but with no UV radiation.

All three segments of the treatment work trough, and with, “Facia” or what would be “connective tissue proper”, in Western anatomy. In the not very distant medical past, the connective tissue was viewed as an inert material covering the important stuff. Now it is seen as an individual organ, that connects, supports and transmits, it is our fluid super highway under our very skin.

Guasha is a simple yet highly effective way of promoting fluid movement and blood circulation in the treated area. This is the main reason why we use it in the clinic.

In facial therapy Guasha is a process which uses smooth natural instruments like Jade, Hot stone or Ox horn that comfortably glide over the facial skin. Natural oils are used as well, so the skin is not only invigorated, it is also nourished.

In 2007 researches at University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany showed a remarkable 400% increase in surface micro-perfusion in the Guasha treated area.  This increase in circulation may have been known not only to Chinese doctors but also to Chinese ladies that were in a habit of using facial Guasha on a regular basis.

To speed up the treatment process and to increase collagen production we also use the Bioptron Medical device.  The application of Bioptron Light Therapy results in a smoother feeling skin, which takes on a healthier appearance, noticeable even from the first treatments. It rapidly improves microcirculation and cell oxygenation, whilst enhancing the production of new collagen fiber in skin tissue. This in turn will help to restore skin tightness and elasticity. Thus, Bioptron light can refine existing wrinkles and prevent premature formation of new ones.

bioptronTime for another definition…drum rolls…Collagen: a combination of a Greek word Kolla meaning glue and English word Gen, meaning information. Often defined as the substance that holds the body together.

As we get older Collagen production declines, negatively affecting our skin, joints, energy, hair and nails. The best way to replenish collagen is to have a good diet that includes a rich bone broth. Being hydrated with gelatine on the inside is very important.

In using the “Facial Guasha and Bioptron Light Therapy System” we are also deeply aware that we are treating the whole person, so the chosen protocol will reflect this at all times. The whole treatment is enhanced also due to the bio-positive influence of light therapy, even if light is only received regionally.

How is this done you ask…well here is a scientifically worded explanation: The number of the capillaries per square centimeter of skin is between 1,600 to 6,500. Whilst our blood flows through all the tissue of our body at a varying rate, blood flows slowly in the capillaries situated very close to the skin surface. This is an ideal prerequisite for the photo modulation of blood. Bio positive effects from light transmitted to blood in this way can be carried throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.

Regular Guasha and Light therapy creates better-looking skin and an overall healthier body.

Key sentences:

Facial Guasha works on our fluid super highway, under our very skin.

The application of Bioptron Light Therapy results in a smoother feeling skin, which takes on a healthier appearance, noticeable even from the first treatments.



Vinko Kuzman : Acupuncture and Bioptron Light Therapist

Cupping in Sports

Cupping in Sports


swimmer on swimming pool

If you have been watching the Olympic Games in Rio, you may have noticed strange circular marks on the athlete’s bodies. These red and purple circular marks are the result of cupping therapy which is an ancient form of therapy, dating back thousands of years.

What is all the fuss about cupping at the Rio Olympics about really? Cupping or Hijama is an ancient form of treatment that has been practised in Asia and the Middle East for the past few centuries.

As noticed in news reports and magazines, it has been made famous yet again after high profile Olympians such as Michael Phelps (and a number of other gymnasts) have been seen with the famous dotting pattern on their backs and shoulders. The therapy has many celebrity followers as well including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham and Justin Bieber to name a few.

For athletes and sports people, the cupping treatment eases pain/promotes healing as they undergo intense training regimes for increased muscle strength before competition. Cupping can assist the relaxation of muscles as well as reducing body aches and pain. When athletes over exercise, they produce uric and lactic acids, which can be glass cupsdetrimental to muscle function.

If one looks at Michael Phelps marks, they are concentrated on the upper right sides of his back which can indicate therapy for a possible frozen shoulder or treatment to loosen muscles that have become stiff due to over exercising. Swimmers tend to have more cupping, I suspect, due to the constant nature of being in and out of cold water, which can slow down blood circulation.

Cupping is not only for Olympic athletes but can also be used for patients suffering from upper respiratory illnesses, acute injuries, chronic pain, fertility or even cosmetic applications.

In ancient times, cupping therapy was used to get rid of blood and pus when treating a skin abscess, but was also expanded to treat tuberculosis and rheumatism. Because cupping was widely used in Chinese culture, the technique was inherited and developed by modern Chinese practitioners. It cupping has established as an official therapeutic practice in hospitals all over China and also our clinic in Sydney. We even now have other modalities trying to adopt cupping as their own by using terms like “myofascial decompressing techniques” which just use alternative biomedical terms to describe the same physiology effects of cupping.

bamboo tube burn traditional street Chinese medicine

bamboo cupping

therapy cupping glass vacuum massage in salon. Alternative medicine procedure, body care healthy lifestyle.

plastic cupping

Modern medical professionals consider that cupping is generally safe for healthy people when performed by a trained health professional. There is current research that found it may be an effective short-term treatment for chronic neck and lower-back pain. Many clients over the years in our Sydney acupuncture and sutherland Acupuncture clinic have benefited immensely

The action of cupping involves applying either glass or plastic cups to the area of discomfort, by the use of either flame heat or mechanical suction a vacuum is created.  This partial vacuum is created inside the cups and the skin is lifted for a few minutes. Cupping in the traditional sense is suggested to lift out disease-causing fluids and stagnate or stuck energy (qi), resulting in localised healing. Whilst we can also suggest the fascia from muscles is stimulated in the opposite many to deep tissue massage

There are many forms of cupping and at the Sydney cupping and Sutherland shire cupping  Clinic utilise many of these for our patients.

Dry cupping: cups that have been heated or have an attached pump are placed on the affected part of the body. The vacuum created by heat or manually by

glass cupping

glass fire cupping

the pump, lifts the skin to expand the blood vessels and creating a bright red mark on the skin.

Sliding cupping:  incorporates different types of massage oils involve the cup sliding up and down the back (or other parts of the body) where suction remains throughout the session. This form of cupping is used to removes knots and provide relief from inflammation. It can be used whilst the patient is still or moving to affect a whole muscle group.

Wet cupping: suction is created like dry cupping but after 3 minutes the cup is removed to reveal a swollen, red patch of skin. Small incisions are made on this patch to draw out the ‘diseased’ blood. This form of cupping it not practiced commonly within clinic


What are the benefits of cupping?

  • Detoxifies metabolic debris in muscle tissue, fascia, and skin
  • Stimulates a whole body relaxation response (parasympathetic response)
  • Increases range of motion, breaks up adhesion, and promotes healing in scar tissue and chronic injury sites
  • Stimulates oxygenation and detoxification of blood while promoting a feeling of lightness and relief of pressure
  • Increases lymphatic drainage and promotes circulation
Bamboo Cupping

Bamboo fire Cupping


You should always seek treatment from a registered Chinese medicine professional.  The cupping marks may take a few days to a week to completely fade and this needs to be taken into account. In Chinese medicine philosophy, cupping opens your pores, which can make you susceptible to catching a cold, therefore it is really important to keep covered. Also of note is not to use cupping if you have any damaged skin, or if you are taking blood thinners.

What can cupping treat?

Tight and stiff muscles: Back pain, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, IT band pain, rotator cuff injuries, and plantar fasciitis

Respiratory conditions: asthma, bronchitis

Emotional balance: anxiety, depression, stress, migraines

High blood pressure by calming the nervous system,

Overall, cupping is a very safe and enjoyable treatment. It is fantastic on its own or as an adjunct to acupuncture or massage therapy. I’ve found that good health is not one thing you do, but the culmination of many good habits and treatments to keep you balanced. Remember to stay curious, try something new, and enjoy the process.


Traditional cupping and Sports cupping is available at both Sydney Acupuncture and Sutherland Acupuncture clinic