Sandy Camper, M.Ac., L.Ac. Gua Sha Queen. I was a high school chemistry teacher when I lifted a box of chemicals for a lab and injured my back, putting me in excruciating pain. I decided to try acupuncture treatment and I was amazed that in two treatments my pain was reduced to zero! A few years later I found I was seeing two different specialists for two different conditions without any improvement. I sought out acupuncture again, and when the practitioner brought out a chart and showed me how these two seemingly unrelated issues had the same root cause, I was thrilled. She said that by treating the underlying imbalance both symptoms would improve, and that was exactly what happened. I was hooked! I never learned anything about gua sha in acupuncture school. I had been practicing for years before a classmate performed gua sha on me for the first time, and I immediately experienced a profound sense of patience! The incredible results I continue to witness in my patients from gua sha treatments have propelled me, along with fellow gua sha enthusiast Kathryn Nemirovsky, to teach other acupuncturists and body workers this amazing technique. With my background as a scientist, I continually geek out on the research that reveals facets of how our medicine affects the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of a person. It’s the instantaneous and palpable shifts in consciousness from treatment that can ch ange a person’s life in a moment that keep me electrified about Chinese Medicine.
Kathryn Nemirovsky, M.S.O.M., L.Ac., Gua Sha Queen
If someone had told me in my earlier years that I’d be some kind of a doctor today, I’d have told them they were crazy. Lucky for me that life is wild and unpredictable. When I was struggling with a health issue for which conventional medicine had little to nothing to offer, a friend suggested I try acupuncture. As I lay on the table to receive my first treatment in the clinic at the school I would later attend, the intern asked me, “Are you a student here?” I said I wasn’t. She smiled and said, “You will be.” I laughed.
It was easy to fall in love with the richness and poetry of Chinese medicine. Now approaching my 10th year of practice, what has come as an absolutely thrilling surprise is just how many people I’ve been able to help, often with the simplest of means.
Gua sha was barely covered at the TCM school I attended. There wasn’t much time or attention given it, and it made so little an impression on me that I didn’t use it at all for my first few years of practice. It wasn’t until I was experiencing debilitating hip pain, and something I read in an online discussion group prompted me to use it on myself, that it came back into my awareness. It was a revelation! The relief was so immediate and so complete, I wondered to myself, “Why am I not doing this on my patents?!” Since then I’ve been what you might call a gua sha missionary, preaching and spreading the gua sha love.