Gua sha meaning “scaping sha-bruises” is a traditional Chinese medical treatment used to move stagnant blood and lymph from the subcutaneous fascia. Gua sha release unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing. The practitioner uses a round smooth-edged tool to repeatedly stroke over an area of the body to bring up stagnant blood and lymph to the surface of the skin. This allows the body to metabolize and get rid of cellular waste much more quickly to promote new fresh blood and the production of new cells in the area treated.
This technique is great for sore muscles as gua sha stretches the fascia and break up stagnation.
Gua sha stimulates the immune system and the technique can be seen as an adaptogen. It can breakdown a fever in someone who is sick or it can help warm up the body in person who is cold.
The “sha” or redness that appears is petechia and usually last anywhere from 3-5 days after treatment.
Gua Sha can be used to treat the same symptoms that cupping does. Once a patient has received gua sha they should wear a scarf to cover the exposed skin around the upper back and neck. Patient should not swim, exercise or shower for the remainder of the day after treatment.