Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light petechiae. Petechiae are tiny purple, red, or brown spots on the skin. The colour of the petechiae can be used a diagnostic of the underlying condition.
Gua sha releases unhealthy bodily matter from blood stasis within sore, tired, stiff or injured muscle areas to stimulate new oxygenated blood flow to the areas, thus promoting metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing and recovery. Gua sha involves repeated pressed strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged and blunt instrument. Skin is typically lubricated with massage oil or balm, and commonly a ceramic Chinese soup spoon is used.
The basic health problems that Gua sha is commonly used for are:
- Treat stiffness, Immobility, rheumatic pain
- Treat muscle and tendon injuries
- Reduce fever
- Treat fatigue caused by exposure to heat or cold
- Bronchitis, asthma, emphysema and the common cold
- Improve circulation
- Treat headaches
- Treat digestive disorders
- Treat urinary, gynaecological
The sha (or petechiae) usually fades in one to three days. If it is slower to fade it indicates poor elimination, weak immune system, or deficient body fluids.
Although the after effects of a good Gua sha session looks alarming, it’s actually painless and extremely effective in soothing aches, pains and stiffness.