What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique may offer a unique approach to better health, addressing issues like chronic pain.
A technician scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool.
Gua sha is sometimes referred to as "scraping", "spooning" or "coining" by English speakers. The treatment has also been called the descriptive French name, 'tribo-effleurage'.
Gua sha is intended to address stagnant energy, called 'chi', in the body that practitioners believe may be responsible for inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
As a natural healing remedy, gua sha is safe. It’s not supposed to be painful, but the procedure may change the appearance of your skin. Because it involves rubbing or scraping skin with a massage tool, tiny blood vessels known as capillaries near the surface of your skin can burst. This can result in skin bruising and minor bleeding. Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days.