"Gua" to scrape or rub 

"Sha" reddening of the skin.

How is Gua Sha applied?

Gua-sha is a lesser known TCM therapy that involves lubricating the skin with oil before scraping it with a smooth edged instrument to produce light petechiae (small red/purple spots).

What does Gua Sha treat? 

The treatment is common in China and very popular throughout South-East Asia. The aim is by applying medium pressure with a downwards motion, to stimulate the flow of Blood and Qi to an area, frequently the back, neck and shoulders, to relieve stagnation within sore, stiff, injured or tired muscles. This method promotes regeneration, healing and recovery. 

The 'Sha' lasts for between 24 and 72 hours before fading completely. TCM theory suggests that the severity/intensity of the bruising directly correlates with the severity of the stagnation or toxicity within the body.

Gua-Sha is a very effective treatment in the acute stages of coughs, colds, flu, bronchitis, asthma and fever.

It can also be used to detoxify the body as the scraping brings toxins and/or excess heat to the surface of the skin where it can be released.

Gua Sha tools

Traditionally a piece of jade, a coin, a buffalo horn or a Chinese soup spoon were used. Anything with a smooth rounded edge can be used.

Due to infection control and difficulties in sterilising these types of tools, we now use either single use gua-sha tools or jam jar lids.