Gua Sha

What is Gua sha?

Gua Sha is a technique of traditional Chinese medicine in which oil is applied to the skin and a round-edged tool, such as a Chinese soup spoon, is used to stroke the skin until reddish or purplish petechiae (also known as "sha") are raised. The “sha” are a sign of blood stasis, or poor circulation. Gua Sha works by moving stuck blood through the blood vessels. Relief is almost immediate, and the marks fade within 2-5 days. This invigorating treatment is usually performed on the neck, shoulders and upper back. A gentle version of Gua Sha can even be used as a facial technique.

How does it work?

Many diseases are caused or intensified by slow blood flow that cannot eliminate metabolic poisons from the body and prevent congestion in the blood vessels. However, the scraping of your skin in a gua sha session can expand your blood vessels, open your sweat pores and increase the rate at which your blood circulates throughout your body. Gua Sha draws toxins out from deep within the muscles and body, thus allowing for the body to flush them away and nourish the local area with fresh blood. These toxins are a result of the congestion of Qi (the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine) and blood in the body.

Many research studies indicate that Gua Sha can quickly and effectively help reduce or eliminate pain in various areas of your body. By enhancing your blood circulation, the healing technique can expel these harmful toxins from the body and help to increase the quality and strength of your organs.

Who would benefit?

Gua Sha can relieve pain from the back, joints, shoulder, neck and head. It also helps alleviate pain caused by fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, migraine, osteoporosis, rheumatism and sciatica. When performed over the lungs, Gua Sha can treat respiratory issues like common colds, flu, bronchitis, sleep apnea and asthma.