What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light petechiae. Practitioners believe that gua sha releases unhealthy bodily matter from blood stasis within sored, tired, stiff or injured muscle areas to stimulate new oxygenated blood flow to the areas, thus promotes metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing and recovery. Gua sha is sometimes referred to as "scraping", "spooning" or "coining" by English speakers, it has also been given the descriptive French name, tribo-effleurage.

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.

In gua sha, 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. The technician applies massage oil to your skin, and then uses the tool to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion.

 

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.

 

Gua sha is generally performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs. A gentle version of it is even used on the face as a facial technique. Your technician may apply mild pressure, and gradually increase intensity to determine how much force you can handle.

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