Gua Sha is a healing technique used throughout Asia. Gua means to rub or cause friction. Sha is the term used to describe congestion of blood at the surface of the body. When friction is applied in repeated even strokes, the sha surfaces as small red petechiae. In minutes the petechiae fade into echymotic (black and blue) patches. The sha disappears totally in two to four days. The color and rate of fading are both diagnostic and prognostic indicators.
The benefits of Gua Sha are numerous. It helps promote normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated. The patient can experience immediate improvements in stiffness, pain and mobility. Because Gua Sha mimics sweating, it resolves fever. Gua Sha is also very helpful in resolving colds and coughs, even stubborn ones.
Gua Sha can be applied to any part of the body and is a safe, relatively painless treatment.
After Gua Sha the patient is instructed to make sure the area treated remains covered and protected from wind, sun and sudden changes in temperature.
Adapted from: Gua Sha. A traditional Technique for Modern Practice. A Neilson 1995 Churchill Livingstone