Gua Sha is an Asian medicinal treatment that involves “Gua," which means scraping or rubbing. This technique typically uses a stone, porcelain, stainless steel or bone tool. Grafston and scraping are other names derived from this technique and are used
within western medical practices such as physical therapy.
The “sha” is the blood stagnation raised from the subcutaneous tissue that produces the look of a reddish skin rash. As the tissue is scraped, the sha may be an indicator of the tissue’s condition. A pale sha has poor or deficient blood flow. A bright red sha indicates heat trapped in the tissue. A purple or darker sha is stagnant blood. The scraping brings the blood to the surface and allows it to recirculate through the body more efficiently. This is useful in treating a cold or to help expel pathogens and fevers before they journey deeper into the body.
The technique is usually performed on “yang meridians,” the lateral and posterior parts of the body, such as the head, neck, back and outer extremities, yet it can be used in other locations depending on the treatment strategy. The practitioner applies oil to affected area and then uses gentle to moderate pressure with a tool and massages along the meridians. It should not hurt and the patient should give ample feedback to create a good healing response.
If a tool with a round and dull edge is used, the scraping can cause friction and realign the fascia
where adhesions have occurred from repetitive use, injury or deficiencies. This is also known as
myofascial release. The sha usually takes 2-4 days to fade and can release toxins in the body so
fluid intake is important. Contraindications are thin skin, blood thinners and weaker body