Gua sha is the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and stroke the skin to relieve pain and tension and increase circulation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, gua sha is believed to move blood and qi. The literal meaning of gua sha is “to scrape sand,” which refers to the light bruising on the skin after a treatment called petechiae or sha.
To enjoy the best results, Gua Sha once per day. However, you can still experience the benefits of this ancient East Asian healing technique if you do it two to three times every week.
The most common conditions and symptoms treated with gua sha include:
- back pain
- shoulder and neck tension
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- tennis elbow/tendon strain
- poor circulation
- scar tissue
- joint pain
- muscle pain
Practitioners claim that gua sha can also benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation. Sometimes, gua sha is used to treat a cold, fever, or problems with the lungs.
Gua sha is not suitable for everybody. People who should not have gua sha include those:
- who have medical conditions affecting the skin or veins
- who bleed easily
- who take medication to thin their blood
- who have deep vein thrombosis
- who have an infection, tumor, or wound that has not healed fully
- who have an implant, such as a pacemaker or internal defibrillator