Gua Sha (pronounced “gwa shah”), also known as 'gua –scrape', 'rub sha', 'petechiae', 'sha bruise' or more commonly, coining or spooning, is one of the oldest treatment procedures in existence. It is typically performed by rubbing a smooth-edged instrument such as a jade stone, obsidian, poly carba - or in former years, buffalo horn - across the surface of the skin where a subcutaneous (just below the skin) injury or imbalance resides. Gua Sha- like acupuncture- helps to stimulate and improve the free flow of qi and blood. As the scraping stimulates the qi, it also creates a rush of blood flow, thereby creating a painless raised red rash, also known as 'petechiae' which subsides within 2-4 days.Gua Sha has two main functions:
· Detoxification: by using a brisk rubbing action, it releases petechiae to the surface of the skin. Petechiae is a by-product that triggers the body to process cleansing of the area being stimulated and eliminates both the dead blood cells as well as other toxins from the skin surface in that area.
· Cell Nourishment: when petechiae appear on the skin’s surface, it forces an increase in blood and oxygen to the area being treated. This aids in those cells being nourished, thereby promoting a healthier sense of well-being.
While Gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain, it is also utilized by TCM practitioners to address conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms. Many people find immediate relief to their pain, however Gua Sha is recommended as a preventative measure, as well as effective treatment after an affliction has manifested.