Gua Sha is a rubbing technique applied to the skin to release muscle tension, tightness and constriction. It involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a specialized tool, and feels like a deep massage. The area to be treated must be lubricated with oil. The skin is then rubbed with a round-edged instrument in downward strokes.
Gua Sha is applied more at the Yang surface of the body like the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs.The redness should fade in 2-4 days. If it is slower to fade, it indicates, like on Cupping therapy, that there is poor blood circulation, the practitioner must ascertain whether it is deficiency of Blood, Qi or Yang. Gua Sha moves stagnated Qi and Blood.
From a modern medical perspective Gua Sha promotes circulation and normalizes metabolic processes and facilitates the resolution of both acute and chronic disorders.