Gua Sha Therapy

Wha is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is healing technique that intentionally raises Sha or petechiae to aid in the movement of Qi, blood and other fluids containing metabolic waste that congests surface tissues and muscles. Gua means to scrape or rub, while Sha is the reddish, elevated skin rash used to describe blood stasis in the tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae.

How is Gua Sha applied?

The area being worked is lubricated with oil and the skin is rubbed with either a soupspoon or water buffalo horn in a downward motion. The area is scraped until the petechiae is completely raised. If there is no blood stasis in the area being treated, no petechiae will form and the skin will only turn pink.

Where is Gua Sha applied?

Sha is raised primarily on the neck, shoulders, back, buttocks, and limbs. Only occasionally is Gua Sha is applied on the abdomen and chest.

When is Gua Sha used?

If a patient has aches, pain, tenderness and/or knotty feeling muscles associated with an acute or chronic disorder, Gua Sha can be applied. Gua Sha is also used to prevent and treat flu, bronchitis, asthma and the common cold.

What does the type of Sha indicate? How fast will the petechiae fade?

If Sha is purple or black, the blood stasis is long standing. If brown, the blood may be dry. Dark red Sha can indicate heat, while very light Sha can suggest deficiency of blood. Shaw that is fresh red indicates recent penetration.

Petechiae should fade in 2-4 days. If it is slower to fade this could be a sign of deeper stagnation or organ deficiency. The practitioner must ascertain whether the deficiency is of the blood, Qi or yang.

What are the benefits of Gua Sha? Is it safe?

Gua Sha is a completely safe technique. In many cases the patient feels an immediate shift in their condition for the better. Gua Sha promotes circulation and normalizes metabolic processes. It is a valuable treatment for both external and internal pain, and is an excellent treatment for acute and chronic disorders.

We recommend rest after treatment, but if you must be active we suggest keeping it to a minimum. We also ask that patients refrain from alcohol, drugs, sex, feasting, fasting or hard labor (including working out) for the rest of the day.