Gua in Chinese means “to rub” or friction. Sha is the term used to describe congestion of blood at the surface of the body. When friction is applied in repeated even strokes with a flat tool, the congested blood (sha) surfaces as small red bumps (petichiae) appear. In minutes the bumps fade into red patches. Gua ShaThe sha (congested blood) disappears totally in two to four days. The color and rate of fading are both diagnostic and prognostic indicators. There is no pain or lasting discoloration to the skin. The procedure is completely safe.
Gua Sha promotes circulation to the muscles and organs, and drains the lymphatic system. It helps to stimulate detoxification through the movement of fluids as nutrients are carried to the tissues and metabolic wastes are carried away.
Gua Sha can be used for pain and discomfort in the muscle layer and upper respiratory congestion. Gua Sha can also be used for stagnation in the digestive tract. One excellent use is to release the heat and toxicity in the radiation field for those undergoing cancer treatment and to reduce pain in shingles patients.