Gua Sha Therapy – How And Why It Works

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A lady with shoulder pain who is waiting for a Gua Sha treatmentThere are many healing techniques used in Thailand, and also across South East Asia. However, some are rather obscure while others are more commonplace. A technique that is not known as much in the West is Gua Sha. Although this method is not as common as acupuncture, herbalism and massage in the USA and Europe, it is extremely common and very popular in Asia.

Gua Sha is usually not a therapy offered on its own. But rather, Gua Sha is more commonly used in conjunction with another therapy such as acupuncture or Tui Na massage. Here we will explain what Gua Sha is and give you an insight into how it might be able to help you.

What Is Gua Sha Therapy?

Gua Sha is an abrasive technique of acupuncture that scrapes the surface of the skin multiple times to help release toxins in the body. Most commonly, when Gua Sha is used it will produce petechiae on the skin. Although the technique is a little uncomfortable and sometimes mildly painful, Gua Sha has been used for centuries and still remains both popular and effective for all kinds of conditions.

Why Use Gua Sha?

When we apply Gua Sha to one of our patients, we are doing several things. First of all, we are helping to release toxins in the system and in the blood that has become stagnant. This is particularly the case with tires and sore muscles. The more toxins that are in the body the more redness appears on the skin during and after a Gua Sha treatment.

During the process, the muscles are replenished with fresh oxygen and will help the body to heal more quickly. We will also use Gua Sha if a parent has been exposed to the elements and has accumulated internal cold, wind, damp or heat.

How Do We Use Gua Sha?

When we are doing Gua Sha we use a blunt and rounded tool like this one, which is made of jade. Often a smooth stone or crystal can also be used for Gua Sha therapy. In the old days, it has also been known for a therapist to use a blunt spoon or even a rounded coin that has no sharp edges.

When applying the technique we first place a layer of massage oil on the area to provide a bit of lubrication and to limit the abrasiveness. We will then take the Gua Sha stone and begin to rub the skin in one direction several times until redness appears on the skin. The more pathogens or toxins that are within needing to come out, the more redness that will appear.

Although this technique may sound painful, it can be a little during the process. However, after the patient will feel invigorated, lighter and more free in the worked areas.

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