Gua Sha is the technique of applying oil to the skin, and the rubbing or scraping it with a smooth-edged tool, such as a ceramic spoon. This technique is especially effective at relieving pain, muscle tension, and headaches. It is commonly performed on the neck and shoulder area but may be used on other parts of the body.
The process of rubbing the skin produces discoloration which may range from light pink to dark purple/red, depending on the person and the condition. This discoloration, called “sha” in Traditional Chinese Medicine, typically fades a few days after treatment and is desired as it reflects the efficacy and need for the treatment. The process of gua sha helps move waste matter that may be trapped in tight, knotted muscles and promotes the flow of blood and fluid to muscle tissue.