Gua sha is a Chinese medical technique where the skin is lightly scraped to create bruising on the surface of the body, usually on the back and neck.

The procedure is done with light strokes from a smooth edged implement. Objects such as a smooth coin, ceramic soup spoon, and jade have been used in the past but the most common tool today is a rounded metal cap. Prior to rubbing the body with the implement, the skin is gently lubricated.

While a gua sha treatment can feel uncomfortable, many people have experienced much relief from it.

It is believed that this procedure allows the unhealthy energy from the affected area to leave the body and stimulates blood flow and healing.

This treatment is used for a variety of ailments including:

  • General pain
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Heatstroke
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Strains and sprains
  • Muscle spasms

Gua sha works by increasing the blood flow to the area of the body that has been treated. It is believed that this releases the body’s natural pain fighting systems and blocks the pain pathways creating relief. This increased blood flow, called microcirculation, has been scientifically proven to occur in the areas treated with the gua sha technique.

In the United States, this form of treatment is performed primarily by licensed acupuncturists. Before undergoing the gua sha treatment, your acupuncture therapist will discuss your specific pain and symptoms.

Gua sha is believed to promote a healthier flow of energy.

Ancient Chinese medical techniques are experiencing wide-spread popularity in the U.S. today. The wisdom and apparent effectiveness that is found in these Eastern healing arts are appealing as an alternative to an often over-medicated culture. Gua sha and other treatments can help alleviate pain in less invasive ways than other solutions and may be reasonable alternatives before considering surgical correction.

Have you ever considered forms of Chinese medicine, such as gua sha, to treat your pain?

Image by Mo Riza via Flickr

GET FREE EMAIL UPDATES!

Daily updates on conditions, treatments, and news about everything happening inside pain medicine.

You have Successfully Subscribed!