Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘friction’ and is yet another ancient home remedy. Oils with special blends of Chinese herbs are applied to the area to be treated and a small tool is used (often I use a spoon or jar lid) to gently rub or scrape the skin, creating friction. This produces the same red/purple marks (sha) produced by the cupping technique but doesn’t take as long to fade.
What is It Good For?
- Pain, stiffness and muscle tension (and may be used to treat areas that are difficult to access with cups, such as the cervical neck)
- Colds, allergies and flu’s
- Sore throats and ear infections
- Upper respiratory problems
- Digestive issues
Gua Sha is considered to be an ‘adaptogenic’ technique in that it warms if cold, mimics sweating and cools if hot, strengthens deficiency, and releases excesses.
* With both cupping and gua sha techniques, the color noted on the skin and rate of fading are diagnostic.