Gua sha has been an integrated therapeutic modality in Chinese Medicine for millennia. The practitioner takes an implement, either a jar lid or a special tool, and scrapes (gua), or “press-strokes” the skin in one direction several times. This creates “transitory therapeutic petechiae”, the appearance on the skin of stripes or areas of mottled purple or red (sha), which arise from the action of scraping.
Gua sha has a wide ranging therapeutic effect:
- Increases the surface circulation of blood, which reduces or resolves pain.
- Immune and anti-inflammatory effect
- Effective with chronic disease, hepatitis B
At Eastern Shore Acupuncture, gua sha has proven especially effective to resolve the pain and free up mobility for frozen shoulder. Because it releases heat, Gua sha is also crucial to any treatment of an emerging inflammotry condition, such as flulike symptoms or bronchial and respiratory illnesses.