Gua Sha 刮痧

Gua Sha literally translates to scrape away fever. I often use this manual therapy tool assisted technique to regulate body temperature, help ease the symptoms of the common cold, and to reduce pain associated with tight muscles [1]. A historically effective folk medicine - Gua Sha can be taught and prescribed as take home therapy.

 

Considered part of Chinese medicine traditions, Gua Sha therapy mobilizes muscles, tendons and ligaments, and gently increases blood flow to often injured areas of the body. Relief is achieved by gentle stretching the body’s soft tissue and fascia by sliding the gua sha tool over spasms and trigger points creating a transitory reddening of the skin. Studies suggest this pain relieving effect of gua sha may be due to its ability to lower liver enzymes and decrease vascular inflammation [2,3,4].