Gua sha is a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine. Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis.
Raising sha removes blood stagnation considered pathogenic in traditional East Asian medicine. Modern research shows the transitory therapeutic petechiae produce an anti inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment accounting for the immediate relief that patients feel from pain, stiffness, cough and several other musculoskelatal issues.
Gua Sha is often followed by cupping and acupuncture but can be performed on its own or in combination.