Gua Sha is a medical treatment that has been used for centuries throughout Asia.
Gua means "to rub" or to "press". Sha is the term that describes the markings (small red dots - petechia) that appear on the surface of the tissue, where the person experiences stiffness and pain.
Gua Sha is applied with repeated unidirectional press-stroking with a smooth-edged instrument over a lubricated area of the body. It takes between 6 -15 strokes to raise Sha (therapeutic petechiae and ecchymosis - looks like a hickey). There is little discomfort for most patients if done correctly using pressure agreeable to the patient. Communication is key! The little red dots fade usually in 2-4 days.
Benefits of Gua Sha
It resolves tension, spasms and pain. It also increases blood circulation to the muscles, tendons and organs directly beneath the area that is been treated with Gua Sha.
Gua Sha can reduce inflammation.
Gua Sha increases perfusion
A research in Germany showed a 400% increase in surface microperfusion at the area treated with Gua Sha for over 7min immediately following treatment. Compared to massage which only slightly increases circulation during treatment and is usually not sustained when massage is stopped.
Gua Sha and Immunity
"A Harvard study showed Gua Sha upregulates gene expressionfor an enzyme that is an anti-oxidant and cytoprotectant (protects your cells), heme-oxygenase -1 at multiple internal organ sites immediately after treatment and over a period of days following a Gua Sha treatment"