Gua sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves scraping the skin with a flat, rounded tool, usually made of jade. ‘Gua’ means press, stroke or rub and ‘sha’ means rash or redness. TCM Diagnosis, includes the quality, colour and location of the ‘sha’. Gua sha is done in one direction with even strokes to create the raised ‘sha’ from scraping. It can be used to relieve acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, support the immune system, address upper respiratory illnesses, and release tension in areas where movement is restricted. These marks are caused by superficially broken capillaries, which according to TCM theory can stimulate an anti-inflammatory and immune response in order to improve circulation.
In recent years, facial gua sha (which is a gentle treatment-does not result in bruising) has become a popular beauty treatment for tired or congested skin by naturally stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. It can be used to lift and sculpt the face, relax tight muscles that contribute to fine lines (such as brow furrows), and de-puff the under-eyes and cheeks. It can also help with jaw pain, seasonal allergies, and sinus congestion.