Gua sha is a manual therapy in acupuncture. Gua sha us the rubbing of a coin or a spoon on the skin in one direction. Often it is done on the upper and lower back, neck, and the ribs. It is a long time home remedy which is used for colds and fever, nausea, muscle aches and pain, as well as inhibited urination.
Gua sha will break the blood vessels below the skin causing an unusual looking bruise. Small patechia will come up on the skin in the areas of the gua sha. In Chinese medicine this is called release the “sha” which helps to resolve blood stagnation and release heat. Interestingly, if there is not too much heat present, or there is no blood stagnation, it does not create a bruise.
Gua sha is very safe and very comfortable. Before the procedure we will rub oil or a balm into the skin so there is no friction with the instrument. We may combine essential oils in the balm to increase the healing effect. The pressure is much like a massage. For many symptoms, such as cold, nausea, pain, and inhibited urination, the results are very rapid.
What is cupping used for?
Cupping can be used for for muscle pain, arthritis, tendonitis, fatigue, and stress. Many athletes will use cupping to reduce pain and improve recovery as well as reduce swelling in an injury. You can also use it to help colds and cough. [1-3] It is often used to help recovery from stroke. Cupping can be very helpful for inflammatory acne