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Gua Sha

Dynamic scraping technique

Illustration of a gua sha session

Originating in China, Gua Sha is an age-old practice that has spread throughout Asia.

Although Gua Sha is part of a practitioner's therapeutic arsenal, it is first and foremost a popular practice that forms part of family medicine to treat colds, flu, headaches and various aches and pains. A treatment technique, it is also used as preventive care.

Gua Sha is a friction technique which, like acupuncture, tuina or cupping, is one of the external methods of Chinese medicine. It involves treating the surface of the body to improve general health and relieve many ailments.

The ideogram Gua means "to scratch". The ideogram Sha is composed of several elements meaning "to be sick" and "sediment, sand, deposited by lack of water". It therefore describes a pathogen with a sandy consistency that makes people sick, like a "sick" river that no longer flows properly due to the accumulation of sediment on its bed.

The term Sha also describes petechiae, the characteristic skin eruptions caused by friction and indicative of the presence of "pathogenic sand".

The Gua Sha technique thus consists in scraping away pathogenic sand that has accumulated in the vessels and is disrupting the proper circulation of Qi and Blood, bringing it to the surface of the body to be evacuated.

Treatment is performed using a rounded-edged utensil, such as a porcelain soup spoon or a horn or jade scraper, on skin previously lubricated with a fatty substance.

When Sha is present, red, purple or black rashes appear on the skin.

Gua Sha is performed mainly on the neck, shoulders, back and arms, but can also be applied to the head, chest, legs and joints.

Gua Sha promotes the circulation of body fluids, Qi and Blood, resolves blood stasis, encourages the formation of new blood and effectively evacuates pathogenic factors such as Heat, Wind, Cold and Humidity.

Gua Sha is an extremely effective treatment technique, generally providing rapid, even immediate, relief. It is recommended for the prevention and treatment of a wide range of chronic and acute ailments.

Gua sha is particularly indicated in the following cases:

Pain of all kinds

Skin conditions

At the beginning of infectious diseases

Heart problems

Digestive disorders

Circulatory disorders

Urinogenital disorders

Gynaecological disorders

Functional diseases

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