Gua Sha literally means to scrape away fever. It is a technique used by acupuncture physicians where an object like a coin is used to scrape the skin. It can be used with wintergreen and camphor oils to enhance the dispersing effect that it aims to achieve.
Nowadays there are a variety of tools used including an ordinary Chinese porcelain soup spoon or smooth pieces of carved jade.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds the view point that colds and flu are as a result of the wind penetrating into the superficial skin layer and the bugs in the wind sitting in the skin so to say, need to be driven out. Gua Sha is one such technique and method and has been used for centuries.
The scraping is usually done along the Chinese acupuncture meridian lines but other areas can also be used. When Gua Sha is performed, extravasations of blood from the peripheral capillaries ensues.
The skin is left with a blemished line or lines ranging from pink, purple to black. There can also be small raised like blisters. It can appear to be painful, but it is not and patients often remark about the sense of change they feel afterwards.
To read a whole lot more about gua sha please go to Dr Oz Show. There are a number of conditions when Gua Sha can be used.
- Reduce fever
- Treat fatigue caused by exposure to heat
- Cough and difficult breathing: bronchitis, asthma, emphysema
- Muscle and tendon injuries
- Stiffness, pain, immobility
- Digestive disorders
- Urinary and gynecological disorders