Gua Sha involves first applying massage oil and then gently scraping the skin with a flat instrument of porcelain, bone, stone, or horn. The gentle sliding pressure encourages circulation and activates the immune response.
Gua sha causes tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin called capillaries to burst. This often causes some red or purple bruising, known as sha. Looking at the colour and intensity of the sha can also be used diagnostically. For example, bright red sha would indicate trapped heat in the body while purple sha indicates stagnation.
Gua Sha can be very useful for muscle pain and tension, toxic build-up, reducing inflammation, and many different immune-based problems.