Gua sha is a manual technique much like cupping. Gua sha is also referred to as "scraping." The procedure involves the use of a tool made out of buffalo horn, but your practitioner could utilize a ceramic soup spoon or even polished stones. The tools are used to massage the superficial tissues of the skin. Similar to cupping, the application of gua sha intentionally causes damage to the superficial blood vessels in order to encourage fresh blood flow to tissues that feel tight, tense, ropey or painful. By using gua sha we are trying to draw blood to the superficial tissues of the body. Gua sha most often creates red or purple marks that will take some time to dissipate. Gua sha provides a unique, efficient and intense massage to the soft tissue and any tiny ligaments that are tight and aching.
I frequently use gua sha for patients with neck pain or migraine head aches but it can have many applications depending upon the area of the body being treated. It is best to see a properly trained practitioner who will assess if gua sha is an appropriate therapy for your condition.