GuaSha is the Chinese pronunciation and means “scratching Sha-spots (bruises)”. It is a Chinese medical treatment that has been used widely by both practitioners and individual household for centuries. During the process, the skin is scratched by a spoon or a coin till the light bruising or scattered red spots are produced in the treating area. Special oil balm, such as red flower oils can be applied on skin before scratching in order to enhance the therapeutic function.
According to Chinese Medical Classics-Shang Han Lun, “cold” can induce diseases. Common cold is pronounced “shangfeng” in Chinese and means “damaged by the wind”. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the winds tend to invade and stagnate in the superficial layers of channel system. In order to treat the symptom, Guasha is used to take out the winds and stagnation. After Guasha, local circulation will increase and the toxins can be lifted to the superficial area. Consequently, it can speed up the healing process. Many Asian countries use this method in all sorts of conditions, such as injury, cold/ flu, fever and digestive disorders.
Clinical research shows that Guasha can increase surface blood flow by 400% and its effects can last up to 25 minutes. It is also evident in immune and anti-inflammatory effect. Studies and cases from both Chinese and Western journals report the benefit of Guasha in headache / migraine, fever, flu, asthma, neck & back pain, etc.
Modern clinics also use Guasha as one of healthcare methods. Acupuncturists can perform Guasha on the channel line and important points (mainly on the back) on a regular basis for the clients.