In this traditional technique, a glass or plastic cup is placed over an area of skin after creating a vacuum via a hand pump or a change in temperature with a small flame. The suction gently pulls superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. This therapeutic action increases circulation of blood, lymph, pulls out toxins, and releases tight, sore and painful muscles.
This technique uses a round edged spoon or massage tool to apply pressure to the effected area, performing a type of deep tissue massage to a specific area of the body. It is excellent in breaking up adhesions and scar tissue, for treating disorders of the ligaments and tendons, increasing surface microcirculation, and supports the immune system.
Gua Sha is used clinically to treat many musculoskeletal disorders such as back or neck pain and stiffness, but can also be applied to treat a variety of internal disorders such as upper respiratory infections and digestive problems. Many patients report the pressure feeling like a massage.
This is a very important warming technique in Chinese Medicine, which involves burning a special herb called Moxa (also known as Chinese Mugwort, or Artemesia vulgaris) over specific acupoints on the body. It is used to warm the body and dispel cold, increase circulation, stimulate the immune system and to tonify the vital energy of the body.