It is also a belief that if qi is blocked you can experience pain or tension in the your muscles and joints. Gua Sha will work to unblock the energy to help relieve the aches and stiffness experienced. Another aim of gua sha is to assist in moving pooled or stagnated blood to relieve symptoms.
This technique can be compared to physiotherapists using a technique known as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). Using a tool instead of the hands during a massage allows a physiotherapist to apply more pressure.
The name gua sha — pronounced gwahshah — comes from the Chinese word for scraping. It may also be called skin scraping, spooning, or coining.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, qi or chi is the energy that flows through the body. It is believed that a person's qi must be in balance and flowing freely to ensure their health and well-being.
Gua sha is a technique used to treat muscle pain and tension. The treatment involves using a tool to rub the skin in long strokes, applying enough pressure to create minor bruising. This can also help to break down scar tissue and connective tissue.