Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This is an ancient Chinese healing technique that improves the look and health of the skin.
In gua sha, a technician scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool. The technician applies massage oil to your skin, and then uses the tool to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion.
Gua sha is intended to address stagnant energy, called chi, in the body that practitioners believe may be responsible for inflammation. Rubbing the skinâ€™s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.