Gua sha massage is a traditional Chinese healing technique (in Western medicine is simply called Scraping) that involves scraping the skin with a massage tool to improve circulation, to get rid of muscle tension build-up, to release blocked energy, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Here's how a typical gua sha massage is performed:
Preparation: The skin is lubricated with oil or another type of massage medium to reduce friction.
Scraping: A smooth-edged heated instrument is then used to apply pressure and scrape the skin. The therapist holds the tool at a specific angle and strokes it along the skin in a downward motion.
Technique: The scraping is typically done in one direction and the therapist follows the muscle or meridian lines. The pressure applied is enough to produce petechiae, which are tiny red or purple spots on the skin.
Aftercare: After the treatment the skin may show some redness but this is perfectly normal and temporary. The therapy is followed by gentle massage to further promote circulation.