Gua Sha, sometimes called spooning, is an adjunct to acupuncture and an aspect of traditional Chinese medicine that involves repeated pressured strokes with a smooth Gua Sha tool over skin lubricated with medicinal herbs. Gua Sha is the inspiration for a similar method called the Graston technique (a trademarked method that is widely practiced by Chiropractors and physical therapists). Gua Sha, like the Graston Technique, is proven to increase the microcirculation in a sore or injured area, decrease inflammatory markers, and reduce local and distal areas of pain.
Gua Sha feels similar to a deep tissue massage but is unique in that it actually allows stagnant blood and inflammatory fluids from the affected area to come to the surface for a faster resolution. The result is a sub-cutaneous blemishing, called Sha, which takes about 2–4 days to fade. Gua Sha can be repeated every 2-4 days as needed.