Gua Sha is a physical treatment from traditional Chinese medicine that remains very popular in the East but has not caught on nearly as quickly as acupuncture and massage in the West. This process involves the lubrication of the skin with some type of oil, and then the use of tools such as smooth stones, bone, or even worn coins to cause pressured abrasions in special spots of the back that are known areas for qi and thus also areas that are popularly and commonly worked over in acupuncture, as well.
Trying to get a firm guide to Gua Sha can be complicated since the exact process used can actually differ slightly from one practitioner to another. Because of this, a person can go to three different Gua Sha specialists receive slightly different treatments from each one. That being said, the basic concepts around this treatment will remain the same.
Any solid guide to Gua Sha will start out by mentioning that the back should be lubricated. Massage oil is the most common lubricant for this process, however for individuals complaining of extreme fatigue from their work schedule they may also get an additional treatment of having a ginger root dipped in rice wine and then used to massage the spine from top to bottom.
However the main section of this treatment is with the abrasions. The material used as a necessarily matter, but this is designed to be a low impact form of abrasion to the point where the bruising should only be minor and quick to recover over time as long as your immune system is fully healthy. However abrasions are made with smooth objects at the Chinese rice spoon, smooth jade stones, or smoothed over coins. There will be some blood and there will be some pain however people who believe in this treatment point to the feeling of stress release and increased healing they feel like they have over the next several days.