Therapeutic scraping, known as Gua Sha in Chinese Medicine, is a technique where you gently scrape along your tissue using a hard, rounded object. This simple (and perhaps odd sounding, depending on where you’re from) practice is one of those simple, easy low-tech tools that’s immensely beneficial for self-care and helping family members.
It’s commonly use for improving flow through tense and tight shoulders and other muscles and can also be used on the back (with the help of a friend) at the first sign of coming down with an infection.
In order to use Gua Sha as part of your self-care, you need a couple of things:
- Some oil or other lubricant. Best to avoid stuff with fragrance or made from petroleum but you don’t need anything fancy. Coconut oil, almond oil or any other natural massage oil will do
Tools come in different shapes and materials. Tools can be made of jade, bone, or epoxy but you don’t need anything fancy.
You can actually use a smooth pebble that you find on a beach if it’s a good size and shape.
My favorite tool is a porcelain Chinese soup spoon - which are phenomenally cheap.