Gua Sha – Scrapping is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light bruising. It releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing.
Gua sha is sometimes referred to as “spooning” or “coining” by English speakers, it has also been given the descriptive French name, tribo-effleurage.
Gua sha was borrowed into Vietnamese from China as cạo gió. This term translates roughly “to scrape wind”, as in Vietnamese culture “catching a cold” or fever is often referred to as trúng gió, “to catch wind”. The origin of this term is the Shang Han Lun, Chinese Medical text on cold induced disease – like most Asian countries China’s medical sciences were a profound influence in Vietnam, especially between the 5th and 7th Centuries CE. Cạo gió is an extremely common remedy in Vietnam and for overseas Vietnamese. There are many variants of cạo gió. Some methods use oil balm and a coin to apply pressure to the skin. Others use a boiled egg with a coin inserted in the middle of the yolk. The egg is wrapped in a piece of cloth and rubbed over the forehead (in the case of a fever) and other areas of skin. After the rubbing, when the coin is removed from the egg, it will appear black.
It is also used in Indonesia, and in Java it is known as kerikan (lit., “scraping technique”) or kerokan, and it is very widely used, as a form of folk medicine, upon members of individual households.
It was also used in India for treatment of high fever symptoms . People used metal spoon and water for skin lubrication.
Gua Sha can be used when a patient has pain, aches, tenderness, or tension in the muscles. It is also used to prevent the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, as well as any other chronic disorders that involve the congestion of blood and qi.
- Cough and Dyspnea: Bronchitis, Asthma
- Fatigue caused by heat-stroke
- Tooth Pains
- Swollen Throat
- Excess phlegm
- Memory Loss