Gua Sha is sometimes used in conjunction with massage, especially when there is a build-up of pain and inflammation such as neck pain and stiffness.
A smooth edged instrument is rubbed over the area producing a red mark which fades in a few days. This releases the inflammation or bruise that has developed deep in the muscle tissue and allows the lymphatic system to clear the built-up lactic acid that has been irritating the nerves and causing the pain.
This stroke patient is paralyzed on the right side and the Gua Sha marks can only be seen there where there is blood stagnation. The process is quick and only slightly uncomfortable, usually giving immediate relief.