Similar to cupping, gua sha is an ancient form of medical therapy that helps to improve circulation in the body. Instead of cups, a small, smoothed-edge tool, commonly made of jade, is pressed and stroked on the skin, resulting in anywhere from light pink to deep purple marks. As with cupping, gua sha increases circulation, bringing blood and oxygen to the area being treated. Toxic “old” blood is brought to the surface to be flushed away by the lymphatic system to support healing, while increased circulation reduces inflammation and pain. It is commonly used to treat symptoms such as acute and chronic pain, muscle tension, post-workout muscle soreness and recovery, to promote musculoskeletal injury recovery and injury prevention, and to strengthen the immune system in times of acute illness. Gua sha has recently received a lot of attention from the cosmetic industry because it’s ability to increase circulation has been seen to improve the overall health of the skin. It is commonly combined with other non-invasive therapies to promote anti-aging effects as well as to treat other skin conditions such as dark under eye circles and puffiness.