Gua Sha

Traditional Chinese medical treatment Gua Sha (or scraping) is in fact a part of acupuncture therapy and involves taking a gua sha “tool” (which can be a spoon, mason jar lid,  a coin or a jade professional tool for scraping) and repeatedly rubbing or scraping the skin over the sore area to stimulate blood flow and healing. Any time the blood flow is decreased to the area (and there are m a n y reasons for it), both lactic and uric acid can get trapped underneath the skin.

Skin is then scraped until it produces what appears like light bruising (and yet, it’s not a bruise).

Some of the conditions Gua Sha can help with (supported by numerous studies performed and China and more emerging in the States) include headache, migraine, neck, shoulder, back, and knee pain, as well as acute diseases such as fever, flu, earaches, asthma and bronchitis in children and adults.

Many don’t know that in China, Gua Sha is used to treat symptoms of acute and chronic hepatitis!

A study published in a 2011 edition of Pain Medicine demonstrated that gua sha decreased pain for chronic neck pain sufferers, noting that “neck pain severity after 1 week improved significantly better in the gua sha group compared with the control group (heat therapy).

Long time migraine sufferer got relief from Gua Sha

Gua Sha Migraine pt    Gua Sha Migraine Treatment

This bruising and redness will decrease over time and it usually takes only few days. Repeated treatments will illicit less and less of the sha. The lessening of the sha should also be accompanied by a significant decrease in symptoms.

My scraping after the injury from car accident.


Researchers from institutions like Harvard and Beth Israel Medical Center are demonstrating both efficacy as well as offering insight on why gua sha works.

Is Gua Sha Safe and Does it Leave Marks?

Yes and – Yes!

Gua Sha is a completely safe technique; however, even with light stroking, a series of markings are likely to appear. Similar to Cupping, these marks appear as bruising at the applied areas but resolve on their own within few days.