Gua Sha

or Therapeutic Scraping

Gua sha is a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine. Sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping’, Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis.

Modern research shows Gua sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting etc., and why Gua sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders including liver inflammation in hepatitis.

The technique is useful in any licensed therapeutic practice and of particular interest to acupuncturists, massage therapists, physical therapists, physicians and nurses who work directly with patients. (thank you to Arya Neilsen, phd for this explanation.)


Showing the red marks from Gua Sha


Gua Sha can look quite horrendous because the red marks raised by the Gua Sha tool appear so bright and red! This is actually the purpose of the treatment and the marks do go but if you don't want to end up with red marks, please don't have the treatment. Here are some typical Gua Sha tools, Traditionally they were made out of things like Turtle shell or even Ivory but I made mine from thick, smooth perspex as I don't agree with using animal products.

Gua Sha tools

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