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Gua Sha

Guasha is an asian medicine treatment that involves “Gua,” the term meaning scraping

or rubbing. This technique is applied to the skin usually using a stone, porcelain, stainless steel

or bone tool. Grafston and scraping are other names derived from this technique and used

within western medical practices such as physical therapy.


The “sha” is the blood stagnation raised from the subcutaneous tissue that produces the

look of a reddish skin rash. As the tissue is scraped the sha may be an indicator to the 

diagnosis of the tissue’s condition. A pale sha has poor or deficient blood flow.

 A bright red sha is heat trapped in the tissue, a more purple or darker is stagnant blood. The scraping brings the blood to the surface and allows it to recirculate through the body more efficiently. This is useful in treating a cold or u to help expel pathogens and fevers before they journey deeper into the body.


The technique is usually performed on “yang meridians” the lateral and posterior parts

of the body, such as head, neck, back and outer extremities, yet can be used in other locations

depending on treatment strategy. The practitioner applies oil to affected area and then uses

gentle to moderate pressure with tool usually along meridians. It should not hurt and the

patient should give ample feedback to create a good healing response.


The tool scraping the skin with a round dull edge can also friction and realign the fascia

where adhesions have occurred from repetitive use, injury or deficient use. Otherwise known as

myofascial release. The sha usually takes 2-4 days to fade and can release toxins in the body so

fluid intake is important. Contraindications are thin skin, blood thinners and weaker body

constitutions.