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Gua sha therapy benefits and side effects

Gua sha therapy is an ancient Chinese healing technique dating back thousands of years. It uses an object to scrap the skin, with applied pressure, relieving muscle tension and stagnation in the acupuncture channel there.

Typical gua sha tools included animal horns that were used to scrap the skin. Other popular tools include jade, rose quartz and even jam jar lids. A lubricant oil, such as hong hua oil is applied to the skin before starting the treatment, otherwise it can irritate the skin more and it will feel uncomfortable. Alternatively you can use vegetable or olive oil. Hong hua oil aids the movement of energy and blood, so works together with the treatment.

It a Chinese medical therapy that's been used in East Asia to treat a variety of soft tissue problems and muscular pain for thousands of years. It's like a strong form of massage. It's sometimes applied to the body before acupuncture treatment is given as it aids the health benefits of acupuncture therapy.


Gua sha treatment is an ancient treatment is great at moving energy and blood in the area it is given. It strongly increases blood flow to the area thereby relieving chronic pain and tension. Its effects are stronger than that of a deep tissue massage. It's especially effective for neck and shoulder tension.

It is commonly used to treat these health problems:

  1. Back pain
  2. Neck pain
  3. Headaches
  4. Migraines
  5. Frozen shoulder
  6. Restless leg syndrome/li>
  7. Sciatica
  8. Plantar fasciitis

Side effects

There are no real side effects except that it will leave marks on the surface of the skin that look red or purple depending upon the person. These marks will fade over time usually about a week. Therefore, you shouldn't have this form of treatment everyday.