Updated: May 19, 2021
What is Guasha?
Despite some thinking it is a new hype, Guasha is a traditional healing technique used amongst Chinese Medicine practitioners.
Gua means to scrape, and Sha means rash; meaning the skin is repeatedly scraped until a rash is intentionally brought up to the surface.
Guasha is performed with a rounded non-sharp tool, and after lubricating the skin your practitioner will scrape the surface with short, repeated unidirectional movements. It is generally applied to the back, neck and shoulders.
However, in some occasions it can be applied on the legs, buttocks, chest, abdomen and face, depending on the condition being treated.
What are the benefits of Guasha?
Guasha is used to expel pathogens, move stagnant Qi or blood.
Guasha doesn’t require needles
Immediate pain relief
Boosts your immune system with long lasting effects
Suitable for both chronic and acute conditions
On the face, promotes collagen and its cooling effect helps tightening the skin
Relaxes tight muscles, reducing the appearance of wrinkles
What conditions does it treat?
Guasha treats numerous conditions, but some examples are:
Aches and pain: promotes blood circulation to the muscles and tissues
Boost the immune system
Reduces inflammation, breaks down scar tissue and connective tissue
Common cold, flu and fever
Upper respiratory diseases – Asthma, cough, sinusitis
When can’t I have Guasha done?
Guasha should not be performed when:
The skin is injured, this means inflammation, trauma, redness, cuts, pimples, rashes, eczema etc. If unsure, please consult with your practitioner.
In pregnancy, Guasha should not be performed in the abdomen or lower back, so please ensure you tell your practitioner if you might be pregnant.
If you are taking blood thinning medications
Does it hurt?
Although it looks painful based on the result, Guasha is in fact painless when done correctly. On the contrary, it is used to relieve pain and stiffness in the muscles, with almost immediate results. It would not hurt more than a massage.
What would happen after a Guasha treatment?
Keep the treated area protected from wind, cold and direct sun until the sha fades completely.
Drink plenty of water
Sha may show up to a week in some extreme cases, but usually fades within a few days.
Wait until Sha has completely cleared before having another treatment.