What is Gua Sha?

Leta with spoonGua Sha is an ancient pain-relieving healing technique that releases stuck energy from beneath the skin to promote Qi and blood flow.

The basic Gua Sha technique that I like to teach to new students, is relatively simple and anyone can do it! Using a Gua Sha tool, such as a simple ceramic soup spoon, large coin, or even an animal horn (a common tool in ancient times that is still used today in many parts of the world), you lightly scrape the surface of the skin using a simple technique for about 30 seconds (or more). This scraping of the skin may cause splotchy red marks to appear in the area as the blood rises to the surface of the skin. These splotchy spots are known as Sha.

The Sha only appears in tight areas of the body that actually need energy to release. When you do Gua Sha on certain areas that do not need it, these red marks will not appear, but the skin may become a dull red from the scraping. If you find the Sha coming to the surface, you can continue to do the technique around the area. If no redness appears, either the technique is not necessary, or you are doing it in the wrong area on the body. This is just a very brief and basic understanding of the wonderful healing known as Gua Sha.

Here is a short clip, with a little slo-mo action, of what the technique that I love to use looks likes.

NOTE: Gua Sha is not for everyone. There are some considerations to think about. For example, you don’t want to do Gua Sha with certain medical conditions. Please use common sense and consult a qualified Chinese Medicine Healer for more on Gua Sha. For more information about contraindications and other tips and tricks, you can check out our book, The BIG “Little” Gua Sha Book: Learning (and Loving) the Ancient Healing Art of Gua Sha, on Amazon.


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