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  • Sarah Bartle

Basics about Gua Sha

Gua sha has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. The technique uses a smooth edged tool of various makings. The most common tools are made of stone, wood, bone, ceramics or metal. One of my favorite tools is a simple Chinese soup spoon.

Gua sha is a scraping technique on the skin with a smooth edged tool. Generally a lubricant is used on the skin to facilitate a smooth glide of the tool. The scraping can release tight spots in muscle and fascia and increase blood flow. Often blood that was in the muscle will come to the surface of the skin as petechiae or “sha” in traditional Chinese medicine. This petechiae is usually what looks to the uninitiated as painful but there is little lasting discomfort. Most people report an immediate reduction of muscle pain that was there before receiving gua sha.

At Uptown Acupuncture I perform gua sha in addition to acupuncture and not as a stand-alone therapy. The combination of acupuncture and gua sha work together to release tight muscles and reduce pain. Acupuncture can release deeper layers of muscle than gua sha and gua sha can relax larger muscle groups than acupuncture. For this reason I generally do gua sha in addition to acupuncture.

I’m happy to answer any additional questions about gua sha. Ask me in the contact box or shoot me an email.

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