Gua Sha How and Why

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Gua Sha How and Why

How it Started

Gua Sha most likely started with a person hitting their ‘funny bone’ (Ulnar nerve) or knocked their Shin bone (lower front leg) on something hard and sharp. The first response then, as most often now, was most likely to ‘rub it better’!

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)took the ‘rubbing’ to a higher level, and called it Gua Sha. Millions of people today use Gua Sha in one form or another.

The Meaning

Gua Sha is put together from the word GUA that means ‘Rub’ or ‘Scrape’ and SHA that can be translated into ‘Heat’, ‘Stagnated Blood’ or ‘Bad Blood’.

The meaning of Gua Sha can therefore be interpret as ‘Scraping the Heat or/and Bad, Stagnated Blood away’.

What is Gua Sha used for

Gua Sha is often known for its fast and effective use as a Pain Reliever, as well as a way to take away Stiffness in the body. In TCM, Gua Sha is also used to ‘get rid of’ Colds, help with Digestive problems and alleviate symptoms of many de-genitive diseases (like arteritis!)

An interesting fact is that the Western word “Inflammation” goes back a Latin word meaning ‘set on fire’ or ‘ignite’. By knowing the meaning of Inflammation and the meaning of Gua Sha, it makes sense that TCM have used the technique of ‘rubbing and scraping out the heat’ from an inflamed body part to try to make it better, instead of just ‘Dull the Pain’ with some drugs or pain killers.

During many thousands of years Gua Sha has been used for;

  • Pain Relief in Muscles and Joints (helps remove or reduce the reason for the pain as well as trigger the body’s natural pain relief hormones)
  • Open Meridian Pathways (was used as such even before acupuncture)
  • Strengthen the Body, by trigger the natural immune system
  • Increase Blood Circulation (this is good for everybody!)
  • Detoxing (the toxin get driven out and expelled by the Sha or other natural means)
  • Relaxation (a relaxation Gua Sha treatment may feel like a meditation and as the body’s respond to this sort of Gua Sha treatment is to reduce Stress Hormones …the body relaxes!)
  • Rejuvenate Cells (very much to the better blood flow and by that more oxygen and nutrition reaching the cells)
  • Re-balancing Emotions (in TCM Emotions and the Body are closely linked, so by improving the Homeostasis in the Body, the Emotions may be more stable too)
  • Clarity of Mind (in TCM the Body, Mind and Emotions are closely connected, so by Balance the Body the Mind may benefit greatly!)

As you can see Gua Sha may be used in many different ways.
However, in today’s society we are using Gua Sha more and more for its SIDE EFFECTS;

  • Less Wrinkles
  • Smoother Skin

Whatever you want to use the Gua Sha for, we recommend you use it in a Bian Stone Therapy™ treatment for even better and longer results!

How is Gua Sha Done?

If you have not heard the word Gua Sha before, you may have heard of ‘Scraping’or ‘Spooning’?

In the ‘Olden Days’ and even today in some parts of the world, a smooth edged silver coin, a ceramic soup spoonor metal spoon could be used to do Gua Sha. Some people put the silver coin into a peeled, boiled egg (as lubricant!) wrapped in a bit of cloth and ‘rubbed’ or ‘scraped’ the injured or painful body part. We are happy to say it is easier ways to find a lubricant these days!

Gua Sha involves repeated, pressured strokes over lubricated skin with an instrument that has smooth edges!

Gua Sha can be done in the more TCM way, by moving the Gua Sha tool over Meridian Pathways (energy lanes) or a more Westernised way, using Muscles, Tendons, Fascia, Organs and Joints as reference points. Many people use a Gua Sha tool made out of Jade or Buffalo Horn. We recommend using Bian Stone Therapy™ to do the Gua Sha Treatment!

What happens in the body when using Gua Sha

By using the Scraping and Rubbing with the Gua Sha tool, the surface area of the muscles that get compressed increases. This is due to the long smooth edge of the Gua Sha tool pressing and ‘scraping’ down on the skin are more even distributed…very different compared with when fingers and hands are used.

The Gua Tool may also ‘pick up’ small variations in muscles and fascia that fingers and hands may miss. Fascia is the fibrous tissue, under the skin, that holds us together and surrounding muscles and joints like a thin ‘glove’. The Fascia (surrounding the muscle fibre) also makes the muscles more easy glide over each other.

Gua Sha may bring SHA to the surface of the skin.

Many people are familiar with the red circles on the back of somebody that has had ‘Cupping’. That discolouring is Sha!

The Sha that sometimes can be seen on a person having had Gua Sha is the ‘old, stagnated’ blood or ‘heat’ that for one reason or another has got ‘stuck’ in the fibrous tissue in the body.

What does the SHA say about you

The colour of the Sha tells a lot about the person’shealth both in general health terms and in the ‘scraped’ area in particular. In a healthy body, the skin will appear a healthy looking Pink or slight Red during and after Gua Sha. Other times a RASH (petechial) may occur.

This “Rash” may be red or purple,with very small spots on the skin. This is caused by a MINOR leak of ‘old’ and ‘stagnate’ blood from the very small capillaries. This ‘bruising’ or ‘rash’ will usually disappear in 1-4 days.

By “pushing out” the old stagnate blood, Gua Sha creates room for new, Oxygenated Blood to run through and better healing can now occur. The different colour, and the intensity of the colour and sometimes the “rash” is a good indication of what is happening on the inside of the body. Here are some samples of colour that can occur during the Gua Sha;

  • Pink or slight Red Sha may indicate a healthy body, or at least the part of the body that has been ‘scraped’ are doing ‘fine.
  • Purple or Black Sha, indicates Long Term Blood Stasis. This shows that the problem has been in the muscle (or meridian) for a while… a long standing problem.
  • Very light Sha, or NO change of colour, may indicate a Blood Deficiency.
  • Dark Red Sha may indicate ‘HEAT’ in the blood.


Gua Sha has been used for many thousands of years, mostly in the East. There are many good benefits for the body by using Gua Sha…and more and more people are today discovering that the use of Gua Sha because people WANT the SIDEEFFECTS

  • Less Wrinkles
  • Smoother Skin

Gua Sha is a great alternative to reducing Pain by pills. Do you wonder WHY we don’t see Gua Sha in hospitals?

If you have not already read our FREE REPORT, please download it NOW and after you read it, you will understand WHY Western Doctors and Western Hospitals don’t use Gua Sha…even if it is Easy to Use, Inexpensive and very Effective!

If you want to learn HOW and WHERE you can get even more out of your Gua Sha experience, Please go to Bian Stone Therapy™ page.