Guasha Massage!? What Is It?

two hands using a tool to a clients back for massage; text: guasha massage what is it? Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique may offer a unique approach to better health, addressing issues like chronic pain. In gua sha, a technician scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool. The technician applies massage oil to your skin and then uses the device to scrape your skin in a downward motion repeatedly.

Gua sha is generally performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs. A gentle version of it is even used on the face as a facial technique. Your technician may apply mild pressure and gradually increase the intensity to determine how much force you can handle.

Experienced Massage Therapist Explains


Neck pain

Gua sha technique may also prove effective for remedying chronic neck pain. A total of 48 study participants were split into two groups to determine the effectiveness of the gua sha technique. One group was given gua sha, and the other used a thermal heating pad to treat neck pain. After one week, participants who received gua sha reported less pain than those who didn’t receive gua sha.

Migraine headaches

If your migraine headaches don’t respond to over-the-counter medications, gua sha may help. In one study, Trusted Source, a 72-year-old woman living with chronic headaches received gua sha over 14 days. Her migraines improved during this time, suggesting that this ancient healing technique may be an effective remedy for headaches. More research is needed.

Does gua sha have side effects?

As a natural healing remedy, gua sha is safe. It’s not supposed to be painful, but the procedure may change the appearance of your skin. Because it involves rubbing or scraping the skin with a massage tool, tiny blood vessels known as capillaries near the surface of your skin can burst. Scrapping can result in skin bruising and minor bleeding. Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days.

Some people also experience temporary skin indentation after a gua sha treatment.

If any bleeding occurs, there’s also the risk of transferring blood-borne illnesses with gua sha therapy, so technicians must disinfect their tools after each person.

Avoid this technique if you’ve had surgery in the last six weeks.

People taking blood thinners or having clotting disorders aren’t good candidates for gua sha. However, we offer a wide variety of massages. Please book online or give us a call to secure an appointment.


Brilliant Massage & Skin

Burlington, Vermont