Gua Sha: What Is It? Benefits, Side Effects, And Does it Work?

Gua Sha tool in hands

Gua sha which is pronounced “Guasha” is an ancient technique that believes, to move this blocked energy to relieve pain or stiffness.

It is a type of stone (various shapes) which used on the whole body as a massage, for potential benefits, but has some adverse effects.

So today’s article is based on – Gua sha, every possible thing we will share.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a therapeutic way of pain management using tools to scrape or rub the surface of the body to relieve blood stagnation.

It is a traditional East Asian healing technique also known as Cao gio, Coining, scraping, and spooning.

The name Gua sha comes from Chinese work for scraping.

Gua Sha began as a full body treatment, even though most people don’t realize it before, which became popular after when it is used in the beauty community.

It is used to treat the common cold, flu, respiratory issues, and musculoskeletal (MS) pain (2).

It has been largely practiced by people over Asia for centuries, as the first form of treating illness, which is cost-effective.

Gua Sha tool in hands
Gua Sha is An Ancient Technique To Prevent early Illness, Relieve cold, fever, Boost Immunity, Etc

Does it really work?

Yes, it really works, that is why many studies or research shown it has many health benefits.

The study was conducted by the Department of Nephrology, on some volunteers where a single treatment was applied to certain areas.

Results show that it gua sha increases local microcirculation thereby decreasing distal myalgia (3).

It has been used for generations by Chinese mothers for their sick children (4)

Practitioners claim that it can also work to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and relieve cold, fever, and issues with the lungs.

Possible Benefits

There are many health benefits of Gua Sha which include:

Wound healing

It is a well popular ancient therapy that has been used for centuries as a multipurpose healing technique (5).

An increase in blood flow leads to controllable skin tissue damage and leads to the wound-healing process.

Breast engorgement

Evidence support that this therapy may be an effective technique in the management of breast engorgement.

Breast engorgement is a common problem, which occurs early days and weeks of breastfeeding.

Where breast tissue is overfilled with milk, blood, and other fluids, but don’t worry this is a temporary condition.

Other studies also support that its uses may manage breast engorgement (6).

The study reveals that Gua sha reduces the breast fullness discomfort, and helps breast milk expression.

As a result, the mother can continue breastfeeding and achieves a satisfying breastfeeding experience.

Help with neck pain

Dr. Solomon’s experience claim that it can help with migraines and neck pain, among other symptoms (7).

A 2011 study reported that gua sha helped reduce neck pain when compared with people who used heating pads.

In another study where 60 regular computer users with neck and shoulder pain were included, and gua sha are performed.

The result showed that gua sha help reduce pain and improve range of motion.

Increase blood flow

Yes, rubbing on the affected area increases blood flow in that area (8).

As well as releases heat toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and brings helpful cells to the area by stimulating an immune response.

Perimenopausal syndrome

This happens when a woman’s period is stopped before age 45, but most women face menopause between the age of 45 to 55.

During a study, in which 80 women were included, 1th group drank Quingxin Zishen Tang a Chinese herb twice a day.

2nd group received 15 minutes of gua sha therapy for 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks, results of women’s quality of life were increased in both groups, but more significantly more in the gua sha group.

Evidence has shown that this therapy effectively improved the treatment efficacy in patients with perimenopausal syndrome.

The study results revealed that it was effective and safe in relieving premenopausal symptoms and improving the quality of life.

Check Out – Menopause: What Is It? Age, Duration, Signs, Treatment

Reduce anxiety

It can even help with anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and perimenopausal symptoms when done in addition to acupuncture (9).

Acupuncture is a technique where practitioners insert hair-size thin needles on specific points on the body to treat illness.

Raising gua sha may improve Qi circulation and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression (10).

Check Out – Mental Health: Stress, Anxiety, Way To Calm

Reduce migraine

In migraine headache, starts on one side of the head and may spread to both sides of the head, and this is related to vision, sound, and light.

The flow of blood going to the brain gets changed, muscles start to concentrate and swell, and this overall results in headaches.

During one study, where a 72-year-old woman living with chronic headaches received this massage, for 14 days, and their migraine significantly improved.

Check Out – Other Ways To Reduce Your Headache

Boost Immune response

Our immune system is like a protection shield that protects us from viruses, and diseases caused by tiny invaders.

It is believed that the Gua Sha treatment would enhance adaptive immunity against unwanted pathogens (11).

Research has shown that it enhances the humoral immune response, and generate higher antibody against the vaccine applied to the treated skin (12) (13).

Immunity should always be strong because low immunity can become the home of many diseases which can range from mild to more severe.

Check Out – Food To Eat, and Avoid For Strong Immunity

Does it Have Side effects?

This therapy impact blood vessels, near the surface of the skin (called capillaries to burst) which leads to red and pink bruise.

Gua sha scraping causes red or purple marks on the skin which typically fade within seven days.

It is a natural healing technique, which most consider not painful, but it may change your skin color.

Some common adverse effects include:

  • MIld to severe redness
  • petechia (series of small red dots)

Without liking it may lead to pain while rubbing on skin, this can leads to a more dark skin appearance, which takes months to away.

However, is not for all, people with conditions are avoid gua sha include:

  • If you just received injections
  • history of poor or slow healing
  • Avoid open wounds, pimples, cystic acne
  • who bleed easily should avoid
  • If the person taking blood thinners medication
  • Have thin or broken skin
  • tumor
  • any skin surgery, implant

If you have other health issues, then you should consult your doctor first, to prevent possible side effects.

Ways to fade down pain, and change skin appearance

  • Ice pack
  • over-the-counter medicine, to reduce pain, and swelling
  • oiling

How To Perform Gua Sha Tool on The Face?

Gua Sha involves scraping the body surface with a tool with or without a skin lubricant to intentionally create petechiae.

How To perform gua sha on the face?
This Is How You Can Use Gua Sha Tool On Face
  • Start with cleaning the tool, you can also put the tool in the refrigerator for a cold and soothing effect.
  • face should be clean, then apply face oil or moisture, to prevent injury
  • hold the tool and use it as you can see in the picture in the correct way.
  • A 10-minute massage once or twice a day is enough

NOTE: use both hands- one to hold the stone and the other to hold your skin to ensure proper sculpting.

If you are injured then you should consult with Gua sha practitioners, which will do it the right way, be safe, and relieve pain.

NOTE: Make sure not to put pressure on, which may lead to injury, choking, and coughing.


It has been used by people over Asia for centuries, as the first form of treating illness, which is also cost-effective.

It is used to treat the common cold, flu, respiratory issues, Hepatitis B, boost immunity, reduce anxiety, Tourette syndrome, etc.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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