See How Gua Sha is Becoming More Popular than Cupping

Gua sha has exploded in popularity, spurred by Instagram influencers and celebrities. While cupping once captured the public’s attention with its circular purple marks covering backs, shoulders, and legs, photos of gua sha reveal a whole other eye-catching appearance.

In traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha is a form of scraping. A gua sha tool is used to gentle scrape along the skin, stimulating a healing response that – like cupping – detoxifies and sends circulation to the affected area.


Though you can vary the intensity of a gua sha scrape, some people who enjoy more intense sessions come out looking like they’ve been mauled by wolves. If you found cupping intense, trying gua sha is probably not in your wheelhouse. That said, the benefits are very, very real.

How is Gua Sha Done?

Though treatment creates rash-like bruises on the affected area, jade gua sha tools can relieve pain and discomfort in areas like the neck, shoulders, and back. It’s used by people in chronic pain, with extreme muscle tightness, or even to aid in minimizing symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries.

What Are the Benefits of Gua Sha?

Along with detoxification and increasing blood flow, gua sha relieves pain, reduces chronic inflammation, and increases the immune response in the body. The relief from pain – as with acupuncture – is predominantly short-term.

What Other Conditions Can Gua Sha Treat?

Various acute and chronic conditions with pain-related symptoms and discomfort can be successfully treated through gua sha. These include conditions like plantar fasciitis and uncontrollable muscle spasms.

What Does Gua Sha Feel Like?

Using Gua Sha and Reflexology Tools, you’re creating very minor trauma on the body. Gua sha is sometimes referred to as ‘instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization’. While acupuncture feels like nothing, you definitely feel gua sha happening.

A gua sha session is brief but intense. Expect to be there for 6-7 minutes. The skin is oiled first to prevent any permanent tearing. The gua sha scraping is very vigorous. Afterward, for beginners, it can feel like a sunburn at first.

Does Gua Sha Work?

The evidence for gua sha is mainly anecdotal as very few peer-reviewed studies have been completed on it, unfortunately. That said, many people swear by it. The intense sensations, dynamic scraping, and the digging into the tissue has been shown to relieve pain and discomfort in sometimes unexplained ways.

Gua sha continues to be highly touted on Instagram, by celebrities and beauty gurus, and continues to turn heads. It’s a treatment that is well worth trying. The results are worth it. Its popularity speaks for itself. It may be one of the more effective traditional Chinese therapies out there. Find everything you need for gua sha at today.

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