The Power of Gua Sha

Un primer plano de una mano que sostiene una herramienta Gua Sha negra sobre una bolsa de seda naranja, con un candelabro y elementos de spa al fondo.

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite tools, since with it I always get impeccable results. You’ll see me use it in the Deep Massage, the Anti-Cellulite Massage and the Sports Massage.

Did you know that there is a curious meaning behind the two words that make up its name? Gua means to rub, to scratch, while Sha could be translated as blood stasis and refers to the redness that occurs when we scratch the skin.

Reading this article you will discover that Chinese Medicine uses very interesting words that reflect the philosophy with which it understands the body and the flows that are in it and that sadly lose depth when translated. If you want to know more about it, I leave you some links at the end so you can read more about each concept.

The interior is reflected in the exterior

Here I present to you a second word of Chinese Medicine which is: Qi . It is the Vital Energy that runs through the body and keeps a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health in balance. This energy can become blocked, for physical or psycho-emotional reasons, causing pain and tension of muscles or joints. The use of Gua Sha is indicated precisely to help unblock Qi, treating stiffness and relieving pain. Specifically, when the flow of Qi is blocked at the blood level, it is called Xue Stasis, which is the slowing down or blockage of blood circulation, where it becomes thicker and more viscous. The fascinating connection between exterior and interior, body-mind and emotions that causes blockages to manifest in the body, also allows you to resolve emotional blockages by dealing with the physical. If there is a blockage of Qi, in the blood or in the meridians and it results in muscle pains, it can be undone and balance restored by the scraping technique, using the Gua Sha.

Gua Sha Treatment

In my treatments I first apply oil to the skin. If you have read any of my blogs, you already know that it is always accompanied by the power of Essential Oils. Then I start the massage with gentle and somewhat deep manipulations to finally move on to rubbing your skin with the Gua Sha. This results in heating of the skin, which allows the Sha (stagnant blood) to come to the surface in the form of redness.
Primer plano de un gotero que libera una sola gota de líquido en un recipiente de vidrio lleno de un líquido dorado, resaltando la precisión y delicadeza de la acción y demostrando el poder de la Gua Sha.

The treatment is non-invasive and I evaluate the duration of the massage with Gua Sha according to the color that the skin adopts during the treatment.

Primer plano de la espalda de una persona que muestra una erupción con numerosas pequeñas manchas rojas distribuidas por la piel después de un tratamiento con Gua Sha.

The skin may continue to be somewhat red after the treatment with Gua Sha, due to the nature of the technique and the truth is that it can also be a little uncomfortable, but I guarantee you that it is very effective. In some cases, small spots may also appear, due to the amount of toxins that come out of the capillaries. We don’t have to worry, because it is easily eliminated in three or four days or a little longer if the person has slower circulation.

It is recommended that the person avoid exposure to the sun or wind until the Shah (petechiae) have disappeared and it is best to cover that area.

In combination with Chiromassage techniques and other Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques such as cupping, Gua Sha is extremely useful.

Application and combination with Massages

Gua Sha is an ancient technique, which as I mentioned has its origin in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also spread to other Asian countries. Emperors after battles or training used this tool to stimulate stagnant blood in the skin.

I apply it in several of my massages.

Deep Tissue Massage

In the Deep Tissue Massage, he used the Gua Sha to activate the circulation in the areas where the manipulations are more vigorous, so that the patient can later relax again. I always apply this tool with the client’s permission, as it helps relieve muscle pain, improve circulation, and increase joint range of motion.

Even if the Shah’s “dissolution” fails to treat the imbalance immediately and completely, it always helps to relieve pain and tension.

Anti-Cellulite Massage

In the Anti-Cellulite Massage, he also used the effect of Gua Sha to stimulate circulation. This increase allows the body to naturally disperse its toxins and improve lymphatic drainage as well.

The technique is not only based on breaking up fat deposits, but also on stretching the skin to make it look firmer and smoother. Always be aware of the importance of giving your body hydration, exercise and eating healthily in order to maintain the results achieved with the massage.


The use of Gua Sha also has some contraindications, remember to let me know if you have any of the following conditions:

  • People with pacemakers, implants, or internal defibrillators.
  • Skin with infections.
  • It should not be applied if the person has recently had surgery.
  • If you take blood thinners or have clotting problems.
  • It should also not be rubbed on traumas, blows, cuts, wounds, edema or thrombi.
  • Pregnant.
  • People with diabetes or hemophilia.
  • Older people with weakness or an illness that weakens them.