What Is Gua Sha?

If you're an avid follower of natural skincare, you must have seen scraping tools on Instagram or Pinterest a few times. This odd-looking, round-edged tool comes in all shapes and sizes and has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries.

Guasha is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment. Visit a Guasha practitioner or practice self-care to enjoy the many healing benefits of this ancient practice. By simply increasing circulation and bringing blood to the surface of your body, you can fight inflammation, enhance the resilience of your immune system, and treat a variety of ailments.

Chinese medicine believes that qi stagnation is the root cause of inflammation. The purpose of scraping is to deliver energy (also known as qi) throughout the body, thereby relieving pain, tension and improving blood circulation.

Originally, the traditional Chinese practice of scraping was stroking the skin with a hard tool made of stone, jade, bone or horn. The Chinese use these devices and techniques to treat various ailments at home and in clinics. Gua sha practitioners trust materials such as flat stone, jade, aventurine, amethyst and rose quartz as their tools. You may also find some tools made of steel, resin, porcelain and plastic.

From a hygiene and efficacy standpoint, nephrite, jade, rose quartz, aventurine, amethyst, and bian are some of the materials you can choose for your scraping tool. A hot or cold material, you can either heat it in hot water or store it in the refrigerator to cool!

The tools used for this scraping therapy come in different shapes and sizes. The most common types are S-shaped tools, wing-shaped tools, dolphin-shaped tools, spoon-shaped tools, and fish-shaped tools.

Each of the above tools has a purpose and is used to treat a different part of the body. Every part of the human anatomy is very unique, which is why there is a scraping tool that works its magic on different parts of our body.

In general, various shapes have different effects. For example, curved shapes may help with lymphatic drainage, cleansing the skin, or releasing tension. On the other hand, the V shape helps massage the chin, chin and eyebrows.

Finally, if you're wondering if a tool's dents do anything, they definitely do: smoothing fine lines and lifting.

All of these are great materials for generating heat in the face, and they all have incredible balancing properties. Some of these are a great option if your goal is lift and skin radiance, while others are generally used to renew the skin.

In recent decades, Western doctors and patients have begun to study and use Gua Sha. Researchers today have found a scientific explanation for the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects of Gua Sha, which may last for days and counteract many symptoms and diseases.

Researchers have shown that Gua Sha significantly increases circulation to the soft tissue under the skin. Additionally, a Harvard study (in mice) found that scraping stimulated cells to produce heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). HO-1 is a potent cytoprotective and antioxidant that also fights inflammation.

The benefits of gua sha appear to emerge after blood is brought to the surface of the body during the treatment. When the body reabsorbs this blood, it breaks down hemoglobin, which triggers the production and release of HO-1 and its catalysts: bilirubin, biliverdin, and carbon monoxide. These powerful chemicals fight infection, inflammation, and many other diseases.