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Gua Sha Benefits: How Adding It to Your Routine Can Be Helpful

Expertly reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD · Internal or General Medicine

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 18, 2022

    Gua Sha Benefits: How Adding It to Your Routine Can Be Helpful

    Many people are amping up their skincare game by adding some beauty tools to their daily routine. At the top of the list is the ever notable gua sha. Read on to learn more about gua sha benefits. 

    What Is Gua Sha?

    The practice of gua sha goes all the way back to traditional Chinese medicine. Gua sha literally means “scratch” and “sand,” respectively. 

    It refers to a healing technique that involves pressing the body surface with a smooth-edged instrument (jade/metal plate, spoon) with or without a skin lubricant (i.e., oil, lotion, or moisturizer). The skin scraping or coin rubbing allows to consciously raise therapeutic petechiae and stimulate a specific area of the body. This is why people from China and other Southeast Asian countries consider it a treatment for the following conditions:

  • Nuchal pain
  • Shoulder tension
  • Myalgia
  • Chronic pain 
  • Other muscle problems
  • According to the traditional Chinese medicine practice, qi or energy should flow throughout your body in order for you to feel at your best. Practitioners also believe that things can go wrong if your qi becomes stagnant in particular areas.

    While people typically think that it’s just for the face, gua sha can, in fact, be used on different parts of the body like the back and shoulders. 

    What Are the Health Benefits of Gua Sha?

    Many skincare enthusiasts consider gua sha as a beauty tool that can help reduce facial tension, puffiness, and even inflammation. But apart from that, there are reports suggesting that it can also relieve a variety of health conditions. 

    It Promotes Blood Circulation

    At the top of this list of gua sha benefits is its capability to promote blood circulation. According to traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Sonia Lee, scraping the face with a gua sha tool can stimulate the Yang Ming meridians. Yang Ming meridians are those including the large intestines and stomach. This, in turn, can send a signal to your body that a certain part requires more blood circulation. 

    Licensed acupuncturist Tim Sobo also asserts that the flow of qi helps to ensure better blood supply and nerve conduction.

    It Can Help Relieve Neck Pain

    A 2011 study showed that one of the gua sha benefits is being an effective remedy for chronic neck pain. After a week of doing gua sha, the experimental group of the 48 total study participants, reported less pain. This is in comparison to the control group that only had a thermal heating pad to treat neck pain

    It Can Treat Tension Headaches and Migraines

    A case of a 72-year-old woman with chronic headaches proved the effectiveness of gua sha as a treatment. During her two weeks of inpatient multimodal treatment, she reported great benefits from gua sha, showing migraine improvements. However, further study and investigation is still necessary to take this claim as a general benefit.

    It Can Relieve Perimenopausal Symptoms

    Perimenopause happens as women approach their menopausal stage. Among the symptoms are:

    According to research, gua sha may help some women deal with these kinds of symptoms. It looked at 80 women who were experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. 

    For eight weeks, the intervention group underwent 15-minute gua sha treatments once a week in addition to conventional therapy. Meanwhile, the control group only received the conventional type of therapy. 

    At the end of the inquiry, researchers then discovered that the intervention group showed greater improvements in their respective symptoms. 

    According to them, gua sha therapy may serve as a promising non-drug treatment for perimenopausal syndrome. However, additional research would be necessary to better understand and examine its mechanism of action. 

    Key Takeaways

    Gua sha is a great tool that many people only take for its effectiveness in lymphatic drainage. But, there are many gua sha benefits that would help you consider adding it to your routine. More than a massage tool for the face, it can help relieve other health conditions. 

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Internal or General Medicine

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 18, 2022

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