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Skin Scraping (Gua Sha)

What is Skin Scraping (Gua Sha 刮痧)?

Skin Scraping is also named Gua Sha (pronounced “gwa sha,”) is an East Asian healing technique. The Chinese character “刮” (gua) means to scrape or rub. The Chinese character “痧”(sha) comes from “沙”(meaning sand), referring to a symptom. After the scraping, man’s skin might show red, black and blue spots like sand, there comes the name “Gua Sha”. Usually the Sha bump should fade in 2~4 days.


When is Gua Sha used?

Gua Sha is usually used when a patient has pain whether associated with an acute or chronic disorder. There may be aching, tenderness and/or a knotty feeling in the muscles. Palpation reveals Sha when normal finger pressure on a patient’s skin causes blanching that is slow to fade. In addition to resolving musculo-skeletal pain, Gua Sha is used to treat any chronic disorder involving pain, congestion of Qi and Blood. In Singapore TCM Clinics, Gua Sha is usually used in conjunction with TCM Tuina (TCM Massage) and TCM Cupping Therapy as a part of the TCM Pain Management Treatment as it will help to alleviate pain with greater efficacy.

What are the benefits of Gua Sha?

In most cases the patient feels an immediate improvement in their condition particularly in their pain or sense of constraint. Gua Sha moves stuck Qi and Blood, releases the exterior mimicking sweating, and moves Fluids. Gua Sha is a valuable treatment for both external and internal pain, and facilitates the resolution of both acute and chronic disorders.


Is Gua Sha Safe?


Gua Sha is a completely safe technique, but it is serious medicine. Knowing when to use Gua Sha and what to expect from treatment is as important as good technique. People who live in chronic pain often erect emotional defenses to cope with it or can feel completely hopeless. Having that pain ‘touched’ and relieved can be unsettling, even amazed. After a session of Gua Sha treatment, it is best to be moderate in activity after treatment, even rest.


Who Should Cautious About Receiving Gua Sha Treatment?


People with tendency of abnormal bleeding, critical illness, fracture, contagious skin diseases, debility and those who are apprehensive or allergic to Gua Sha. Please consult your TCM Physician before receiving Gua Sha Treatment. 

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