Gua Sha

People have been asking me why this venerated, ancient practice that’s been used for years is suddenly so on trend. For one thing, more and more studies are demonstrating the positive effects gua sha can have on the connective tissue and the immune system. Also I believe people are searching for alternatives to conventional pharmaceutical therapy. Medications of all kinds (pain medication or even cosmetic enhancers), either oral or topical, can have scary and long-term side effects. People are seeking good health, wanting to feel and look their best. If they can do it without ingesting medication or chemicals, then why not give it a try?

Gua sha is seeing a surge in popularity these days. Gua sha, pronounced “gwa shaw,” is a common healing modality used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. “Gua” means scrape and “sha” means sand. Depending on the condition being treated, the skin is scraped using a blunt-edged tool, traditionally an ox bone. Jade gua sha tools, mason jar lids, and even coins are commonly used for gua sha. The scraping on the skin creates red marks similar to the appearance of sand. Gua sha is used to increase circulation, decrease inflammation and toxicity, and can be used for muscular tension such as neck pain, shoulder pain, mid and low back pain, as well as for tendonitis, headaches, migraines, colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, and emotional stress. Recent, it’s become popular for its cosmetic benefits, which can include a brighter complexion, tighter skin, reduction of puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, diminished wrinkles, more definition, and a reduction of acne and hyper-pigmentation, over time. Gua sha helps unblock stuck energy, promoting circulation and helping to clear internal heat and inflammation that can lead to a multitude of health problems.


Acupuncturist, herbalist, Maya abdominal practitioner, and reflexologist Christina Morris is the founder of Element Natural Healing Arts. Writing about health and wellness gives her an outlet to express her care and concern for her beloved community. She believes everyone can achieve better health and happiness–emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.