Guasha as a treatment originated in the 7th century AD and is an unusual treatment where the skin is scraped using a smooth-edged flat ‘scraper’ until a rash or spots appear on the skin surface.


As a therapeutic tool Guasha is similar to cupping in that it stimulates the flow of Qi and Blood, and so is used in those conditions where there is Blood and Qi stagnation. It is also used to clear Pathogens such as Wind, Cold or Heat. This means it is used to treat joint conditions, asthma, and bronchitis, headaches, colds and flu, and post viral syndromes.


Guasha is carried out by light massage oil being rubbed into the skin – one containing particular herbs is often used as it provides additional Blood moving properties. The movements of the scraper are always from top to bottom and from inside to out.


It is never painful and a check is always made to ensure the patient is comfortable with the treatment. The rash or ‘sha’ that appears indicates that the Qi and Blood stagnation are being cleared from the body. Again the colour of the sha indicates if it is Qi (red) stagnation or Blood (Purple) stagnation. The appearance of the sha is always a positive sign, when no sha appears it usually indicates there is no stagnation present.


The sha will last from 3-7 days and can look quite unsightly during that time, but it does fade; subsequent treatments are carried out once the sha has faded and on each following treatment the sha will be less and less.






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