Gua Sha

According to Wikipedia, Gua Sha is literally translated “to scrape for cholera” which kind of confuses me since cholera is an infectious gastrointestinal disease.The basic technique is to lubricate the skin and then stroke it repeatedly with a smooth edged object while applying a good amount of pressure.This is supposed to help pull “sha”-toxins- to the surface of the skin,and the sha causes the skin to discolor.

So what does Gua Sha supposedly help?Here is a short list of common things it is said to help:

  • Reduce fever (the technique was used to treat cholera).
  • Treat fatigue caused by exposure to heat (often used to treat heat-stroke) or cold.
  • Cough and dyspnea: bronchitis, asthma, emphysema.
  • Treat muscle and tendon injuries.
  • Push sluggish circulation, fibromyalgia.
  • Treat headache.
  • Treat sunstrokes / heat syncope and nausea.
  • Treat stiffness, pain, immobility.
  • Treat digestive disorders.
  • Treat urinary, gynecological disorders.
  • To assist with reactions to food poisoning

It wouldn’t be true woo woo if it didn’t claim to help treat a wide variety of unrelated ailments!

If you want to see a real good look at the results of Gua Sha,here is another quick video:

I don’t think I’m going to far out on a limb when I say “Sha” is nothing more than superficial scratching-in terms of the first video- and SEVER bruising and bleeding as shown in the second video!Seriously,who wants their body to look like that?It’s just bruising people!It is the hallmark of alternative and quack medicine to take something as common as a bruise and put some type of spin on it.Oh,but wait,they have proof that its not just superficial scratches and bruising.

“Sha rash does not represent capillary rupture as in bruising, as is evidenced by the immediate fading of petechiae to echymosis, and the rapid resolution of sha as compared to bruising.”

Thats right,they just say its not;therefore its not.

Amazing though,how the different colors of “sha” represent the spectrum of skin discoloration exactly the same as superficial scratching and brusing:

“The color of sha varies according to the severity of the patient’s blood stasis — which may correlate with the nature, severity and type of their disorder –appearing from a dark blue-black to a light pink, but is most often a shade of red.”

A good way for them to prove their claim is to have this “sha” tested to see exactly what it is. I mean,if its not bruising but “toxins”,then it should test as such. Have they done this? No,not that I could find anywhere.It’s just mysticism piled onto normal everyday things and since its “ancient Chinese” people think that that means it actually works.

Save yourself some cash and just get into a bar fight or something if you want to look beat up cause thats all you’ll get from Gua Sha.


8 Responses to “Gua Sha”

  1. i used to box and i can state for the record that my face had this therapy done on it a number of times and it did more damage than good.

  2. Fibrosis is simply being broken down,or scar tissue,adhesions.
    I have used this treatment for many years and treated frozen shoulders,back pain,musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction from fibrosis.I have clients who have found relief from this therapy who have suffered more than a decade of pain.I f someone has a adversion to being bruised its out of fear over bruising visually,once the therapys administered they say thank you,over and over….Yes gua sha breaks the myofascial adhesion which can be years old and have degraded or become dehydrated into thickened calcified deposits.This results in bruising.Some practioners go a little far and the degree of bruising is to deep and agressive.So have you experienced this therapy 1st hand?

    • It was the only thing that resolved my plantar fasciitis. I could FEEL the little bumps of hard stuff, like grains of sand, that went away in short time after treatment. I’m hoping to use gua sha on myself to get rid of a calcified hematoma. I am surprised it is viewed as quackery. The way it was explained to me seemed pretty damn legit – fibrous tissue gets all knotted up and deposits calcify and don’t allow the tissue or fascia to move freely. It’s true, western medicine doesn’t really look to problems with fascia when it comes to a lot of ailments, but THEY SHOULD.

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  4. Anonymous Says:

    it works plain and simple, if done correctly.

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  6. Despite some inconsistencies in your argument, I have to personally testify to guasha, an ancient Chinese medicinal treatment. To be honest, I have no idea what is the red substance that appears over the skin that seems to be bruising, but it is not. My father used to be a guasha practitioner, and has done it on me as well as a number of family friends, and have not done it for any monetary gain, except for the gifts of money he receives. In other words, I hav first-hand experience of treatment and can vouch what exactly it is. First, some background clarification: my father acquired of this, from a multilevel marketing dealing with alternative medicine, mainly health supplements, that I have to award due regard to their efficacy. Ultimately though, the job didn’t get us rich as we hoped for, but I attest to their effectiveness, dealing with products like the stem cells(?) of infant cattle, or the milk taken 6 hours from its birth? Not too sure on that. Anyway, onto Guasha. First of, no matter how it looks, the action of scraping with the object is almost like a massage, and quite enjoyable and pleasurable, even if with a little pain. The “bruising” that occurs is not bruising at all, but a decloration of the skin. This obviously shows, if you are a an astute a reasoner as you suggest, that “something” is working. Everyone who has felt the scraping touch of my father’s guasha skills report firstly of their invigoration. In those few times I had experienced the full body Guasha, I can testify to its invigorating effects, that once again, if you are supposedly as capable a reasoner as you have made yourself to be, is the result and effect of blood circulation, stimulated by the action of the object scraping the surface of the skin. If you still need me explain on how exactly it works, just ask, and I will similarly stimulate an understanding from you.

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