Gua Sha Benefits & Actions

Gua sha fa (Chinese: 刮痧; pinyin: guā shā) translates to “scraping sha-bruises”.

Gua Sha Fa

Essentially, is a key treatment in traditional Chinese medicine where a tool firmly strokes the skin. This releases toxic heat from the body. Here at Femme Vital we prefer to use crystals like Jade and Rose Quartz on our patients for better healing and effect. The sha (sand grains of bruising) or toxic heat deep in the muscle is brought out from the therapy of gua sha. Yes, it certainly looks unsightly, with the main side effect being a bruised look on your skin for a few days. It can be slightly sore when done.


Originally, Gua Sha Fa was used widespread in rural areas of China and East Asia. Over centuries, a considerable amount of experience developed. This was used for various illnesses and offered the rural population a form of treatment without seeing a doctor. Back then seeing a doctor could involve a very lengthy and expensive journey.

Its origins, like those of acupuncture, relied on long treatment instruments made of stone, which was probably used for acupressure. These were later developed into needles (acupuncture). This is how the flat scraping devices (Gua Sha Fa) were also created. Today, Gua Sha Fa is a popular treatment and experience-orientated.

What Happens To The Skin For Gua Sha Fa

When massaging or gently scraping the skin, one can see the skin changes. Granulations of about the size of a pinhead can develop in some areas. This is why it is called Sha which translates to sand in Chinese. These granulations are skin redness, which can sometimes merge. Known as micro-bleedings, and gradually fade and disappear within two to seven days.

Mastering The Technique

As an Acupuncturist, we have studied for four years to master this technique. Which allows deep massage to the tissue while keeping the patient comfortable. Deep into the channels of the body influencing circulation, reducing pain and inflammation. There are several variations of Gua Sha Fa. Used for various indications. Depending on the pressure strength or speed, different results are noted.

Benefits of Gua Sha Fa

This method integrates both approaches and is particularly hygienic. It is a massage without direct contact by the hands. In effect it can move stuck blood, but is bloodletting without bleeding. Acupuncture without injury to the skin.

Gua Sha Fa Reduces Tension

However the benefits certainly outweigh the look, especially if you prefer to avoid medication and want to detox the body. Usually when a patient experiences gua sha they are amazed at how much less tension is in the area. Also at how hot it feels, given the heat is exiting the body. It can even be beneficial for fever.

By moving blood and toxins from inside to the surface of the body, Gua Sha Fa promotes a renewing and healing effect to the area applied.

For Sore Throat

For example, this therapy may be prescribed for a sore throat. The theory suggests that by scraping the neck, the blood brings the pathogen, stagnant qi and toxic heat to the surface, which will take some days to fade. However the internal sore throat pain is alleviated, depending on the severity of it.

It has a myriad of uses from sore throat, infection, high fever, inflammation, chills, cough, sinusitis, heatstroke to pain and much more. Discomfort can be experienced as the spoon is pressed from top to bottom, however the relief produced is usually instant and many swear by it.

This is a common theme in Chinese medicine where we aim to ‘release the exterior’, we bring the toxin/pathogen out of the body through the skin.


Gua Sha Fa contains a rich historically grown experience. In China, not the entire rural population had this experience. They were layman who used it, however they were extensively trained in this method. Today you can experience sterile and hygeinic therapy here in Melbourne. It now includes the knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. This contributes to a great enrichment of its application. Thankfully, you don’t need to go all the way to China to experience it either!

Gua Sha Fa Melbourne

At Femme Vital Acupuncture in Fairfield Melbourne, expect the best Gua Sha Fa to your needs and look forward to feeling well again.


At Femme Vital, expect the best holistic health consultation, coaching, tailored treatment and advice with 12 years experience supporting wellbeing with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

For in Clinic or Online appointments Book Online or contact us on 03 9005 6730, by appointment only.

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