Cincinnati Acupuncture Clinic is an NCCAOM Certified Provider.
PleaseKnow Your Acupuncturist​

   The first, Gua, means to rub or to scrape, and the second, Sha, is the name given to the distinctive type of red dotting and discoloration that appears at the skin surface during and after treatment. Gua Sha, therefore, means to rub out Sha.


   Gua Sha is typically performed by rubbing a smooth-edged instrument across the skin surface where a subcutaneous injury or imbalance area. Treatment effectiveness is determined by distinctive reddening of the skin, and brings the immediate and lasting benefit of dispelling wind, reducing heat and inflammation, eliminating coldness, pain release from the superficial and deeper levels of the body. 


   Gua Sha is used in treating many acute and chronic health problems, including colds and flu, fever, headache, indigestion, dizziness, injury, joint pain, fibromyalgia, and heat exhaustion. It is also commonly performed to relax tight and aching muscles and to relieve tiredness and fatigue, emotional stress. The stroking action of Gua Sha to the points and channels can also be practiced as a health enhancement method, and can even be performed through light clothing (without the intention of raising Sha).


   Gua Sha is applied primarily on the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs. Thicker oil is spread over the area to be rubbed. The instrument is held comfortably in the hand and the practitioner usually takes 10 to 30 strokes in a downward direction away from the head. A simple measure to be certain the force used is correct is to ask the person receiving if they are comfortable with the pressure. For the best results, Gua Sha used on both local and distal acupuncture points determined by diagnosis.


After Gua Sha:

  • The patient needs to rest and drink a glass of warm water.
  • No shower or bath within one hour after treatment.
  • Avoid cold water showers or baths for a duration of at least 24 hours.
  • Keep all treatment areas covered up and warm.
  • Keep away from wind, including fans and air-conditioning.


Experts do not recommend using Gua Sha:

  • To people who are too weak to tolerate the treatment.
  • To people with bleeding disorders.
  • To people who are taking anti-coagulant medication, eg. warfarin.
  • During pregnancy.
  • Soon after surgery.
  • Over varicose veins, skin disease or open wounds, scratches, etc.
  • To a person suffering from a serious communicable disease.
  • Within an hour before or after a meal.

Call 513-288-4448 to setup a consultation.