How to do Gua Sha (Scraping) at home

It is that time of the year again and everyone is getting sick. This technique can be done by yourself or done for someone else. It involves scraping the neck and shoulders areas- (we call the ‘Wind’ points in Chinese Medicine).

Gua sha is practiced extensively throughout south east Asia- the red marks- called ‘sha’ or petechiae (the scientific term) and signifies the release of toxins and pathogens being released from the body.

Tools required:

-Oil of choice (I use olive oil)

– Blunt instrument- Jade gua sha tool, 20 cent coin, teaspoon, soup spoon

-Timer

Steps:

  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes
  2. Begin by rubbing oil on the back of the neck and shoulders which allows the tool to glide
  3. Once well lubricated, begin by moving the tool down the back of the neck about 5 cm away from the vertebrae over the muscle (sternocleidomastoid-trapezius from the Gallbladder 20 (Wind Pond- FengChi point)).
  4.  Continue this motion faster till you begin to notice red marks or ‘sha’
  5. After 2 minutes repeat on the other side.
  6. Now move down to the base of the neck (base of 7th Cervical vertebrae- Governing Vessel 14, Da Zhui (Great Vertbrae)) and repeat the process for 2 minutes on this area under the vertebrae
  7. Finally, between the shoulder blade and the thoracic vertebrae there is a point next to the 2nd thoracic vertebrae (Urinary Bladder 12- Feng Men (Wind gate)). Move the guasha tool from top down- moving down this line 5 centimetres besides from the base of 7th cervical vertebrae to the base of the 3rd thoracic vertebrae. Do this for 2 minutes on each side

If you have some red marks that is okay, they will disappear within a few days

Cautions:

  • As Gua Sha (Scraping) is a clearing technique- it is important to have some food about 30 minutes before hand so to not make you feel more tired
  • Use caution with people who bruise easily and have thin skin
  • Excessive force can break the skin
  • As a general rule, use less is more- even gentle gua sha can make a big difference

If you are concerned or have any questions- speak to your Doctor, Acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner before attempting Gua Sha.