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An illustrated guide to gua sha therapy

  • Supplementing the Kidney

    Method 1: Scraping Mingmen (GV 4), Shenshu (BL 23) and Zhishi (BL 52)

    Centered around these three acupoints, use the surface scraping method on the skin directly or through the clothes from top to bottom until the skin becomes hot. The best effect is achieved when the scraping causes a heat sensation deep in the muscles.





    Method 2: Scraping Yongquan (K31)

    Scraping Yongquan (K11) 50-100 times every night before sleep can strengthen the body, increase essence, replenish marrow, supplement the kidney, reinforce yang, and strengthen the tendons and bones.




    Method 3: Scraping Lateral Band 3 of the Forehead

    Vigorously scrape Lateral Band 3 of the Forehead on both sides without gua sha oil until the area becomes hot or pink. For people with scanty hair in the area, oil or lotion can be used.

    Gua sha Skills

    Scraping these three areas supplements the kidney in different ways. Do not forget to use gua sha oil during long scraping sessions on the lower back and Yongquan(KI1)



  • Invigorating the Brain to Benefit the Intelligence

    Method: Daily Scraping of the Head

    1, Use the surface scraping method with a gua sha tool made of buffalo horn in the following order: side of the head, vertex, occiput.

    2, Carefully search for positive reactions such as tenderness and nodules during scraping, and focus on areas with positive reactions.


    Scraping the side of the head, vertex and occiput in order every morning will clear the spirit and energize the body



    Gua sha Skills

    In the order described above, scrape the whole head with deep pressure using a gua sha tool made of buffalo horn until the scalp becomes hot This unblocks the meridians of the head and brings fresh oxygen to the area. It can improve disorders of the blood vessels and nerves of the brain to strengthen the intelligence. Do not neglect any part of the head when scraping. The best time for gua sha is in the morning or when the brain is cloudy. Patients with neuroses or insomnia should not scrape the head before sleep.

  • Maintaining Ovarian Health

    1, Facial Guasha Method: Pressing and Kneading Renzhong (GV 26) and Chengjiang (CV 24)

    1, Clean the face, then apply cosmetic lotion on the acupoints to be pressed and kneaded.

    2, Use the horizontal pressing-kneading method on Renzhong (GY 26) slowly for 2〜3 minutes.

    3, Use the horizontal pressing-kneading method on Chengjiang (CV 24) slowly for 2〜3 minutes.

    4, Clean the face with water.


    2, Foot Guasha Method: Pressing and Kneading the Sides of the Feet

    Scrape or press-knead the uterus zone at the lower-medial heel and the testes/ovaries zone at the lower-lateral heel.





    Gua sha Skills

    For the best effect, press and knead these points 1 〜2 times a day between 3〜7 p.m. Pressing-kneading is forbidden during menstruation and during pregnancy. Make sure the hands and gua sha tool are clean to prevent skin infections. Treating these points frequently will affect the areas related to these holographic zones through the Conception and Governing vessels, thus indirectly regulating the endocrine system to maintain ovarian health.

  • Cleaning the Zang-Fu Organs

    Method: Regular Scraping of the Bladder Meridian

    1, After coating both sides of the spinal column with gua sha oil, use the surface scraping method from the first thoracic to second sacral vertebra, 1.5 cun lateral to the midline in sections 4〜5 cun long. For patients with weak constitutions, extend one gua sha treatment of the back and waist over 2 〜3 days.

    2, Pay special attention to areas where pain is felt during gua sha, or where rough sensations or nodules are felt under the gua sha tool.

    3, After the treatment, clean any remaining oil from the body and instruct the patient to keep warm. Guasha can be performed on the bladder meridian once every 1 〜2 months.

    clip_image004   Scraping downward, use the surface scraping method on both sides of the spine from the first to the sixth thoracic vertebra









    clip_image002On the second section, use the surface scraping method on both sides of the spine from the seventh to the twelfth thoracic vertebra








    If the internal environment is unclean, sha will appear on the bladder meridian points corresponding to the zang-fu organs that are affected by qi and blood stagnation. Therefore, regular guasha on the bladder meridian can clean the internal environment It can also strengthen the tendons and ligaments of the back and waist in men

    clip_image008     clip_image006

  • Enhancing the Immunity

     Method l:Scraping Seven Strengthening Acupoints

    Scraping these points once or twice a day can enhance immunity. Scrape Baihui (GV 20) and Yongquan (KI1) with the one-corner scraping method; use the point pressing method on Renzhong (GV 26); and the horizontal pressing or surface scraping methods on Hegu (LI 4), Neiguan (PC 6), Zusanli (ST 36) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6).




    Method 2: Scraping the Ears Daily

    First scrape the concha, then scrape the helixes and the back of the ear.


    Method 3: Scraping Both Sides of the Hands Daily

    Scrape the hand from the wrist to the fingertips, the scrape each finger with edge of the gua sha tool.



    Method 4: Scraping the Feet Daily



    Guasha Skills
    Choose 2〜3 of the four methods described above to perform daily. For short scraping sessions, guasha oil is not necessary, but it is better to use oil for longer sessions on the limbs, back of the hand and top of the foot

  • Purifying the Blood


    An Easy Way to Clean and Purify the Blood: Tapping the Elbow and Knee Fossa

    After coating the elbow and knee fossa with gua sha oil, use the patting method while taking intermittent breaks.

    When metabolites accumulated in the blood are obstructing microcirculation, sha will appear.





    Gua sha Skills

    Make sure the muscles around the elbow and knee joints are relaxed during patting. When patting the elbow or knee of another person, support the distal arm of leg with one hand while the other pats with gradually increasing force until no sha appears. At first a break of two weeks should be taken between treatments; later this can be lengthened to 2〜3 months.

  • Chapter IV Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease

    There is an old saying, “It is no good waiting until you feel thirsty to dig a well.” Taking 10 minutes every day to perform self-gua sha while watching TV will help enhance the immune system, purify the blood, clean the internal environment, maintain the ovaries, protect the heart, strengthen the brain, supplement the kidney and improve the constitution.

  • Checking Other Zang-Fu Organs

    Zang-Fu Method 1: Scraping Lateral Bands 1,2 and 3 of the Forehead, and the Forehead- Vertex Band


    Vigorously scrape Lateral Bands 1,2 and 3 of the Forehead, and the Forehead-vertex Band on both sides of the head. Smooth and even sensations under the gua sha tool indicate a normal condition. Positive reactions such as pain and nodules indicate sub-­health states or disease states in the corresponding zang-fu organs. The severity of the pathology can be judged by the severity of the positive reaction.

    Vigorously scraping the Forehead-Vertex Bands and Lateral Bands of the Forehead can be very refreshing. Even people who did not sleep well the night before will stop yawning after a good head scraping

    clip_image004    clip_image002



    Zang-Fu Method 2: Scraping the Palm

    When scraping the holographic zones on palm and both sides of the roots of the fingers, smooth sensations indicate a normal condition, and pain or sha indicate sub-health states or latent diseases in the corresponding organs.


    Zang-Fu Method 3: Scraping the Holographic Zones on the Radial Side of the Second Metacarpal Bone

    Have the patient place the fingers close together with the thumb naturally curved. With the thumb and index finger facing you, use the vertical pressing-kneading method on all the holographic zones on the radial side of the second metacarpal bone. Tender spots indicate sub-health states or latent diseases in the corresponding body parts. The severity of the pathology can be judged by the severity of the positive reaction.




    Zang-Fu Method 4: Scraping the Bladder Meridian


    After applying guasha oil on the back, scrape carefully while feeling the sensations under the guasha tool. Smooth sensations without pain suggest a normal condition, while positive reactions such as nodules, muscle tightness or sha severity suggest sub-health states or latent pathology in the corresponding organs. The severity of the pathology can be evaluated by the type of sha and severity of the positive reaction.

  • Checking the Kidney

     Kideny Method 1: Scraping the Minor Thenar Eminence and Little Finger

    clip_image002When scraping the minor thenar eminence and little finger, focus on both sides of the root of the fingernail. Pain during gua sha suggests kidney deficiency. If the palms are dry, apply cosmetic lotion to protect the skin.

    The minor thenar eminence is the holographic zone of the kidney. When observing the hand, a dark- colored, thin and stiff minor thenar eminence; short little fingers, and curved joints close to the palm all indicate different degrees of kidney deficiency




    Kidney Method 2: Scraping Shenshu (BL 23), Zhishi (BL 52) and Mingmen (GV 4)

    After applying gua sha oil, scrape Shenshu (BL 23),Zhishi (BL 52) and Mingmen (GV 4). The appearance of purple-red or purple-blue sha with pain, nodules or muscles spasms around the points suggest a deficiency of kidney qi.


    Kidney Method 3: Patting the Knee Fossa


    Apply gua sha oil, then use the patting manipulation on the knee fossa, which covers the points Weiyang (BL39), Weizhong (BL 40) and Yingu (K110)

    1, Moderate to severe sha at the lateral knee fossa, or around Weiyang (BL39) and Weizhong (BL40), indicates kidney deficiency, low back pain or leg pain.

    2, Moderate or severe sha at the medial knee fossa, or around Yingu (KI10) of the kidney meridian, indicates kidney deficiency, which can manifest as frequent soreness of the low back, pain and heaviness of the legs, lassitude, aversion to cold, and dizziness.




    Kidney Method 4: Scraping the Lower Third of the Back of the Third Metacarpal Bone

    After applying gua sha oil, use the push scraping method on the lower third of the back of the third metacarpal bone.

    The lower third of the back of the third metacarpal bone corresponds to the kidney. During gua sha, stabbing pain, dark and dense sha, and nodules indicate severe stagnation of qi and blood in the kidney system. Such patients should go to a hospital for examination as soon as possible.


  • Checking the Brain

    Brain Method: Scraping the Back of the Middle Finger and Head

    Apply gna sha oil, then scrape the back of the first and second sections of the middle finger. The surface scraping method should be used slowly and carefully. Smooth and even sensations under the gua sha tool suggest a normal condition, while pain, roughness, sand-sized masses, nodules, or purple sha suggest fatigue or lack of oxygen to the brain.


    Check for pain or positive reactions by scraping the entire head carefully from the sides to the vertex and finishing at the occiput The areas with positive reactions are where qi and blood have stagnated, which can cause of fatigue and prevent oxygen from reaching the brain.





    Gua sha Basics

    How can one check the brain by scraping the fingers?

    The hand is a microcosm of the whole body. The back of first and second sections of the middle finger correspond to the head and brain. When the brain is fatigued, lacks oxygen, or if afflicted by blood or nerve disorders, its corresponding holographic zones will exhibit some kind of positive reaction*

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