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An illustrated guide to gua sha therapy

  • Biological Holographic Theory

    Biological holographic theory is centered around the idea that each relatively independent part of an organism contains information on the whole. For instance, a single branch of some plants, such as many roses, can grow into a full new plant. Also, animal stem cells can develop into an entire new living organism. These phenomena indicate that smaller divisions of an organism contain information regarding the entire living being.

    Biological holographic theory posits that each relatively independent part of the hum an body is a miniature of the body as a whole, with smaller areas such as the ear, head, hand, foot or trunk reflecting the entire body. In each of these local arenas, there are areas corresponding to each of the zang-fu organs, which are called are holographic zones. The zones share the same names as the organs they represent. If a reaction appears in a particular holographic zone, it often indicates that some kind of pathological change is occurring in the corresponding organ. Traditional Chinese doctors observe the tongue and feel the pulse to diagnose a patient’s general condition, which is an example of using small areas to infer the condition of the whole.

  • Holographic Meridian Gua sha Therapy

    The modern from of gua sha therapy described in this book has its roots in ancient folk gua sha techniques. We have named it “holographic meridian gua sha therapy.” This method has the advantages of traditional gua sha techniques, but also makes use of three important developments:

    1, Theoretical advancements. The areas to be scraped in gua sha are determined in this technique by the Chinese medical theory of the meridians and collaterals, as well as modem biological holographic theory. This theoretical development not only increased the range of physical areas clip_image002.jpgavailable for administering gua sha, but has enlarged its scope and improved the therapeutic effect.

    2, Improved guasha tools. Modem guasha therapy makes use of a fully developed toolkit, including specific oils and creams, and guasha tools designed for different areas of the body.

    3, Enlarged scope. The clinical applications of gua sha therapy have been expanded to include treating disease, diagnostics, disease prevention and anti-aging.

  • Applications of Gua sha Therapy

    Why has gua sha been so popular for so long? Besides the benefits described above, gua sha can be used for self- diagnosis, disease prevention and treatment, and cosmetic purposes.


    During gua sha, one can determine the condition of the internal zang- fu organs by the appearance of sha (its quantity, location and color) and the reaction elicited by scraping (the presence, severity and nature of pain, and any resistance during scraping). Thus gua sha has the following characteristics: easy to perform, early diagnosis, simultaneous diagnosis and treatment, and no side effects.

    A more detailed explanation of Gua sha diagnosis in Chapter III. (Zang-fu is the Chinese medical term for the internal organs. In this system of medicine, the organs are divided broadly into organs that store nutrients, the zang, and those that excrete waste,the fu.)

    Disease Prevention and Treatment

    According to traditional Chinese medicine, qi and blood are the fundamental substances that make up the body and support its functional activities. Qi, pronounced chee and literally meaning "air", is an ancient Chinese concept that refers to the energetic force inherent in all things. When qi and blood circulate smoothly, the body will be in a state of health. If the circulation of qi and blood is disrupted, the tissues and organs will be deprived of oxygen and cells will not develop properly, which will lead to sub-health states and even disease. Gua sha affects the body by unblocking the meridians and collaterals, activating the circulation of qi and blood, and promoting the metabolism to prevent disease and delay aging.

    Staying Young and Beautiful

    Gua sha activates blood circulation to remove static blood, eliminate toxins, and purify the blood and skin by dilating the capillaries, increasing blood flow to local tissue and warming the body.

    The generation of heat activate the skin’s ability to repair and regenerate. The result is a younger and fresher look brought about by delaying the aging process.

  • Is sha blood that was forced outside the vessels?

    Although sha may look like the extravasated blood, it is not the same thing. The two differ in cause, location, composition, blood vessel condition, amount and influence on the body


  • Sha and Microcirculation

    The capillaries are the vessels that conduct microcirculation, and are formed by a layer of endothelial cells less than 1% of the thickness of apiece of paper.

    The walls of the capillaries are the thinnest of all types of blood vessels and are highly permeable. They allow tiny molecules in the blood to pass through to deliver oxygen and nutrients, and remove metabolites and other waste products.


    The web of capillaries forms the microcirculatory system of the human body. When the nutrient-metabolite exchange does not occur properly, the cells will lack oxygen, and metabolites will accumulate in the tissues and organs. These waste substances are internally toxic, and are harmful to health in general and microcirculation in particular. They are the underlying cause of sub-health states and many diseases.

    During the application of gua sha, blood containing these toxins will be pressed out of capillaries with permeability disorders to accumulate between the skin and muscles. This blood leakage is the sha that is visible on the skin. Expression of sha rapidly improves microcirculation disorders.

  • Features of Gua sha Therapy

    clip_image002Since ancient times, gua sha has helped people live in harmony with nature, stay in good health, reduce medical expenses and reduce harmful side effects from drugs through methods that are easy to learn and perform, even at home.

    Safe and Effective

    There is a saying in China that, “All drugs have at least some toxicity, Gua sha therapy, which uses no injections or medication, can achieve a therapeutic effect just by scraping the surface of the skin. Because it does not penetrate the skin, it is completely safe and carries no risk of infection.

    Easy to Learn and Easy to Use

    Gua sha therapy can be performed by anyone in the comfort of their home. It does not require a medical background, and can be learned by following the instructions in this book on evaluating health, preventing disease, treating ailments and cosmetic care. Continue reading

  • Chapter I - Exploration of Gua sha

    Guasha therapy has a long and rich history, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was first used by doctors to treat disease at this time, and gained wide-spread popularity the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming dynasties (1368-1644). Gua sha is now widely used for the prevention and treatment of disease, as well as cosmetic skincare.

    “Gua” means scraping, but what is “sha”? How does scraping the skin regulate the internal organs, relieve pain, improve people’s looks and help them lose weight? What are the differences between the modern and ancient forms of gua sha therapy? Why has it gone through fundamental changes over the past thousand years?

    This chapter will explore the secrets of gua sha therapy.

  • Preface - An Illustrated Guide to Gua Sha Therapy


    Gua sha, often referred to as scraping therapy, is a bright pearl in the treasure trove that is Chinese medicine. It has survived for thousands of years because of its valuable ability to treat internal diseases with external methods, its easy-to-learn manipulations and its remarkable effects. Throughout the centuries, gua sha therapy has played an important role in the prevention and treatment of disease. The development of modem technology, science and medicine have brought convenience and increased efficacy, but also more harmful side effects. Now that modem medical therapies are receiving more scrutiny, people have again welcomed gua sha therapy. One should not be fooled by the simple manipulations of gua sha, as its theoretical foundation is actually quite profound. In terms of direct contact, gua sha is limited to the superficial skin, which is the body's largest organ. The functions of the skin are not limited to being the body's defensive barrier, it is involved in excretion, respiration, secretion and purification. Continue reading

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