Gua Sha

Gua Sha Melts Away Tension and
Supports Your Upper Airways

Gua Sha is more than a hands on therapy, it’s a healing ritual. We start your gua sha treatment by applying massage oil to the area, then we use a stone tool to gently scrape across the skin of the affected area. Gua Sha releases tension, increases blood flow, and alleviates pain and inflammation.

The benefits of gua sha go beyond just pain relief, however. We use it for support with lung conditions such as allergies, asthma, the common cold, symptoms of long-COVID, and even for migraine prevention.

A woman getting a massage at a spa stock photo.

Gua Sha Benefits

Gua Sha is a wonder technique to release adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layers. The motion of pushing or scraping across the skin forces adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layer to release, which relieves pain and increases microcirculation allowing the area to properly heal.

Gua Sha Treatments

Gua Sha is performed by first applying massage oil to the affected area, then moving the tool in a pushing or scraping motion across the skin. This motion forces adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layer to release, which relieves pain and increases circulation allowing the area to properly heal.

Acupuncture and Gua Sha

If you’re in pain, our acupuncturists will often use a combination of gua sha and acupuncture to treat your symptoms. This combination delivers the best results: short term pain relief and circulation increase through gua sha, and addressing deeper issues and promoting long term healing with acupuncture. This combination may also help block pain sensing pathways.

A woman getting a back massage at a spa.

Combining acupuncture with gua sha delivers the best results.

A woman is getting a massage with several glass bottles on her back.

Cupping is like a deep tissue massage, but in reverse.

Cupping and Gua Sha

Cupping and gua sha are treatments with similar therapeutic effects. Because the benefits of cupping and gua sha are similar, there are times when we combine them to release pain and tension from your muscles with precision. For example, we may place cups on the back and then gua sha your neck. This will release your entire spine and help alleviate pain and tension.


A treatment that involves scraping a flat jade or rose quartz stone over the skin in upward strokes to relax stiff muscles and promote tissue drainage. People typically perform guasha on the back, neck, and shoulders to treat cold and flu symptoms as well as upper back pain. As you proceed, you will notice the “sha,” red blotches that indicate blood flow near the surface of your body. These indicate the presence of “blood stagnation;” if none exists, the skin will simply turn pink. Great for children and infants who cannot do cupping. Activates the body‘s drainage system in which excess fluids and impurities are removed from the tissues and ultimately removed by the kidneys. With this treatment you can look forward to pain relief, accelerated reduction in swelling, elimination of bruising at a faster rate, alleviation of numbness, and prevention of scar tissue formation.

A man getting a back massage.
A pink flower design on a green background.

Conditions We Treat With
Cupping and Gua Sha

Gua Sha is one technique our acupuncturists use for immediate pain relief, whether the condition is chronic (like long-term neck pain) or acute (a migraine). Gua Sha is also especially effective at helping resolve issues with the lungs, such as asthma:


Gua Sha for back pain offers instant relief! Gua Sha can relieve muscle knots from tension as well as treat severe back pain like sciatica. For muscle knots, our acupuncturists will apply gua sha on your upper back and scapula, while for sciatica, they’ll work on the lower back for pain relief.


We’re now a society that spends a lot of time hunched over our computers or phones, and our necks suffer the consequences. We call that pain and stiffness “tech neck.”

Gua Sha for neck pain can help. Our acupuncturists are experts when it comes to releasing your trapezius muscle (which runs between the shoulder and neck) and along the scapula with gua sha. This will reduce tension, increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness, and alleviate pain.


Gua Sha for headaches is one part of a multifaceted approach to head pain. Our acupuncturists will treat the face with gua sha on the forehead and cheeks—this feels wonderful for sinus headaches in particular. In addition, many headaches have a neck component. If this is the case, our acupuncturists will also gua sha the neck and upper back. This will serve to promote blood flow, reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and release serotonin.


Migraines are the worst. The pain quality is often throbbing and patients can experience nausea and sensitivity to light. For migraines, gua sha can not only treat active migraines but also help to prevent future migraines. Our acupuncturists can reduce pain and help you recover from a current migraine with gua sha. It can also help reduce the triggers that cause migraines—like stress or lack of sleep—by alleviating tension and harmonizing the body.


Our acupuncturists can use gua sha on your back to open your chest and help you breathe easier. Gua Sha has been shown to improve pulmonary function and increase blood flow. Additionally, our herbal medicine can help reduce seasonal allergies, which can exacerbate asthma.


Gua Sha for cold and flu excels at preventing severe and lingering symptoms. The first symptom of cold and flu is often body aches in the upper back and neck; gua sha are excellent at resolving these body aches.

Treating these early symptoms with gua sha reduces their severity and can help prevent the symptoms from growing into something more serious—such as a full sinus infection or bronchitis. In addition, our herbal medicine can help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.


Unfortunately, anxiety can cause tension and pain throughout the body. Most people find that stress and/or anxiety go immediately to their neck and shoulders. Gua Sha can do wonders for this tension. Patients really enjoy the experience of gua sha and feel instantly relaxed after their treatment.