Gua Sha (literally ‘to scrape away fever’), also known as ‘spooning’ or ‘coining’, is the application of friction with a blunt edged hand tool to the skin, either over muscle tissue, joints or specific acupuncture meridian pathways. Gua Sha tools may be made of bone, porcelain or stone such as jade. A variety of shapes and sizes of Gua Sha tools exist to satisfy the therapists need for working on smaller, defined places as well as broader areas of the body. The sensation of Gua Sha is memorably strong but often a treatment leaves one feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.


Both Cupping and Gua Sha leave a ‘Sha’ mark on the skin, similar to bruise or stippled rash. This effect is not painful and resolves in a few days time. The occurrence of ‘Sha’ marks on the skin, the depth of color and the time it takes to resolve, provide the therapist with TCM diagnostic information on response to treatment.