What is Gua sha?

Gua Sha is a treatment modality that stimulates the skin and superficial tissues of the body to enhance blood flow and generate energy (Qi) flow through an area.

Practitioners make use of a flat, smooth-edged tool to repeatedly scrape the skin, usually of the upper back and neck, in one direction to promote healing of underlying structures. This type of treatment is used to treat various conditions to supplement mental and physical needs. Gua Sha is particularly useful for treating inflammation which is known to be the underlying cause of many conditions associated with chronic pain. Schedule an appointment today to experience the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.

The most common areas that Gua sha is performed on include: back, neck buttocks, arms, and legs. A more gentle version can be used on the face. It’s an excellent way to help relieve pain and increase blood flow.

Benefits of Gua Sha

Gua Sha can be used for muscular ailments of the neck, back, and extremities.

It is very often used for respiratory complaints like bronchitis or cough (scraping along the upper chest and back) even in children.

Gua Sha is helpful in treating conditions associated with chronic, muscle, and joint pain. Gua Sha can relive various conditions including:

  • Respiratory complaints
  • Muscle aches
  • Perimenopausal Syndrome
  • Neck pain
  • Inflammation
  • Breast Engorgement

If you are concerned with whether Gua Sha and alternative medicine is right for you. Call us to schedule an appointment at 678-971-1668 or you can continue reading and find the Frequently Asked Questions.

gua sha treatment Atlanta

Gua Sha Tools

History of Gua sha

The first records of Gua sha date back to over 700 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. The term gua sha is composed of two Chinese words. Gua, meaning to rub or scrape and sha, chi that causes excess heat to build up within the body. Many people in other partes of Asia utilize Gua sha as a form of  “first defense” against illnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions


We understand Gua Sha is an alternative form of therapy and we want to address any concerns you may have. Gua Sha is completely natural and produces little to no side effects.

  • Is Gua Sha painful? Pain varies from patient to patient. Pain is uncommon. Typically, there is a mild to almost non-existent sensation. 
  • Do you sterilize the massage tools? Yes! Every massage tool is carefully handled to avoid contamination.
  • What are the side effects? Possible side effects include redness of the skin, slight swelling and minor bruising. All side effects are temporary and subside after a few days.

If you have any more questions, feel free to book an appointment so we can address your concerns in fine detail!

Does Gua Sha hurt?

 Gua Sha is typically done with fast, light, long strokes. For chest or back complaints, the strokes follow the ribs. The pressure is relatively light, like scratching a sudden itch. The patient gives feedback to the therapist easily controlling the amount of pressure making significant pain unlikely.

I heard that Gua Sha leaves marks on the back. Is this true?

Because Gua Sha treatment on the torso follows the line of the ribs, slight discoloration (usually a redness) can develop over the rib contours. Like with cupping, the superficial capillaries can be disrupted by the stimulation.

Are there any advantages of Gua Sha over cupping or acupuncture?

For patients who do not want to get undressed, Gua Sha can be done over light clothing. It can also be done on children who are not yet candidates for needles.

Do I have to pay extra for Gua Sha if I come in for acupuncture?

No, Gua Sha is a common treatment option in Chinese Medicine and included at the discretion of the practitioner. Patients can request the treatment at any time as well.

Do you also provide cupping services?

Yes, we do! Click here to read more about how cupping can help you. 

Relief Is Literally A Phone Call Away

Located in Gainesville, we have patients coming to see us from all around Atlanta to experience the benefits of acupuncture, cupping, Gua Sha, and our other services. Many of our patients travel from places like GainesvilleOakwoodBufordBraseltonFlowery BranchAlpharettaAthensCumming,  DaculaSuwanee, and many more cities around Atlanta.

Call Georgia Medical Acupuncture today and schedule your free phone consultation. Get relief today with acupuncture.

Credentials You Can Trust


1370 Thompson Bridge Road,

Suite 102

Gainesville, GA 30501


Monday to Friday
9:0am to 4:00pm

By appointment only