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The Ultimate Guide of Gua Sha Tools (2019)

Gua Sha therapy uses special tools to scrape, rub, pat, push, press and tap on human acupoints, result in ecchymosis appearing on the skin. In the process of scraping therapy, the correct choice of Gua Sha tools is the key to effective healthcare and safe treatment.

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Everything You Need to Know about Gua Sha

Gua Sha Scraping Massage Tools

The scraping board must be made of non-toxic materials that don’t generate static electricity. It needs to have smooth surfaces and round corners, so as to facilitate the holding operation, and it is convenient for cleaning and preservation.

Horn Gua Sha Tools

At present, most delicate scraping boards are made of buffalo horns. It is dark red in color, opaque or translucent. Buffalo horn itself is traditional Chinese medicine. Buffalo horn scraping board has the effects of clearing heat, detoxifying, calming the nerves and refreshing the body. Clinically, there are also scarping boards made of cattle horns and antelope horns, but the durability and appearance are slightly inferior to those of buffalo horns.

What We Like About Buffalo Horn Board:

It is efficient, durable, easy to operate, and it does not hurt the skin.

What We Don’t like:

There are many fake horn boards on the market. 

Jade & Stone Gua Sha Tools

Scraping board made of natural jade and agate is mainly used for beauty care.

There are also stone scraping boards made of various kinds of stone.

What We Like About Jade Board:

It has good skin moisturizing and anti-wrinkle effect.

What We Don’t Like:

Jade and stone scraping boards are fragile and may not be durable.

Wooden Gua Sha Tools

The scraping board made of woody material such as agarwood, chestnut, oak, and tender bamboo. Its advantage is flexible and comfortable. It is good for aroma, gastrointestinal health and pain relief. It can also be used for health care or treatment.

Other Gua Sha Tools

There are many kinds of scraping tools used by folk. Because Gua Sha often tackles with emergency and acute illnesses, the folk use handy materials to be simple and practical. Daily Gua Sha materials include round pebbles, smooth spoons, porcelain bowls, platters, copper coins, silver coins, silver ornaments, wooden combs, soft ramie group, cotton yarn group, loofah, animal bones, shells, silverware, etc.

Shape of Gua Sha Tools​

More commonly used buffalo horn scraping plates are rectangular, with four sides, four corners, two surfaces, maybe with grooves. The four sides include two long sides and two short sides; one long side is slightly thicker called “thick side”, slightly curved or straight; another long side is called “thin side”, which is straight; The short sides are generally straight and have no grooves. The four corners include two corners on the thick side and two corners on the thin side. The two surfaces include the front and back surfaces of the scraping plate which are approximately rectangular. The scraping plate can also have 1 – 2 notches at one or two short sides

For the treatment of diseases, use thin edges of the scaping board to wipe the skin. For health care, use thick edges to wipe the skin. For the acupoints in the depression near the joints and for meridians needing pressing, use the corners of the scraping board. For the nose and the fingers, toes and other body parts with a convex curved surface, use the four slots of the board. In this way, it can obtain the largest contact surface and achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

There are also a variety of special-shaped scraping plates, such as comb, horn, spoon, fish, etc. They are related to the habit, operation, and function of the surgeon.

Preservation of Gua Sha Tools

After using the scraping board, it can be cleaned with water or soapy water, but it should be dried immediately with a towel. The surface can be disinfected with 75% alcohol. When collecting the fascia board, apply a layer of scraping emollient oil or vegetable oil on the board surface, then seal it with a plastic bag or put it in a holster and store it in a cool and humid place.

Buffalo horns and wooden scraping board should be kept away from heat sources for a long time (such as exposure to sunlight, heating) to prevent breakage, bending and contamination. If it is left in a damp place for a long time, or in flooded water, or exposed to dry air for a long time, cracks may occur, which may affect the service life.

Since buffalo horns and wooden scraping boards are natural products, bending is a normal phenomenon. If cracks, nicks, over-twisting, etc. occur at the edges, sanding can be done with fine sandpaper. Jade and stone scraping plates should be protected from bumps when stored.

Liquid Medium​

Special Scraping Lubricant

At present, the most commonly used scraping medium is special scraping emollient oil and scraping blood-activating oil. It is made of natural vegetable oil and added with natural Chinese medicine ingredients refined by traditional processing and modern high-tech methods. It can lubricate the skin, promote blood circulation, dredge meridians, detoxification, and relieve pain. It has the dual effects of lubricating skin and drug treatment.

Scraping Beauty Oil

Formulated with beauty skin oil and lavender essential oil, it is rich in multi-vitamin and skin-beautifying ingredients and is suitable for all skin types. Scraping beauty oil can purify the skin, promote skin cell regeneration. It can achieve the effect of relieving blemishes and wrinkles. It is mainly used for facial beauty and also for whole body skin care.

Medicated Oil

Medicated oils include wind oil, comfrey oil and the like. The wind-driven oil is prepared from peppermint oil, camphor oil, methyl salicylate, and liquid sarcophagus. It has the effects of relieving pain and refreshing the body. Wind oil is refined from camphor, eucalyptus oil, methyl salicylate, liquid paraffin, chlorophyll, and essential oils. The comfrey oil is formulated with sesame oil, comfrey, borneol, menthol, vitamin E, etc., and has the functions of clearing heat and cooling blood, detoxifying and relieving pain. All three can be used as a scraping medium and can be used clinically as appropriate.

Liniment

Liniment is an external water agent, which is composed of safflower, chuanxiong, snake venom, clematis, borneol, camphor, vinegar, wintergreen oil, belladonna extract. It has the effect of promoting blood circulation, relieving swelling and relieving pain. It can be used as a scraping medium, but individual patients may have skin allergies, therefore some patients should use other scraping oil.

Plant oil

Daily edible oils such as sesame oil, rapeseed oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, salad oil, tea seed oil, olive oil, etc. can be used as a scraping medium. Daily drinking water (cold water or warm water) in life can also be used as a scraping medium, but due to insufficient lubrication, it is generally used with plant oil.

Wine, Medicinal Liquor

The high spirits have the function of exorcism, promoting blood circulation and dispelling cold, dredging meridians, eliminating phlegm. The medicinal liquor refined with safflower, Panax notoginseng, etc. can also be used for scraping media, but it has the disadvantage of insufficient lubrication.

Chinese Medicine Decoction

The traditional Chinese medicine decoction can also be used as a scraping medium.

Chinese herbal decoction formulated with mint, windproof, silver flower, forsythia, white peony, etc. can be used to tackle the cold.

Chinese herbal medicine decoction prepared by Huangqi, Huanglian, Yinhua, Forsythia, Gypsum, Licorice, Banlangen, etc. can be used for heat-clearing and detoxification.

Chinese herbal medicine decoction prepared by Angelica, Chuanzun, safflower, peach kernel, hematoxylin, frankincense, myrrh, etc. can promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis, and is used for various pain syndromes.

The above traditional Chinese medicine decoction also has the disadvantage of insufficient lubrication.

Cream Medium​

Blood Activating Cream

Blood circulation moisturizing cream is an ointment-like scraping medium made from Chinese herbal extracts such as Chinese angelica, safflower, and Chuanxiong excipients. It has good lubricity, easy to absorb, a long-lasting effect of blood circulation. Besides, it will not contaminate clothing when applied since it is cream and not easily flow down.

Gua Sha Scraping Lotion

Scraping lotion (cream) is made from vitamin E, ginseng stem and leaf soap, fresh aloe vera juice, and other pure natural plants. It contains medicines that promote skin absorption and nutrients that nourish and moisturize the skin. It has the effects of improving blood circulation, promoting metabolism, moisturizing, and enhancing the health effects of Gua Sha. It doesn’t need to be wiped off after scraping, it doesn’t pollute clothes, and it is easy to carry. It is especially good for facial beauty. Women and children have delicate skin and can use scraping lotion (cream) on the body during Gua Sha therapy.

Analgesic Anti-Inflammatory Cream

Diclofenac is a commonly used analgesic and anti-inflammatory latex, which contains a strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac diethylene gel. It can be used alone in the clinic to treat sports injuries: it can also be used as a lubricant in the treatment of Gua Sha.

Other

Daily lotion such as petrolatum, cream, skin lotion can be also be used in Gua Sha.