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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anna Lunaria, Doctor of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine

Excessive Heat Exposure? Gua Sha to the Rescue!

Gua Sha, also know as scraping, spooning, coining and Graston, has been used for centuries to help clear heat accumulation from body. It can be used for external heat, such as heat stroke, as well as internal heat, such as fever and inflammation.

A rat study published in Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine confirmed gua sha reduced the inflammatory response to heat stroke and improved survival rates (Tu, et al, 2015).

You can have GuaSha done for you during an Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine treatment @ Yin Rising. But you can also easily do this @ home, even on yourself. While you can buy special Gua Sha tools, there are common household items that work well. A porcelain Chinese soup spoon works well, hence why it’s sometimes called spooning. A coin can also work, but make sure you disinfect it first by soaking it in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes first. A smooth lid from a juice bottle can also work. I have also used a sea shell, a butter knife, etc - basically anything with a smooth surface that allows a firm grip. Lightly oil the back of the neck and/or the back of the knee: scrape downward with firm, moderate pressure for about 3-5 minutes. The area will turn read quickly and may develop speckled red spots (petechia). Warning: Do not rub so hard or so long that the skin breaks.

Tu, W. Z., Cheng, R. D., Hu, J., Wang, J. Z., Lin, H. Y., Zou, E. M., Wang, W. S., Lou, X. F., & Jiang, S. H. (2015). Combination treatment with Gua Sha and Blood-letting causes attenuation of systemic inflammation, activated coagulation, tissue ischemia and injury during heatstroke in rats. Chinese journal of integrative medicine, 21(8), 610–617.

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