Gua Sha Remedy

“For remedies, there is this thing in Chinese culture where you take a spoon or a coin or something, rub oil on ur back, and then have someone run the spoon along your back as if you were scraping the oil off. If you develop red circle marks or red dots (other than from the scraping), it means you had toxins in ur body and this was like taking the toxins out and you could see it supposedly. Oh and this is called Gua Sha, by the way. Sometimes my grandma would use this on me, but it’s very uncomfortable. I hurts kind of, like a super deep massage. And then they’ll do it for like 20-30 minutes. That’s a long time to be scraping someone’s skin, so of course it hurts.”

The informant is from a Chinese background, although she was born in the US in Northern California. She has relatives that still live in China and her grandparents are very traditional with their remedies, traditions, and superstitions.

This remedy is very popular among Chinese culture, and is truly believed to help relieve pain and bring it to the surface. It can be performed in the home, by friends or family members who know how to do it, or can also be done at various businesses that specialize in this type of therapy.

To me, this sounds similar to the cupping method that is becoming so popular recently. Both of these seem very intense and I’m sure the deep massage feeling is very good to loosen up your body and help regulate circulation, etc. However, I don’t know if I would ever partake in this type of thing. It seems very harsh on your skin and muscles and I don’t think I would have the courage to actually try it. I’m curious as to how this began and what was the reasoning behind it.