When you think about massage devices, you probably imagine a relaxing day at the spa that helps you destress, unwind, and forget all the worries about your workaday life. But did you know that you could enjoy a massage that is not only a relaxing luxury but also good for your health? We are talking about Gua Sha – an ancient therapy that works wonders for your skin and internal health. Read on to know more about Gua Sha and the 10 best Gua Sha massage tools you can lay your hands on.
What Is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is a technique derived from the principles of ancient Chinese medicine. The practice uses a blunt tool, usually made of jade or bian stone, to apply pressure and scrape the skin. It may sound scary, but the process (when performed correctly) is not painful but therapeutic and relaxing. It helps alleviate pain and tension in the muscles. The treatment leaves light bruising on the skin in the form of red or purple marks, but these fade away in a few days.
The skin scraping technique of Gua Sha is meant to balance your ‘qi’ or ‘chi’ – the energy that flows in your body. When this qi is blocked, it causes pain and stiffness in the muscles. Gua Sha is practiced with the intent to help the energy flow freely for good health and well-being.
Benefits Of Gua Sha
Gua Sha massage therapy is based on a 2000-year-old tradition, which assures us that there must be a host of time-tested and proven benefits for the practice to be in trend today. Let’s find out what benefits you can enjoy from a Gua Sha massage.
1. Boosts Immunity
Gua Sha positively impacts immunity, and this is among the most promising benefits of this therapy. It activates the immune system and encourages the body towards a faster recovery by speeding up the natural healing process (1). Gua Sha is sometimes used to treat a cold, fever, or lung issues.
2. Reduces Pain
The most well-known benefit of a Gua Sha massage is that it helps relieve muscle and joint pain. It aids the healing of musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and tendon strain (2), (3).
The anti-inflammatory benefits of Gua Sha are also helpful for treating chronic pain, as it significantly reduces myalgia (4). Other inflammatory conditions, such as active chronic hepatitis, may also find therapeutic benefits from a Gua Sha treatment.
While Gua Sha may not look pretty, it is certainly far less invasive than a procedure like acupuncture. It is a slightly intense treatment, but certainly not too painful.
As an addition to your beauty and skincare regimen, Gua Sha can work wonders. A Gua Sha facial is excellent for treating fine lines and wrinkles and tightening sagging skin. It also adds a youthful glow to your complexion with regular use.
Read on to discover the best Gua Sha massage tools that you must try for a relaxing treatment at home.
Top 10 Gua Sha Massage Tools Of 2020
The Cinlinso Gua Sha Cupping Massage Tool is a scraping device that uses heat to stimulate collagen while helping the body relax and release stress. The massage device provides advanced heat scraping that enables you to achieve a perfectly sculpted body. Regular massage with this tool reduces fat in the arms, waist, and legs.
The Gua Sha massager is also useful as part of your facial skin care routine. It cleanses and refreshes tired skin and removes dirt from deep within the pores, going beyond regular cleansing and exfoliation. The stimulation of cell activity promotes collagen production, giving your skin a firm lift.
- Can be used on small and large muscle groups
- Relieves muscle tension
- Purifies skin pores
- Lightens skin tone
- Boosts collagen production
- Sculpts fat-prone areas
- Long-lasting charge
The Newkey Gua Sha and Cupping Massager offer a 2-in-1 design where you can enjoy a traditional Gua Sha scraping massage and vacuum cupping therapy with the same device. It gives you rejuvenated skin and relaxed muscles right in the comfort of your home.
The Newkey massager borrows from traditional Chinese medicine principles to soothe muscle pains, relieve aches, and activate acupoints. This, in turn, boosts blood circulation and improves the lymphatic system function by balancing the yin and yang elements in your body. If you notice any redness and blue marks after use, don’t worry. They will fade away within a week.
- Suitable for home use
- Gua Sha and cupping therapy in 1 device
- Improves skin tone
- Relieves muscle tension
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Easy to reach function buttons
- Can be used anywhere on the body
- Ergonomic design
The Allshow Electric Gua Sha and Cupping Massager is a handheld device that can be used for either scraping or cupping therapy, depending on your needs. This electric massager uses continuous heat action to relax tense muscles in the body and stimulate internal blood circulation. Heat energy is very effective in relieving pain by penetrating the muscles.
There are a variety of settings that you can customize for massage therapy perfectly suited to your body and tolerance levels. There are 10 massage modes, 6 negative pressure levels, and a temperature range between 30-50 degrees. The grip handle has a smooth curve and is comfortable to hold and use with either hand.
- Ergonomic design
- 2-in-1 function
- Compact and portable
- 10 massage modes
- 6 pressure levels
- Customizable temperature settings
- Long-lasting battery charge
- May feel too intense for some users.
The Scienlodic Electric Gua Sha and Cupping Massager offer a 3-in-1 design to enjoy handheld cupping therapy massage, heat massage, and gua sha scraping massage. It provides relaxation and eliminates fatigue, improving body flexibility in the comfort of your home.
The ergonomic design has a smooth curvature that provides a comfortable grip, making it easily controllable with one hand. It has six levels of suction to give you the best massage experience based on your needs. The cupping set heats upto 30-55 °C to suit different parts of your body. The scraping machine is portable for other parts of the body. It is suitable to treat poor physical conditions like long-term lack of exercise, mental stress, and physical dysfunction.
- Can be used for gua sha scraping, cupping therapy, and heat massage
- Suitable for home use
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to use
- Adjustable temperature upto 55°C
- Offers 6 levels of suction
- The suction might feel too strong for some people.
The Ms.W Electric Gua Sha Face Massager is the perfect example of all good things in small packages. Don’t be fooled by the delicate appearance – this massager packs an impressive host of skin care benefits. It provides microcurrent therapy that boosts blood circulation, lifts sagging skin, improves elasticity, and helps skincare products to be absorbed better.
The ergonomic design features 3 round corners that can be used to trigger acupuncture points in varying intensity. You can use the device in different angles to target each area of the face and neck separately. The memory function works to remember the last-used mode – the device automatically enters that mode upon restart.
- 2-minute auto shut-off feature
- 2 massage modes
- Promotes cream and serum absorption
- 3 massage points
- Travel-friendly design
- Not suitable for massaging large muscle groups.
The GuaSha Vacuum Scraping Massager improves your complexion, accelerates blood circulation, and keeps your skin and muscles healthy. The device comes with three replaceable heads, each of which is designed for a different purpose. The suction feature helps detoxify the body by aiding lymphatic drainage.
The massager is also useful for massaging the neck, shoulders, and back to relax these muscles and provide stress relief. Regular use boosts immunity, aids metabolism, and offers slimming benefits. It also helps your skin absorb creams and serums better, helping improve your overall skin health. The massager uses Chinese traditional acupoint massage for a variety of benefits.
- Made with eco-friendly material
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Control panel for ease of use
- 3 replaceable massage heads
- Quality control issues
- Not convenient for large muscle groups.
The Mikako Guasha Massage Tool is made of medical-grade stainless steel with smooth surfaces and edges. The ergonomic design and wavy handles provide a firm grip. This tool helps in lymphatic drainage and reconstructs toxins and fats. It eliminates muscle pain, inflammation, and fatigue from the neck, shoulder, and back while improving mobility. This massage tool increases blood flow and soft tissue microcirculation and helps make the skin healthy.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to hold
That was our list of electric Gua Sha massagers. But there are other tools and devices that you can get your hands on if you want a more traditional Gua Sha experience. Read on to discover Gua Sha tools that you can use on your face for a firm and sculpted skin.
This Jade Roller and Gua Sha Set is just what you need to add an extra zing to your skin care routine. It is a facial skin massager in the shape of a roller that you can use on your eyes, face, and neck to cool, tighten, and relax the skin in these areas. It is handcrafted with real natural jade – a genuine stone with an extremely smooth surface.
If you combine the jade roller with your favorite face cream, it will help your skin absorb the cream better. The package also includes a Gua Sha scraper, which uses a simple but efficient healing technique for your skin.
- Made of natural jade
- Easy to use
- Low maintenance
- Stimulates collagen production
- Boosts elastin for firmer skin
- Helps minimize enlarged pores
The Heart Can Feel Jade Gua Sha Scraping Massage Tool is based on the 2000-year old Chinese technique of Gua Sha. It is made of high-quality jade and is extremely useful in treating acne and wrinkles on the face. The smooth surface helps the tool to slide smoothly over your skin, especially when used in conjunction with a skin care product, such as cream or lotion.
With regular use, you will notice an improvement in your complexion, as your skin gets revitalized and regains its natural acne-free shine. The design of the Gua Sha scraping tool borrows from ancient Chinese healing techniques and has proven benefits of skin tightening, reducing puffiness, and treating fine lines.
- Suitable for use in face and body
- Easy to use
- Helps treat acne and wrinkles
- 100% natural
- Made of real, high-quality jade
- Complimentary ebook included
- Quality control issues.
The Rosejoice Pink Rose Quartz Gua Sha Board is a 3-piece set for those who are really invested in Gua Sha therapy and are looking for something a little more professional. Consider this Gua Sha set an upgrade to your regular scraping and massage tools. It enhances your wellbeing by providing relief from stress, tension, and anxiety.
You will also notice a marked improvement in your skin tone and under-eye puffiness. The tools promote better blood circulation, which also helps with smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are three tools of different shapes in this set, each of which is designed to target different areas on your face.
- Complimentary instructional ebook
- Made of natural pink rose quartz
- Helps in lymphatic drainage
- Easy to use
- Travel-friendly design
- May have different coloring.
As with any other treatment, it helps to be informed about any associated risks and points of caution for your health and well-being. Please note these points before you start a Gua Sha treatment.
Side Effects/Risks Of Gua Sha Therapy
- The procedure is safe and not supposed to be painful. However, it also depends on your tolerance for pain. If done right, the treatment should feel intense but therapeutic.
- Gua Sha is a scraping procedure, so even if you don’t feel pain, your skin will look anything but pretty after treatment. The bruising that appears post-treatment is due to broken capillaries near the skin surface. These marks usually disappear in a few days.
- In some cases, people experience temporary indentation on the skin following a treatment.
- Technicians ought to sanitize their tools between sessions, so as not to transfer any bloodborne illnesses, especially if minor bleeding occurs during the treatment.
- Gua Sha must be avoided by those who have undergone surgery in the last 6 weeks or are under blood thinning medication.
- People with clotting disorders, deep vein thrombosis, an infection, or a wound must also avoid taking Gua Sha therapy.
- If you are unfamiliar with Gua Sha therapy, it would be better to be treated by a certified practitioner who is familiar with your health conditions. It also makes the treatment more productive and reduces unnecessary risks and complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Gua Sha painful?
As stated earlier, Gua Sha is not meant to be painful. The massage may feel a little intense for some people, and this varies depending on the individual’s pain tolerance.
2. Can you do Gua Sha on yourself?
Areas like the middle and lower back, and back of the arms are slightly hard to reach by oneself. You may need assistance using your massage tool for those areas.
3. How often should Gua Sha be done?
That totally depends on your tolerance and requirement. Once a week is perfect, and you need to give your body and muscles time to recover after each session. As for jade rollers and Gua Sha stones on the face, you can use them more frequently.
4. Can Gua Sha cause breakouts?
When you first start Gua Sha on your face, you may notice that the skin is aggravated and breaking out. It is normal; this is just the skin detoxifying itself before moving to recovery.
Gua Sha is certainly a raging beauty trend these days, but the massage benefits for your health are also quite impressive. Make sure to educate yourself before starting any new therapy. That was our round-up of the best Gua Sha massage tools of 2020. Take your pick, consult a certified practitioner, and try any of them to reap the benefits.
- Chen, Tingting et al. “Gua Sha, a press-stroke treatment of the skin, boosts the immune response to intradermal vaccination.” PeerJ vol. 4 e2451. 14 Sep. 2016, doi:10.7717/peerj.2451
- Mohammadi, Shirin et al. “The effects of cupping therapy as a new approach in the physiotherapeutic management of carpal tunnel syndrome.” Physiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy vol. 24,3 (2019): e1770. doi:10.1002/pri.1770
- Saha, Felix J et al. “Gua Sha therapy for chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 34 (2019): 64-69. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.11.002
- Nielsen, Arya et al. “The effect of Gua Sha treatment on the microcirculation of surface tissue: a pilot study in healthy subjects.” Explore (New York, N.Y.) vol. 3,5 (2007): 456-66. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2007.06.001