Gua Sha TCM Singapore
Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing

Gua Sha TCM Singapore - Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha (pronounced "gwa shah,") refers to an East Asian healing technique. To "Gua" means to "scrape or rub". "Sha" on the other hand, is a 'reddish, elevated, millet-like skin rash' (aka petechiae). Sha describes the blood stasis in the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised as petechiae. Gua Sha is one technique that intentionally raises the Sha rash or petechiae.

When is Gua Sha best used?

Gua Sha is appropriately used whenever a patient has pain that is associated with either acute or chronic pain/disorder. Most patients complain of aching pain, tenderness or a tight, knotting pain in their muscles.

With palpation, sha reveals with normal finger pressure on a patient's skin causes blanching that is slow to disappear/fade away. On top of helping to resolve muscle and body pain, gua sha is used to treat and prevent:

  • common cold
  • flu
  • bronchitis
  • asthma
  • chronic conditions that is painful
  • congestion of qi and/or blood
  • and more

Gua Sha TCM Singapore - Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing
Gua Sha is effective to:

  • Reduce fever (the technique was used to treat cholera previously)
  • Treat fatigue that is caused by exposure to heat (often used to treat heat-stroke)
  • Treat fatigue that is caused by exposure to cold
  • Cough and dyspnea: bronchitis, asthma, emphysema.
  • Treat muscle and tendon injuries and pain 
  • Push sluggish circulation, fibromyalgia.
  • Treat headaches
  • Treat sunstrokes / heat syncope and nausea.
  • Treat stiffness, pain, immobility.
  • Treat digestive problems and disorders.
  • Treat urinary, gynecological disorders.
  • To assist with reactions to food poisoning.

Where is Gua Sha applied on my body?

Sha is applied primarily the body's surface that is rich with Yang - the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs. At the discretion of the TCM Physician, Gua Sha may be applied at the chest and abdomen.

Gua Sha TCM Singapore - Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing
How is Gua Sha done?

To apply gua sha, the area first needs to be lubricated with oil to prevent friction burn and help with the scraping process. If you do not have gua sha oil, you can also use White Flower oil or any other oil.

We will avoid moles, cuts or unhealed areas by covering them. The gua sha tool will be held at a 30 degrees angle to the skin, and the smooth edge will touch your skin. You skin will then be rubbed with a round-shaped instrument with downward strokes.

We will start stroking with one area until we have raised the petechiae on that surface is sufficiently raised. If there is no blood stasis the petechiae will not form and the skin will only turn pink.

Gua Sha stroke areas

The targeted skin is rubbed with gua sha strokes in downward strokes using a consistent, moderate pressure. The patient should not feel any pain, but they may feel slight superficial discomfort on the skin. One area is stroked at a time, until the petechia of the surface is completely raised and all the sha is up, where stroking no longer increases the number of dots or changes in color. Only then we move onto the next area.

The sha petechiae usually fade between 2-4 days. If it takes longer time to fade, it may indicate a more serious problem of deficiency that may require additional treatments with combination of acupuncture or acupressure in specific areas.

Gua sha treatments can be done up to three times a week, and is most effective and sustainable when used as a weekly treatment for chronic conditions.

Gua Sha TCM Singapore - Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing
Does the Sha Indicate Anything?

The color of the sha is used for both diagnostic and prognostication purposes.

  • Very light, it may indicate a possibility of blood deficiency
  • Fresh red, it shows recent penetration
  • Dark purple or black, the blood stasis is long-standing
  • Brown, it may be that one's blood is dry
  • Dark red, it indicates heat and heatiness

What are the benefits of Gua Sha?

Most of the time, patients will feel an almost immediate shift in their conditions, particularly in their previous experience of pain or decreased mobility.

Gua Sha moves congested/blocked Qi and blood, and releases the Exterior in forms of mimicking processes such as perspiration and wastes fluids movement. In a modern biomedical perspective, it means to move fluids that contains metabolic wastes that blocks and congests the surface tissues and muscles.

Gua Sha promotes circulations and causes the normalization of metabolic processes. It is a valuable treatment for both external and internal pains, and helps to resolve both acute and chronic problems.

Gua Sha TCM Singapore - Light Bruising For Blood Flow and Healing
But Is Gua Sha Safe?

Gua Sha is a completely safe medical technique, but it is a serious medicine - knowing when to use it and what to expect from treatment is as important as good technique.

People who suffer and live in chronic pain often unintentionally build strong emotional defenses to cope with the pain. Many live their lives in complete helplessness and hopelessness. Often, having their pain "touched" and relieved can be quite unnerving and unsettling, even shocking.

After gua sha, the patient needs to moderate their activities, even their rest. Patients are advised to avoid drugs, alcohol, sex, feasting, hard labor (including working out) and the need to fast for the rest of the day. In other words, patient needs to mellow and rest. 

Gua Sha TCM Singapore >> Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Page

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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

Areas of specialization

  • physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
  • hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
  • podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
  • read more on our specializations here

All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.

Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover. They then provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations.

As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth, but you can also make an appointment without seeing any doctors (that being said, if you do need a referral to a specialist orthopedic surgeon or sports GP, we will recommend you too as value added service at no additional costs to you).

The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver (we are proud to say that we try our best to only engage the most experienced and specialist therapists - which makes a big difference in clinical outcomes).

The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at +6588001830 or email, thanks!

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Acupuncture TCM
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Gua Sha TCM
Falls Prevention Physiotherapy
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Heat Physiotherapy
Home Physiotherapy
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Interferential Physiotherapy
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Physiotherapy Singapore
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TENS Physiotherapy
Tension Headaches Physiotherapy
Thermal Physiotherapy
Traction Back Physiotherapy
Trigger Point Physiotherapy
Ultrasound Physiotherapy
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Finally I know what I have, my pain decreased and now I'm back to work!

Regional Sales Manager

OMG. The pain levels in my hands have dropped dramatically, about 60-70%


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