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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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104 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best gua sha scraping massage tools

Last Updated November 2019

Gua sha scraping massage tools have been popular in China for centuries. In recent years, these beauty and wellness tools have made an appearance in Western cultures, as well. When scraped across the skin in long, firm strokes, these natural healing tools are thought to help improve blood circulation, drain lymph nodes, release muscle tension, and alleviate pain.

Gua sha tools are often made from natural materials such as jade or rose quartz. Before making a purchase, you’ll want to consider the quality of the stone. Also consider how sensitive your skin is and the parts of the body you’ll treat, since there are separate tools for scraping the face and scraping the skin. If you want to use gua sha tools professionally for clients, it’s worth paying for better quality.

To learn more about gua sha scraping massage tools, take a look at our in-depth shopping guide. At BestReviews, we do the research so you can make informed purchases.

Before you use a tool, run your fingers over it to be sure all edges are smooth. A rough or cracked edge could injure the skin.

Key considerations

In Chinese, “gua” roughly translates to “rub” or “scrape.” The term “sha” refers to “sand” or, according to some, the reddish rash that appears on the skin after it is scraped.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that gua sha releases the heat and blocked energy that is responsible for causing illness. The treatment has been used to relieve muscle and joint aches, headaches, respiratory infections, and digestive disorders, among other ailments.

Technique

Gua sha technique involves using the scraping tool to apply long, firm strokes along the body and face. Anything from a spoon to a coin could be used to apply pressure, but as we’ve mentioned, there are tools made explicitly for gua sha scraping. These tools are often made from jade and are smooth and cool to the touch.

Before scraping begins, oil is applied to the body part being treated. The practitioner holds the scraping tool at a 45-degree angle and applies downward pressure to the skin. The strokes may be light or strong, depending on the individual.

Gua sha scraping leaves long, reddish or purple marks on the body. The marks are a sign that the capillaries near the skin surface are bleeding. This is thought to promote blood circulation while also drawing out fluid and toxins.

Body benefits

While gua sha can yield holistic benefits when performed on the body, it can also yield cosmetic benefits for the face. Some think of gua sha facials as a natural facelift. Unlike gua sha for the body, a gua sha facial won’t leave the same aggressive skin markings. The technique is still to apply long strokes, but the strokes are gentler and applied to the face, neck, jawline, and chin.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Those suffering from irritated or broken skin should avoid gua sha treatments. People who take blood thinners, people who bleed easily, and those recovering from surgery should also abstain.

Features

Material

Gua sha scraping massage tools are made from a number of different materials, including the following.

Bian stone: This is as traditional as gua sha tools come. Ancient gua sha practitioners used pointed Bian stones for therapy purposes. Bian stone is not as readily available as other materials, so you may have trouble locating it.

Jade stone: In ancient times, Chinese medicine practitioners who couldn’t afford or access Bian stone would use scraps of jade instead. Today, jade is one of the most popular gua sha scraping tool materials.

Rose quartz: This gemstone is another frequently used gua sha material. Rose quartz is thought to open the heart chakra, releasing tension in that area. The light pink color is rather pleasing to the eye, too, and rose quartz has a satisfying weight to it.

Buffalo horn: This has a similar smooth feel to jade and Bian stone. Of course, the buffalo population is near threatened, so buffalo horn isn’t the most ethical choice, nor is it easy to access. Buffalo horn is also difficult to clean and easy to break.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is another common gua sha scraping tool material. High-quality stainless steel is thought to work just as well as more traditional materials.

Thickness and weight

Since gua sha involves applying broad, firm strokes, you’ll want a tool that’s thick and firm enough to take the pressure. This is more important for gua sha body massages. Facial treatments constitute much lighter pressure.

Pay attention the the weight of the tool, too. A heavier scraping tool means you can apply less pressure, but a lighter tool is easier to scrape across the body.

A note about jade rollers

Jade rollers have similar benefits to facial gua sha tools. They help drain lymph fluid which, when excessive, can increase the appearance of puffiness. Using a jade roller can improve circulation, increase skin firmness, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Jade rolling is less time-consuming than gua sha therapy and a nice on-the-go option if you’re pressed for time. In fact, some gua sha scraping tool sets include a jade roller.

EXPERT TIP

Use a light oil to lubricate the skin before a gua sha massage. The kind of oil you’d use for a body massage will work for gua sha, too.


Staff  | BestReviews

Gua sha scraping massage tool prices

Gua sha scraping massage tool prices range between $2 and $32 depending on the quality of material and the size of the set.

You can find a number of quality gua sha tools under $10. Most of these options are made from jade or rose quartz. On the cheaper end, there are more individual tools and fewer sets. While it’s perfectly possible to use one gua sha tool for the body, it’s beneficial to have a set if you plan on doing gua sha facials. Pieces with smaller ridges can better accommodate the ridges on the face, such as the nose bridge and jawline.

For $10 to $20, you can purchase a multi-piece set. These sets often include a larger scraping tool for the body, a smaller tool for the face, and a jade roller for the face. Along with jade and rose quartz, you’ll encounter gua sha tools made from stainless steel in this price range.

For $20 to $30, you will find gua sha scraping tools of very high quality. Some tools at this price are made of medical-grade stainless steel. You will also find sets with multiple pieces. Few gua sha tools cost greater than $30. Those that do are usually made of the highest quality of jade or stainless steel. However, you don’t need to splurge to get good results.

CAUTION

The neck has delicate arteries and veins. Be sure to not press too hard on these parts of the body with gua sha tools.

Tips

  • For safekeeping, store your gua sha tools in a cool, dry place. A cloth bag is not a bad idea.
  • To clean your gua sha tools, first wipe off any debris. Then, soak the tools in warm water with mild soap for ten minutes. Remove the tools and dry them with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  • To disinfect your gua sha scraping tools, spray them with isopropyl alcohol or, if the material can withstand it, soak them in a 1:10 bleach solution for 20 minutes.

Other products we considered

We’re confident in the quality of the gua sha scraping massage tools we recommend. However, it’s nice to have options. We also like Endiglow’s Stone Needle Gua Sha Board. Buyers appreciate the weight of the tool and the fact that there’s a thick side and a thin side for different parts of the body. This tool is recommended for body massage, particularly of the back, wrists, and neck. It fits snugly in the hand and travels well.

Lopton’s Medical Stain Steel Gua Sha Tool is best for those with leg injuries or soreness. The tool arrives in a small pouch for safekeeping. Despite being somewhat thin, the stainless steel holds up to applied pressure. However, this tool is not recommended for those who haven’t used similar massage tools before.

After a gua sha treatment, one can perform some gentle stretches or soak in a warm bath to further stimulate blood circulation, enhancing gua sha’s effects.

FAQ

Q. Does gua sha treatment hurt?
A.
Gua sha treatment is safe and, when done properly, should not hurt.

Q. Will gua sha cause bruising?
A.
Though red and purple streaks will appear immediately after treatment, these marks should not last. Expect them to fade after a few days.

Q. How often should gua sha treatments be performed?
A.
Gua sha facials are safe to do two to three times a week. Body treatments should be performed as needed (when the body is ill or aching).

Q. Can I perform gua sha treatment on myself?
A.
For a facial treatment, absolutely. For a more intensive body treatment, we recommend asking for assistance — ideally from someone who has done gua sha before.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

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