Muscle Scraping – What Benefits Do You Get from Scraping Muscles?

muscle scraping

Which is the major target of gym-goers and athletes? Their common goal is to ensure optimal performance of the muscles. However, there are several ways of manipulating muscle tissues, and one of them is muscle scraping. It will alleviate knots, promote blood flow, and provide several other benefits.

What is muscle scraping?

Guasha, Gua Sha, or muscle scraping, is an ancient technique prevalent in the Chinese medical field. The therapeutic technique had its origin during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in 1300. The term, Gua Sha, is derived from Chinese words. Gua represents the act of scraping away, while Sha stands for energy blockage.

There is a special way of implementing this ancient muscle manipulation technique. It involves the use of a tool like animal horns and jade stone. By smoothening and lubricating the stone with oil, the specialists used to scrape the stone across the skin in a particular direction. The repeated action of scraping helps with better blood circulation and reduces the troubles of the patient. Thus, the major concept is to increase the blood flow for faster healing.

Today, certified practitioners apply the technique with a few modifications. They use a hard plastic tool or smooth metal as the muscle scraping tools. They press it properly into your lubricated muscle tissues. That is why the affected parts will have faster healing due to better blood flow.

muscle scraper tool - muscle scraper
muscle scraper tool – muscle scraper

Nowadays, several CrossFit athletes are familiar with this technique. 

What does muscle scraping do?

By scraping the tool back and forth over your muscles, the scraping therapy minimizes muscle restrictions and soft tissue restrictions. 

Scraping is highly effective for patients having scar tissues, strained muscles, and fascia restrictions. The therapy ensures a better blood perfusion volume while raising the temperature level of the scraped part. 

What benefits do you get from scraping muscles?

Muscle scraping is beneficial to you in several ways.

1. Fight against inflammation

Inflammation is one of the major problems causing different health issues. The choice of wrong diets and some other factors can result in inflammation. In fact, inflammation is a natural response of your body to an injury. However, chronic inflammation may cause long-term issues.

Researchers have revealed that scraping therapy is best for reducing body inflammation. Our body has a special enzyme, known as heme oxygenase-15, and it can prevent inflammation. But, after scraping muscles, there is a release of this enzyme, and it passes throughout your body to cause an anti-inflammatory effect. 

2. Relieve your pain

Scientific studies have revealed that the technique of muscle scraping is effective in reducing post-workout pain and inflammation. Several patients with neck pain have undergone this scraping therapy and found a positive result after a week. 

3. Promote a range of motion

To get a better range of motion, you can rely on the Gua Sha technique. As it helps with blood circulation, you will find a positive effect on the range of motion. Moreover, the therapy will reduce your scar tissue and ensure better health of the tendon. It is the safest way of restoring soft tissue after an injury.


Muscle scraping can treat different medical conditions

1. Hepatitis B

This viral infection can result in liver damages, liver inflammation, and liver scarring problems. With Gua Sha, you can alleviate liver inflammation symptoms.

According to some evidence, patients treated with Gua Sha found a reduction of liver enzymes after 2 to 3 days. Thus, scientists think that this therapy can cure liver inflammation problems. You can lower the chance of liver damages with this therapy.

2. Neck pain

Gua Sha can be a natural remedy for your chronic neck aching problems. To detect the effectiveness level of the therapy, scientists have tried to compare it with a thermal heating solution. Those who had undergone the muscle scraping therapy found less neck pain.

3. Migraine headaches

In some cases, when OTC medications are not effective for treating your migraine headache, you can rely on the Gua Sha technique. You may need to continue the therapy for two weeks to find the desired results for your migraine headache.

4. Breast engorgement

Several breastfeeding women encounter the problem of breast engorgement. When your breasts are overfilled with milk, it can cause this issue. Moms who are away from their babies for some reason cannot feed them. It will result in breast engorgement symptoms. Swollen breasts can become painful. But it is a temporary problem, and you can treat it with Gua Sha.

5. Perimenopause disorder

Women who are going to have menopause may have this syndrome. Some common symptoms are-

  • Irregular periods
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Hot flashes
  • Fatigue

Gua Sha has some potential to reduce perimenopause syndrome. You can undergo this treatment for at least 15 minutes every week and combine it with other therapies. 

6. Tourette 

It is another condition when you have involuntary movements like vocal outbursts, facial tics, and throat clearing. But, to ensure the desired effectiveness, you need to apply other therapies together with muscle scraping. For instance, you can combine acupuncture with the Gua Sha to get the best outcome. 

Can scraping therapy help with better muscle performance?

Scientific studies have revealed that a professional way of scraping muscles can boost weightlifting performance. Normal weightlifting training programs involve the use of deadlifts and barbell squats.

With scraping therapy, you gain the capability of lifting more weight without fatigue. Moreover, there is an effect on some biochemical markers, like Immuno-globulin A. That is why you can notice the immune response of your body. The therapy also decreases the level of urea in your blood and reduces protein breakdown.

Cardiovascular muscles and scraping therapy

Muscle scraping has the potential to restore normal heart rate. You will find better heart rate variability with this scraping technique. As the blood plasma level increases, your cardiovascular muscles will perform better. Moreover, your endurance level will be high since your heart will need to work less.

Some scientific researchers have revealed the effectiveness of using muscle scraping tools for cardiovascular health. Still, more studies are necessary to ensure that the scraping technique will work for both men and women.

gua sha
gua sha

Does Gua Sha have any side effects?

Gua Sha causes the bursting of small blood vessels close to your skin’s surface. It results in purple and red bruises (Sha). However, within a few days, these bruises will go away. The part can become tender. Some patients take OTC painkillers like ibuprofen. It will help you in reducing swelling and pain.

You may need to be careful to prevent any effect on the bruised part. The application of the ice pack will lower the inflammation level and relieve your pain.

Gua Sha specialists take the right step to avoid any risk. In some cases, there is a risk of broken skin, which can cause infection. Thus, Gua Sha consultants have to use sterilized tools for every treatment.

Gua Sha may not be safe for those-

  • who bleed very easily
  • who have problems like vein thrombosis 
  • who take blood-thinning medications
  • who have a tumor, infection, and wound 
  • having skin-related medical conditions 
  • who have an implant recently like a pacemaker 

Is it safe to apply a DIY technique for scraping muscles?

Muscle scraping is safe to perform at your home. You need to use a muscle scraper to apply this technique. The muscle scraper is best when you have muscle knots and stiffness in different parts.

The process may not be painful. However, the process can affect the look of your skin. As you need to rub the skin with a scraping tool, you may find some minor side effects.

You have now learned about the benefits of the ancient technique- muscle scraping. This technique will be helpful in treating different medical conditions. A few patients have found side effects. Overall, the treatment is safe for you.

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