Gua Sha Cellulite Treatment: Forgotten Remedy Or Useless Therapy?

Hi there, looking into whether a Gua Sha cellulite treatment will make your dimples almost disappear? Well, you are in for a treat because this article is packed with eye-opening facts about the ridiculously simple Gua Sha therapy, and how it can help your trouble areas.

Lady on beach with long legs

Gua Sha Cellulite Treatment: Start To Finish

The treatment has a bunch of names: scraping, spooning, coining, and about half a dozen more. That’s because it can be performed using a spoon, a coin, and so on.

The therapy has its roots in ancient China. Doctors and medical specialists used it to heal pretty much anything – even before western medicine made it’s way over there. And anything means virtually everything: it was used to heal muscle pain, colds, headaches, and much more.

Without going too far into the esoteric world of Asian medicine, Gua Sha therapy releases energy that was not flowing freely in certain parts of your body.

Your discomfort, or cellulite, in this case, is believed to come from your “Qui” or “life energy” being blocked. Hence the accumulation of fat, toxins, and water. Gua Sha was the antidote back then – and it still works today. The key is knowing what it works for so you can use it accordingly.

Scraping is a very simple concept that has remarkable results. The Gua Sha tools come in many shapes and forms (as you will see below). The tools are used to virtually scrape along your body, always in the same direction and pattern, to increase the blood flow in the upper and the deeper layers of your skin, fat, and muscles.

The results are a strong stimulation of the blood flow, metabolism, lymphatic system and skin tissue. Toxins come to the surface, as does blood that hasn’t circulated well. The results are marks that look like some pretty bad bruises. You might look like you just took a bunch of punches – but those marks go away fast, don’t worry.

Today Gua Sha is used to treat many skin conditions and muscle issues. For example, Gua Sha facials are gaining traction in holistic clinics across the world because it effectively reduces wrinkles. It’s also being used by many athletes to relieve muscle tension and even speed up recovery (I’ve done so myself).

Headaches and colds can benefit from Gua Sha as well – although that’s more complicated and requires a professional.

It is a very suitable treatment for cellulite for the above-mentioned reasons. I’ve found many women who attribute their better-looking skin (and more) to this old-school method. Like so often in life, simple often works best.

Gua Sha cellulite treatment and facial

What Does An Effective Gua Sha Cellulite Treatment Look Like?

Have the Right Tools

There are three main categories that influence the quality of your tools. Those are shape, material, and size.


There are a bunch of different shapes for tools. The most common ones are a half-moon, fish-like, and S-shaped. Which one is the best? There’s no ultimate better shape here. It comes down to what you want to use the tools for.

However, after speaking to a number of practitioners I would recommend the S-shaped models. The reason for that is the versatility. The half-moon and fish-shaped models tend to limit themselves to one or two blade sides so you will not be able to use them for certain areas.

The S-shaped models offer a nice varieté of blade sizes, so you will have the most flexibility with them.


Materials range from plastic to wood, stone, metal, agate, rose quartz, buffalo horn, and more. Let’s take a look at them:

Plastic is a great option if you are on a tight budget. The tools are easy to get almost anywhere and as easy to use as any other material. And it won’t break in case it falls. The negatives of plastic are

1. It may not feel very good on your skin. Many people have told me that it felt rough AND that it became slippery to hold with their hand.

2. Plastic Gua Sha instruments usually tend to be easier to bend and also weigh less – which makes them a little harder to use because you’ll have to apply more manual pressure to get results.

Wood: There is a bunch of different types of wood that can be used to make these tools, pick your favorite. It’s a little more expensive than plastic, but I found it to feel A LOT better on my skin when scraping. Wood is easier to hold as well.

Cons: It’s lighter than other alternatives, meaning you might have to exercise some more force of your own. And wooden tools are prone to cracking if they fall.

Stone: My personal favorite. Again, a little more expensive than wood but I think its worth it. It is a harder material than wood and you definitely feel it digging into your skin better. It is also heavier than the other two alternatives so it uses gravity more.

Con: It’s rather fragile, so try not to drop it.

Metal: will be cold on your skin at first. It feels very similar to stone, except it seems to glide across your skin with more ease because it has a smoother surface.

These models will cost more, but they are worth the money for the quality AND for their durability. These won’t break if they fall and they will last you a lifetime. Metal Gua Sha tools can come in various shapes because of the ease of molding metal.

Agate, Rose Quartz, and Buffalo Horn are all just as good as the materials mentioned above – if not better. These will be more expensive options, and you will find that every material feels a little different to you.

If you feel like experimenting to find the gem that works the best for you I can only encourage you to do so. If you are not looking to spend too much money on tools, you will do just fine with plastic, wood, or metal.

PS: Some people experience reactions to certain materials. If that happens to you, extend your feelers to find the right one.

Another thing to note is that, during the act of passing the tool across your skin, it will feel like an uneven landscape to your guiding hand (and potentially to the area as well). That’s normal.

You will feel more vibrations from the landscape with plastic and wood than with stone and metal because they are less dense and transmit vibrations easier.

Essential oils and Gua Sha tools


This is rather simple. The smaller the tool, the less space you will have to hold on to. I’d recommend medium to large-sized tools for comfort. I almost got thumb cramps when using tiny tools because I had to grab them very tight to avoid them from slipping out of my hand!

The one exception I would make is if you like to carry them around with you. If you want your tool on the go, a small size is absolutely valid – it will be light and handy.

The Actual Gua Sha Treatment – How to get it right for cellulite

Critical factors that you need to take into consideration when performing Gua Sha are the following: The direction, How much pressure you use, Knowing when to stop, and How knowing painful it should be.

Apply oil:
Pick your favorite oil or lotion and apply it to your skin before applying the tools. You don’t want to damage your skin by skipping this step.

The Direction:
A simple yet effective way to make sure that you’re doing it right is this: Always lead away from the center of the body. If you are working on your legs for your cellulite – scrape from top to bottom. If you are working on cellulite on your arms – scare from top to bottom.

An exception applies to your face. There, the middle of your eyebrows represents the center and the tools should be applied by starting close to that middle and moving outward.

How Much Pressure is right?
There’s no specific right or wrong answer here. It goes hand in hand with your pain tolerance. Apply enough pressure with the stump blade to make the skin move when it passes over it. You want to be closer to feeling pain than not feeling anything at all. Experiment to find your sweet spot.

Know When To Stop
A great indicator to know when you have reached a fair point of your Gua Sha treatment is when you feel the area really heat up. It won’t take more than a couple minutes.

You’ll find numerous red spots, and very possibly some blue and yellow bruising. These are great signs of toxins coming to the surface to be escorted to exit – and It’ll look much worse than it is.

Don’t try to be a hero and massacre your skin until everything is blue. While you mean well, that’s taking it a bit too far. It’s actually counter-productive.

How Painful should it be?
Barely any pain. It’s fine if you feel some discomfort but it should not be jaw tightening or actually painful. The effectiveness of Gua Sha (for cellulite or anything else), comes from the repeated stimulation of one specific area and not from the pressure alone.

More repetition with less pressure is better than a strong few.

Do You need a Professional to do it?
Like with most things, a professional will do a better job than you trying to follow youtube videos. There’s no risk in doing it yourself, just a longer wait for results. I suggest you search for someone with experience in Chinese medicine and with some experience. If you absolutely don’t want to, you can do it on your own.

How much does Gua Sha for cellulite cost?
Treatments usually cost around $30 (U.S.) for 30 minutes. These vary A LOT by location so please inform yourself. Tools can range from as low as $6 to as high as $80. The better the material, the more it will cost. You’ll often get a pack of several shapes and sizes, which is nice.

Hot stones after a cellulite treatment

What happens in your body?

There’s a lot of things happening at once during this thousand-year-old treatment. It works many layers, from your skin to your deep muscles.

You Skin is stimulated in all layers and blood circulation increases. That wakes your lymphatic system up, fills smaller vessels with more blood than usual ( this is a good thing), and it moves your fat cells around. By bringing toxins and bad stuff to the surface it places them in the ideal place to be removed by the activated lymph system (AKA your body’s detox highway).

Health Risks and Side Effects from Gua Sha – How to be safe

This is a very safe treatment in most cases. However it’s important to know when NOT to perform the treatment, and what to avoid:

  • Don’t scrape over pimples, moles, wounds, scratches, bad veins, rashes, or any other skin deficiency. It does not matter how small it is; just don’t do it. You’ll make your skin prone to inflammation and infection. If the area is small enough you can hold a finger down onto it to avoid it.
  • It is not recommended during pregnancy.
  • It is not recommended for people who are weak or frail (think old age, after surgery, or barely recovering from being sick).
  • It is not recommended for people with bleeding disorders.
  • Make sure to clean the tools if you are sharing them.
  • Last but not least, having is recommended if you’re doing it on a hairy area (not today ingrown hairs!).

The obvious side effects are the bruising marks. They’ll go away.

Final Thoughts On Gua Sha: Cellulite Treatment Or Useless Therapy?

It absolutely helps – but it’s NOT a cure-all.

Very few women see their cellulite gone from just Gua Sha. What helped me get a good feel for how useful it really is, was finding out what it does and what it does not do. Here’s a breakdown:

Gua Sha helps Cellulite because it increases blood circulation that leads to…

  • Lymphatic detox – your natural lymph system is activated and starts detoxing the area
  • The deep heat from the treatment stimulates collagen production and smoothens your tissues. That means smoother skin and fewer wrinkles. (Hence the popularity of Gua Sha facials.)

The one Major shortcoming it that Gua Sha Does Not Remove fat – a major cellulite instigator.

You probably know this, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to work on losing fat alongside ANY cellulite treatment.

A Gua Sha cellulite treatment is a great way to improve dimples, but don’t put all your eggs into this one basket because it’s an incomplete approach.

Cellulite is a complex issue, and it must be treated from a variety of angles.
That’s why a healthy lifestyle will definitely help prevent and reverse your cellulite to a certain degree. It will also improve your body’s ability to heal itself (great overall bonus).

Remember, you cannot fully remove your cellulite – but you CAN make it almost disappear. Gua Sha is a great affordable alternative.

I hope you found this article useful! If so, please share it with someone who could benefit from it as well – and maybe take a look at some of my other posts 🙂 I’d be happy to answer any questions, concerns, or thank you notes! Just comment below.

To your confidence,