Gua Sha

Gua Sha Therapy
Cherry Blossoms

Gua Sha Melts Away Tension and Supports Your Upper Airways

Gua Sha is more than a hands on therapy, it’s a healing ritual. We start your gua sha treatment by applying massage oil to the area, then we use a stone tool to gently scrape across the skin of the affected area. Gua Sha releases tension, increases blood flow, and alleviates pain and inflammation.

The benefits of gua sha go beyond just pain relief, however. We use it for support with lung conditions such as allergies, asthma, the common cold, symptoms of long-COVID, and even for migraine prevention.

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts acupuncturist performing Gua Sha therapy on a women laying on her back
  • Lengthens and releases connective tissue and fascia
  • Resolves scar tissue
  • Promotes healing in old injuries
  • Blocks pain pathways
  • Releases muscle tension
  • Increases circulation

Gua Sha Benefits

Gua Sha is a wonder technique to release adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layers. The motion of pushing or scraping across the skin forces adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layer to release, which relieves pain and increases microcirculation allowing the area to properly heal.


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Gua sha releases adhesions to promote faster healing and pain relief.

Gua Sha Treatments

Gua Sha is performed by first applying massage oil to the affected area, then moving the tool in a pushing or scraping motion across the skin. This motion forces adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layer to release, which relieves pain and increases circulation allowing the area to properly heal.

Acupuncture and Gua Sha

If you’re in pain, our acupuncturists will often use a combination of gua sha and acupuncture to treat your symptoms. This combination delivers the best results: short term pain relief and circulation increase through gua sha, and addressing deeper issues and promoting long term healing with acupuncture. This combination may also help block pain sensing pathways.

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Combining acupuncture with gua sha delivers the best results.

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Cupping is like a deep tissue massage, but in reverse.

Cupping and Gua Sha

Cupping and gua sha are treatments with similar therapeutic effects. Because the benefits of cupping and gua sha are similar, there are times when we combine them to release pain and tension from your muscles with precision. For example, we may place cups on the back and then gua sha your neck. This will release your entire spine and help alleviate pain and tension.

Relief After One Session

PMNeck Gua Sha

I felt great relief after just one session of Gua Sha

After a few months of working from home, I started experiencing a tension and pain in my neck that I'd not felt before. I couldn't find any stretch that seemed to help, but I felt great relief after just one session of Gua Sha with Zach. The treatment released all of the tension from my neck and I felt better immediately. While I admit to feeling hesitant after hearing Gua Sha first described as scraping, the treatment wasn't painful at all, and was actually quite relaxing!

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What We Treat

Gua Sha is a great hands on therapeutic tool to treat chronic and acute pain, but the benefits don’t stop there. Gua Sha is also helpful to alleviate stress and tension. Gua Sha is also great for treating lung issues such as asthma and the common cold, especially when combined with customized herbal medicine.

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Chronic and Acute Pain

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Mental Health

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Fertility and Perinatal Care

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Women’s Health

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Internal Medicine

Cherry Blossoms

Conditions We Treat With Cupping and Gua Sha

Gua Sha is one technique our acupuncturists use for immediate pain relief, whether the condition is chronic (like long-term neck pain) or acute (a migraine). Gua Sha is also especially effective at helping resolve issues with the lungs, such as asthma:

Back Pain

Gua Sha for back pain offers instant relief! Gua Sha can relieve muscle knots from tension as well as treat severe back pain like sciatica. For muscle knots, our acupuncturists will apply gua sha on your upper back and scapula, while for sciatica, they’ll work on the lower back for pain relief.

Neck Pain

We’re now a society that spends a lot of time hunched over our computers or phones, and our necks suffer the consequences. We call that pain and stiffness “tech neck.”

Gua Sha for neck pain can help. Our acupuncturists are experts when it comes to releasing your trapezius muscle (which runs between the shoulder and neck) and along the scapula with gua sha. This will reduce tension, increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness, and alleviate pain.


Gua Sha for headaches is one part of a multifaceted approach to head pain. Our acupuncturists will treat the face with gua sha on the forehead and cheeks—this feels wonderful for sinus headaches in particular. In addition, many headaches have a neck component. If this is the case, our acupuncturists will also gua sha the neck and upper back. This will serve to promote blood flow, reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and release serotonin.


Migraines are the worst. The pain quality is often throbbing and patients can experience nausea and sensitivity to light.  For migraines, gua sha can not only treat active migraines but also help to prevent future migraines. Our acupuncturists can reduce pain and help you recover from a current migraine with gua sha. It can also help reduce the triggers that cause migraines—like stress or lack of sleep—by alleviating tension and harmonizing the body.


Our acupuncturists can use gua sha on your back to open your chest and help you breathe easier. Gua Sha has been shown to improve pulmonary function and increase blood flow. Additionally, our herbal medicine can help reduce seasonal allergies, which can exacerbate asthma.

Colds & Flu

Gua Sha for cold and flu excels at preventing severe and lingering symptoms. The first symptom of cold and flu is often body aches in the upper back and neck; gua sha are excellent at resolving these body aches.

Treating these early symptoms with gua sha reduces their severity and can help prevent the symptoms from growing into something more serious—such as a full sinus infection or bronchitis. In addition, our herbal medicine can help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.


Unfortunately, anxiety can cause tension and pain throughout the body. Most people find that stress and/or anxiety go immediately to their neck and shoulders. Gua Sha can do wonders for this tension. Patients really enjoy the experience of gua sha and feel instantly relaxed after their treatment.

Gua Sha Treatment at Cherry Blossom Healing Arts

Your Acupuncture Treatment Plan

Your journey to better health begins before you step through our doors. You'll be able to easily schedule an appointment online as well as fill out your health history form before you arrive at our office—maximizing conversational and treatment time with your acupuncturist.

At your first appointment, your acupuncturist will discuss your health history, get input from you on what your treatment goals are, and develop a treatment plan. They'll then treat you using whatever services are best suited to your specific symptoms.

Although plans vary depending on the patient, most typically run for four weeks. At the end of your first visit, your acupuncturist will give you a written treatment plan. At subsequent visits, you'll discuss your symptoms and whether they've improved, regressed, or stayed the same. Your acupuncturist will adjust the treatment plan based on your input and their ongoing diagnosis of your condition.

When your main complaint is resolved, you can reduce treatment or work on another symptom. Still thinking it over? Take a look at our Testimonials page to see what other patients are saying. 

Experience Targeted Pain Relief with Gua Sha

Gua Sha feels like luxurious self-care and provides targeted pain relief. That immediate, precise relief is coupled with physical effects that help your body to heal faster. It gives strong symptom relief over several days and can help you forget about your tech neck, back pain, headaches, and migraines.

Are you looking for pain relief? Head to our Booking page and schedule your first appointment.

We’re in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross, Aetna, and Cigna and are happy to check your insurance benefits for you.

Be well,
The Cherry Blossom Team

Cherry Blossom Healing Arts
Cherry Blossom Healing Arts - logo
Open 7 days a week:
Mon 10:45 am – 8:00 pm
Tue 10:45 am – 8:00 pm
Wed 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thu 9:45 am – 8:00 pm
Fri 8:15 am – 5:15 pm
Sat 8:15 am – 5:15 pm
Sun 9:45 am – 7:00 pm

2639 Connecticut Ave NW
Suite C-101
Washington, DC 20008
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