Cupping Vs Gua Sha

Cupping vs Gua Sha

As the wellness group director at Find It Health, I’ll give you a thorough comparison of Cupping and Gua Sha, providing reliable and up-to-date health information and solutions.

In this article, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of Cupping and Gua Sha, as well as their similarities and differences.

Cupping Vs Gua Sha: Which Is Better?

The choice between cupping and Gua Sha depends on an individual’s preferences and specific needs.

Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese therapy that uses a smooth-edged jade, ceramic, or quartz tool to scrape your skin in firm and long gentle strokes.

The main goal of Gua Sha is to improve oxygenated blood flow, promote healing, and release muscle tension by relieving the stagnation of qi energy. 

In addition, Gua Sha also helps promote stress relief and relaxation, eliminate wrinkles to improve your skin health, and boost your immune function. Gua Sha treats several medical issues, including nausea, pain, limited movement, coughing, and fever.

On the other hand, Cupping is a therapy technique that creates a suction effect on a patient’s skin using plastic or glass cups. You can achieve this suction effect in different ways, including manual suction, use of heat, or a mechanical device.

Cupping breaks up adhesion that blocks nutrients and qi energy flow to various body parts. This improves blood flow which facilitates healing and removes toxins. Suction also helps reduce muscle tension, promotes relaxation, and alleviates pain. Due to this, cupping helps in treating pains, muscular pain, stress, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases, and many more.

Both of these methods help relieve the flow of qi, effectively promoting relaxation, reducing pain, and improving your general health.


Cupping Benefits

Cupping has several health benefits. These include:

Fights Dermatological Diseases

Those with different skin diseases, including acne, abscesses, herpes, boils, pimples, etc., will benefit from cupping therapy.

Stationary cupping therapy helps create important lymph fluids when fighting bacteria and pathogens.

Eliminates Body Weakness and Boosting Immune Function

Cupping therapy helps a person recover from body fatigue weakness since it helps in opening stiff nerves. After opening the nerves, the blood flows freely to all body parts. In addition, any vessel obstructions causing muscle damage are released. Cupping therapy also enhances athletic performance and recovery.

Treats Fever

Cupping therapy also helps in treating fever. In ancient times, specialists believed that the leading cause of fever was “bad blood.” Therefore, cupping therapy helped them extract this blood to cure the illness. Cupping therapy also helps in boosting cellular immunity.

Prevents Liver Diseases

Cupping therapy helps prevent liver diseases by extracting all the impurities in the blood and removing the stagnant and senile corpuscles. This helps in improving the liver’s productivity and functionality. Furthermore, it also helps in transforming cholesterol metabolically.

Cupping also helps eliminate uric acid, which leads to high acidity levels in your urine and blood when left to build up.

Treats gastrointestinal diseases

Cupping therapy helps in the secretion of vital digestive fluids. This process assists your body in absorbing maximum nutrients better. In addition, this helps increase a person’s appetite as it prevents your bloodstream from absorbing toxic agents.


Gua Sha Benefits

Therapeutic benefits offered by Gua Sha include:

Relieve Chronic Pain

Gua Sha helps in promoting blood flow to the section being scraped. As a result, this helps in decreasing stiffness and pain. Moreover, it’s mainly used to relieve headaches’ tension, back pain, shoulder pain, chronic neck pain, etc. Gua Sha practice also helps in lymphatic drainage by removing the fluid from swollen parts.

Decrease the Appearance of Wrinkles

Improved blood circulation helps your skin appear tighter and diminish wrinkles. Since Gua Sha helps improve blood circulation, this helps improve your skin’s look. It also decreases hyperpigmentation on the treated skin surface.

Improves Diabetic Neuropathy

Gua Sha helps in boosting blood circulation and improves nerve communication. It also helps in reducing Hepatitis B and perimenopausal syndrome symptoms.

Reduce Stress Level

Like several other healing techniques, Gua Sha also offers a calming effect on the nervous system. Its rhythmic and gentle scraping motions help in releasing tight muscle tension. This helps reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve your general health.

Boost Workout Recovery and Performance

Gua Sha helps promote blood circulation. This helps move lactic acid, which accumulates after workouts, thus preventing its buildup.

Helps in Detoxification

Gua Sha boosts the lymphatic system, which is important in eliminating toxins and waste from your body. This improves detoxification.


Drawbacks Of Each Technique

1. Gua Sha Technique

  • Leaves on the skin dark purple or red bruises, irritation, and bruising, although it’s temporary
  • Tiny blood vessels (capillaries) near the skin’s surface may burst.
  • The bruise caused during the process is painful, causing discomfort.
  • It can lead to inflammation and the spread of infection when the technique is applied to regions with ulcers, boils, or rashes.
  • During Gua Sha, there is a risk of breaking the skin’s tissues. This can cause infections if the skin or tools are not properly sterilized.
  • Some clients get temporary skin indentation.
  • The pressure applied during the process can be painful and uncomfortable.
  • Gua Sha technique can’t be applied to the eyes, lips, ear holes, tongue, nipples, nostrils, and belly button.

2. Cupping Technique


Facial Cupping Vs Gua Sha

1. Movement

The movement technique used for these two therapies remains the key to attaining the desired results. Facial cupping involves a continuous gliding motion on the face surface using suction. This helps in drawing blood to the cup and then freeing it. Facial cupping concentrates more on downward movements. 

On the other hand, Gua Sha’s therapy utilizes long and directional strokes. The scraping is done upwards and helps to disseminate blood flow.

2. Skin Type

People with sensitive skin, rosacea, or active acne should avoid facial cupping since it can lead to breaking your skin. Furthermore, people regularly exposed to direct or harsh sunlight should avoid facial cupping. 

People with dry skin should avoid Gua Sha since it will further scrap them. Moreover, always use face massage oil for lubrication and nourishment.

3. Material Used

Facial cupping therapy utilizes small cups built using medical grade Silicone material, while Gua Sha therapy utilizes precious stones like Jade, Quartz, etc., to sculpt the affected area.

4. Results

Facial cupping helps increase blood circulation (oxygen-rich) to treat acne, boost collagen production, help in detoxification, boost the immune system, and improve workout performance and recovery.

In contrast, Gua Sha helps smoothen wrinkles and fine lines, relieves chronic pain, reduces stress levels, boosts workout performance, and aids in detoxification.

5. Frequency of Use

Do not have facial cupping more than twice a week since over-cupping leads to sagging, while Gua Sha should be done at least three times a week to get the desired outcomes. Gua Sha therapy is best either in the morning to decrease puffiness or at night to relax your muscles.


Gua Sha And Cupping Similarities

  • Both these ancient techniques involve manual techniques on the skin using specific equipment to offer therapeutic effects.
  • Cupping and Gua Sha techniques are focused on optimizing blood circulation in your body. Gua Sha includes scraping your skin surface to help stimulate blood flow, while cupping creates suction, pulling blood to your skin surface.
  • Cupping and Gua Sha are natural healing manual therapies that promote your general well-being.
  • Gua Sha uses scraping and cupping techniques to promote lymphatic drainage and improve the movement of toxins and fluid from the affected area.
  • Both of these massage techniques are practices that Traditional Chinese Medicine used several years ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gua Sha scraping the same as cupping?

No, cupping and Gua Sha scraping aren’t the same techniques. Both therapies have similar effects, such as improving blood circulation, relieving pain, and removing toxins. However, they have different methods and use different tools.

Is cupping or scraping better?

Whether cupping or scraping is better depends on what needs to be achieved, such as an individual’s situation and personal preferences. Both of these two techniques have their distinct advantages. Cupping helps decrease inflammation and promotes relaxation, while Gua Sha helps diminish wrinkles, reduce stress levels, eliminate pain, etc.


In a comprehensive study conducted by Find It Health, it was found that cupping relies on suction generated by cups placed on top of the skin. On the other hand, Gua Sha is a natural healing tool that scrapes the skin gently with a smooth-edged flat tool

Both techniques have their advantages and drawbacks. While cupping is known to help with chronic pain, muscle tension, and the release of toxins from the body, Gua Sha offers a more direct approach by releasing tightness in connective tissues–resulting in improved mobility and relief. Ultimately, individuals need to research both techniques and make an informed decision about which technique is best for them.

Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
small find it health logo browser icon


Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches