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  • Kelly Hora, MAc MS Bluestem Acupuncture, LLC

Wringing out the Towel: Gua Sha reduces hot flashes & insomnia during menopause

A recent study concludes that Gua Sha is a safe and effective therapy

for perimenopausal symptoms and improved quality of life.

Eighty women with perimenopausal syndrome were randomized into an intervention group or a control group. Participants in the intervention group received 15-minute Gua Sha treatment sessions once a week plus conventional treatment for 8 weeks. The control group only received conventional treatment for 8 weeks.

After eight sessions women who received Gua Sha showed a significant reduction in hot flash/sweating, paresthesia, insomnia, nervousness, melancholia, fatigue, and headache compared to the control group.

Gua sha is a healing modality used in traditional Chinese medicine and similar to massage. Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called 'sha'. Research shows that Gua Sha produces an anti-inflammatory response leading to increased range of motion and decreased pain and also initiates an immune protective effect.

Gua Sha is an essential part of my tool box!

I use it frequently treat pain, headaches, early stages of cold/flu, menopause symptoms, and asthma. Smooth edges of bone or jade were traditionally used, however my favorite Gua Sha tool is this smooth jar lid that fits perfectly in my hand and can be properly sterilized or disposed for use in modern clinic and hospital settings.

To learn more read our Gua Sha FAQs


Meng F, Duan PB, Zhu J, Lou QQ, Fang ZH, An HL, Liu LY, Hu Y, Hu Q. Effect of Gua sha therapy on perimenopausal syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2017 Mar;24(3):299-307

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