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Gua Sha Instruments

Gua sha press stroking is applied with a smooth round edged tool.

From practical point of view, any smooth-edged tool is suitable. Historically, in China and Asia even coins and soup porcelain spoons were widely used as devices for press-stroking.

Special Gua sha instruments were made from jade, bian stone or other minerals and metals. As a cheap alternative, a slice of water buffalo horn specifically made for this purpose, was used.

The smoothness of a gua sha instrument allows to press it into the flesh and fascia without damage to the skin. The bluntness should be moderate. While some therapists like a jade or buffalo tools, some of them are excessively blunt and the blunter tool may give more discomfort to the patient.

Typically, it is required to use a skin lubricant or oil. It is applied to the skin and not to the gua sha instrument. Traditionally, peanut oil was widely used. Some therapists in China prefer oil containing blood-moving herbs’ extracts.

From cheaper to more expensive:

ox horn > aquamarine ~ jade ~ bian stone ~ copper, brass tools >>> stainless steel tool

Buffalo Horn

A Starter Choice

While a Chinese porcelain soup spoon or a smooth-edged coin or metal top from a glass jar
are commonly used to perform gua sha, nothing accomplishes the task better than a polished water
buffalo horn tool made specifically for the job.

Take into consideration that one side is a bit thicker than another one and this is good.
ox buffalo horn gua sha tool

Use the rectangle one to start with. The one with one concave side is also excellent.

ox horn gua sha tool for tennis elbow amazon

Pros: cheap, durable and with an appropriate sharpness of the sides (see below about stones).
Cons: resonates not so good with your hands, quite slippery.

Despite the simplicity and low price an ox horn scraper can be used to get relief for tennis elbow.

Read this article (with video) to learn more:

Gua Sha for Tennis Elbow

Stone Gua Sha Tools

Jade, aquamarine, rose quartz, bian stone

They can be so different in shapes in varieties that it's difficult to give a proper advice.

Remember, that bian stone can is also believed to far infrared radiation (FIR) and this is another reason to use it.
jade, rose quartz gua sha tools

Polishing is an important thing to consider when buying a jade gua sha tool. The stone differs in quality and some of jade tools in a cheaper side of a range lack smoothness. That is not because of a bad polishing per se, but because that stone's grade is more inferior.
bian stone gua sha tool

Pros: nice and appealing. Excellent gift. Healing properties of stones on their own.

Cons: quite slippery. They have usually a blunt edge. From a scraping point of view it's not so good. This is a necessity which was brought about by the properties of stones. You can't sharpen them beyond a certain degree - they will just break away. And here is another shortcoming. Stones are extremely fragile - dropping them from a table's height to a wooden floor is unacceptable - they will break.

Metal Gua Sha Instruments

Copper (Brass)

The majority of "copper" tools on the market are made of brass - a copper alloy (zink + copper).
Still, you may find some tools made of pure copper.
brass (copper alloy) gua sha tools

Copper is believed to possess unique healing property and is a good heat dissipating material which is also good, because when you release SHA - you are releasing an internal heat.

Pros: from all of above the metal tools resonate the best. Also, it has a sharper brim which is better technically.
Cons: tarnishes over quite a short period of time. However, it doesn't affect anything.
Put it into a boiling salty water and let it boil for a minute and it will do the trick - you'll get your scraper shining again!

Stainless Steel

The best option if the money are not an issue. However, even for a small budget you can find a decent tool.

As a rule of thumb: don't buy the tools with a very dull edge. You'll need more time and efforts to take SHA out. These piece below - Yin Yang Gua Sha Tools -  are the dullest which you would want buy. The pieces which even duller are not fit.
yin yang stainless steel gua sha tools

Some tools are even possess an anti slippery surface - this is a jackpot. You'll get nice resonation, an appropriate thickness of the edge and less fatigue in your hands in the end of the day.
stainless steel gua sha tools

Pros: good resonation, easy sanitization, adequate sharpness (provided you did your choice well)
Cons: pricey

To recap

How to Choose Gua Sha Tools

Things to consider: shape, material, polishing quality, thickness, section arc (duller or sharper and which side, double beveled or single beveled), cooling, or heating dissipating quality, weight.

Anyway,  it should feel comfortable in the hands of a therapist.

Thin and small gua sha boards are of course cheaper but they require more gripping force, therefore leading quickly to muscles fatigue of a practitioner.

And after few sessions it is a practitioner who needs a trigger point or soft tissue release therapy because of all that hard work exerted by the muscles. If you are providing gua sha treatment regularly you’ll be willing to spend more money on the tools which make you happy during your work. For a sporadic treatment session, a Chinese porcelain soup spoon will do as always did traditionally throughout centuries.
gua sha tools 6191598805656231393

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