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Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Sep 2018| Content last modified Sep 2018
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Scraping (a manipulative and body-based practice), also called gua sha, involves rubbing a dull implement across lubricated (oiled or wet) skin, usually on the back, neck, or extremities. Recently, scraping has become popular in athletics, particularly weight lifting. Scraping is believed to increase blood flow to an area and enhance metabolism and healing (1). Depending on the tool used, scraping may also be called coining or spooning.

These therapies have been studied in musculoskeletal disorders, headaches, and perimenopausal symptoms.

Scraping can cause ecchymoses.


  • 1. Xu QY, Yang JS, Yang L, et al: Effects of different scraping techniques on body surface blood perfusion volume and local skin temperature of healthy subjects. J Tradit Chin Med.31(4):316-20, 2011.

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