Behind the Bruising: What the Heck is Gua Sha?

What’s black and blue and sore all over? Me, after a nice long Gua Sha muscle therapy sesh!! Aye…


After posting a pretty controversial pic on social media showcasing the brutal aftermath of my recent Gua Sha muscle therapy session, I figured I’d have the muscle pro himself do some explaining! Especially since the bruising can look much more intimidating and fierce than it truly is. Introducing Steve…my Muscle Guru…who’s here to educate us on what Gua Sha is, talk about the benefits, and tell us WHY THE HECK so many people these days (myself included) are subjecting themselves to what seems just torturous!!!! Enjoy watching me squirm in the vid above!!!

HP_ GuaSha4

For those of you who couldn’t view the video or would just like a little bit more information about the treatment, Gua Sha is a centuries old Eastern Asian healing technique that uses a scraping tool or comb to essentially bring the blood to the body’s surface to break down inflammation in the muscles and stimulate blood flow.


Gua Sha, which literally means scraping, is often used on athletes or individuals who are recovering from acute injuries to aid in the healing and recovery process. Chris and I discovered it a just a few months ago and have fallen in love! We’ve seen the benefits firsthand and are true believers.



Want to learn more about Gua Sha? Contact Steve at [email protected] or at, or head to these sites for a more clinical breakdown of the treatment and what and why it’s used for:



Related reading:

All About Exercise
Injuries Are Not Excuses!
The Scoop on Supplements
Drink Up! The Benefits of Drinking Water
Ask the Powells: How Do I Gain Healthy Weight?

PS: You can get my amazing Reebok Yoga Beanie Graphic Tank here. You’re welcome. 😉


  1. jana - August 23, 2018

    i did this 6 days ago for back and im still red and purple on the lower part of back
    and I do feel bruised. does not hurt though but still a bit sore. I have not had a massage in like 15 or 16 years

  2. Elissa Gohl - October 28, 2016

    This could help my bulging discs tremendously! Worth a try at least!

  3. Sofia - January 26, 2016

    Hey Heidi! If I want to write you a letter, where would I send it? Much love!

  4. karen - January 23, 2016

    The tennis ball under your shoulder stretch what exactly was that targeting and treating?

  5. Krista Cochran - January 22, 2016

    Hi Heidi!! First just want to say You Rock!! I have degenerative disk disease and I have had cervical fusion surgery in 2010 and I have another collapse disk again in my neck but I am trying to avoid surgery again. I deal with pain everyday,including migraines.My question is,Is Gua Sha safe for me?
    Thank you in advance!!!

    • Team Powell - January 23, 2016

      Hi Krista: It would be best to discuss this with your healthcare team, and then follow their recommendations. We wish you the best!

  6. Madie - January 22, 2016

    Hi Heidi. I am wondering if you have an email address where I can send you a question I have. It’s super personal, or I’d just ask it here. Thank you!

  7. Starla - January 21, 2016

    How long does that bruising last?

  8. Rachel - January 21, 2016

    Hey Heidi!
    Just wondering how long the marks typically stay for? Do they fade pretty quick, or does it take a week or so? Also, they start out red, do they bruise afterward or no? Thanks!

    • Team Powell - January 21, 2016

      Hi Rachel: The bruising usually lasts a week, and heals more quickly the more water you drink and the more active you are.

  9. Amanda Nemelka - January 21, 2016

    I was JUST having a conversation with a friend this morning about this. She was about 2 steps away from knee surgery and then found a PT who used this method (about 6 treatments) and all but cured her knee issues! She did say it hurt like crazy, but I’m definitely interested for my shoulder that’s been bothering me lately!

  10. Alex Cortese - January 21, 2016

    I was curious, for myself in my journey right now, I am still quite high in my weight. Is this beneficial for someone like me who is not near peak physique? (But working on it ?)

  11. Ken - January 21, 2016

    I wonder if the would work to treat plantar fasciitis? I’ve gotten it because my glutes, hamstring and calves are super tight. I bet if you could get through a tattoo you could survive this. Thanks for the video.

  12. Jane Cramb - January 21, 2016

    Can this be helpful with scar tissue? I have had 4 surgeries on my right knee and the scar tissue has limited my ability bend my knee more than 90 degrees. I would love some feedback on this.

    • Team Powell - January 21, 2016

      Hi Jane: It could. I’d check with a local gua sha expert or contact Steve (his contact info is in the post). Good luck!

Leave a reply