Gua Sha vs. Graston

Gua Sha vs. Graston

Gua Sha has taken over the internet by storm. With this new beauty trend, people have started to find out more about similar techniques. Often, Gua Sha and Graston are being compared with one another. So, how do these two techniques actually differ? 

What are Gua Sha and Graston?

Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese massage technique that triggers the lymphatic system in the muscles. This helps in enhancing lymphatic drainage that flushes out toxins. Gua Sha is a flat crescent-shaped stone, and the most popular crystals used for Gua Sha stones are Rose Quartz and Xiu Jade. 

The Graston Technique was invented by David Graston in 1994. A steel tool is used to scrape the body. Graston focuses on pulled ligaments and restricted muscle movement, to mitigate inflammation in the body. It works by breaking up the soft tissue fibrosis. It breaks the adhesions in the muscles, which eventually heal. 

Gua Sha vs Graston

Gua Sha

  • For Gua Sha, we need a roller or a stone tool. The same Gua Sha tool can be used on the neck, back, and even for cellulite. 
  • Gua Sha creates micro-trauma in the affected areas. Gua Sha may leave bruises known as petechiae, and they fade after a few days. These bruises are a sign of improved blood circulation, and they generally do not hurt. 
  • Gua Sha is based on the concept of yin and yang. The cool jade or rose quartz crystal is supposed to balance your yin with the yang. The massage is said to balance the qi (energy) in the body. 


  • To perform Graston, stainless steel tools are used to scrape the body and it applies deep and rhythmic pressure on the concentrated areas.
  • It creates micro-trauma on specific areas and helps the region heal and break the adhesions. 
  • Graston's technique primarily focuses on the smooth functioning of the body. It tackles the restraints imposed by adhesions. 

Gua Sha and Graston: Brief Comparison

The results of Gua Sha and Graston are similar. However, the process of the massage might vary. 

  • Gua Sha is a relaxing self-care routine. It focuses on scraping and moving the muscles, but the massage feels relaxing. Graston might not feel as relaxing as a Gua Sha massage. As it focuses more on pulled ligaments and injured areas, you are likely to feel some discomfort and pain. 
  • Gua Sha can be easily done at home with a single tool. You can massage your face and neck, but you might need someone to help you massage areas such as your back. Moreover, you can learn the Gua Sha technique by watching videos on the internet. 
  • You may also perform Graston solo, but similarly, you will need someone to help you out for certain areas.  It is not recommended for face scraping. 
  • Gua Sha has been around for centuries. The effects of using Gua Sha such as reduced puffiness, improved blood circulation and a lifted face have been experienced by many. Using Gua Sha has become an integral part of many skincare routines and the Gua Sha stones can be purchased almost anywhere now. 
  • A good quality Gua Sha kit will last you for years. The price of a Gua Sha kit can range from $20 to $200. At Guashaco, we focus on providing you with premium and long-lasting beauty tools catered just for you. 
  • Graston is a relatively new technique, with minimal research on its effectiveness. Generally, it is recommended to get the Graston Technique done by a professional, which can be expensive in the long run. 

Even though the outcomes are similar, both techniques serve different purposes. Gua Sha is more suitable for facial massages, neck pain, back pain, headaches, and cellulite. The Graston Technique is more ideal for strained muscles and improving overall mobility.