Module 3: Terms and Tools for Gua Sha | Healthy Seminars

Module 3: Terms and Tools for Gua Sha

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Module 3: Terms and Tools for Gua Sha

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Gua sha (Cao gio, coining, spooning, ‘scraping’) has had a colorful introduction to the cosmopolitan medical West. Situated as abuse, then pseudo-abuse, the primary complication has been misdiagnosis by Western authorities and the social and ethical complications that followed.

This lecture looks at the way in which language constitutes discourse and how terms used to describe Gua sha, Cao gio situated it in a negative register. Here we examine common terms used in the Chinese language database and the Western medical database and then consider the Classical and TCM context for Gua sha. An accurate medical definition of Gua sha is established as an instrument. Gua sha tools and lubricants are described in detail.

Please Note: Pages 49-51 from Dr. Arya Nielsen's textbook Gua sha, a Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, is required reading for this module and the certification program. The textbook is not included in the purchase price of this course. You are required to obtain a copy of her book. To purchase book click here.

Certification Course

This course is part of the  Gua Sha Certification program by Dr. Arya Neilsen comprised of 11 modules.
You can choose to take the full certification program (all 11 modules and hands on training with Dr. Arya Nielsen) and be listed on the website or you can choose a la carte and take just the modules that interest you and only receive continuing education credits.

If you have taken one or more of the modules below and you want to take all 11 modules and save on the bulk registration  please contact Healthy Seminars directly and we can apply the fees you have paid for the individual modules toward the Complete 11 module program. It is cheaper to register for the complete program than to register for all 11 modules individually. 

This course is approved with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).

  1. How language constitutes discourse
    1. Chinese medical terms of Gua sha: definitions
    2. Characters and significance
  2. Accurately modern medical terminology
    1. Western terms of abuse and bias
  3. Classical practice and TCM practice
    1. ‘we do not diagnose’
    2. Gua sha in Classical lineage of Dr. James Tin Yau So
  4. Lubricants and Tools suitable for Gua sha
    1. Appropriate for painless facile practice
    2. Appropriate for re use and high level disinfection
    3. Take away - Essentiality of practitioners using proper terminology for Gua sha
    4. Summary, Question and Answers, Program Worksheet and Quiz

Dr. Arya Nielsen is an American acupuncturist taught in the classical lineage of Dr. James Tin Yau So. She graduated in the first class of the first acupuncture college in the United States in 1977 (New England School of Acupuncture). She is a practitioner, teacher, author, and researcher and is considered the Western clinical authority on Gua sha. Dr Nielsen is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health and directs the Acupuncture Fellowship for Inpatient Care at Mount Sinai. Her research includes both the physiology and therapeutic effect of Gua sha, acupuncture therapies for acute care and the inpatient setting as well as research on the treatment of chronic pain in underserved populations. Dr. Nielsen is the author of the textbook Gua Sha, A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, (also in German, French and Italian) now in its second edition. She also filmed Gua Sha: Step-by-Step a teaching DVD. Arya teaches internationally on topics related to East Asian medicine and Integrative medicine she developed and teaches the Gua sha Certification Course with ProD Seminars ( as well as courses on safe and ethical practice standards, evidence for acupuncture and traditional East Asian modalities, and inpatient hospital-based acupuncture therapy. Dr. Nielsen is the Chair of the Policy Working Group for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, the 70 plus North American member organization of academic medical centers and health systems that support utilization of evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies as integrative medical care. Arya served on a 2014 Joint Commission Stakeholder Panel on pain that led to their clarification (2015) that nonpharmacologic therapies be included in treatment strategies. Arya can be contacted by email at or at her website

$50.00 USD

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