Gua Sha Certification with Dr. Arya Nielsen

Gua sha works

Note: Registration for individual modules and all 11 module PKG are now available through Healthy Seminars.

Modern research shows Gua sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting etc., and why Gua sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders including liver inflammation in hepatitis.


Online video demonstrations included in the 11 module pkg (known as video module)

The Gua Sha certification program is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive post-graduate EAM/AOM studies I have encountered. It is very specific, giving students new tools and techniques based in both traditional experience and science. It is also broad; it functions as a mini-course in Classical Chinese Medicine. ~ Brendan

Asians who have come to the West have been accused of ‘bruising and abusing’ each other with their indigenous medicine practice of Gua sha/Cao gio, coining, spooning. Western acupuncture colleges have minimized any training in Gua sha out of fear and therapeutic illiteracy. These factors have situated Gua sha as one of the best kept secrets of traditional East Asian medicine.

Now practitioners can gain and regain knowledge and skill in using Gua sha and have confidence to safely and effectively treat and mitigate illness.*

By resolving Blood stasis Gua sha has a role in treating:

  • Acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain from injury, overuse or illness
  • Acute illnesses including fever, sinusitis, influenza, bronchitis, Lyme, Dengue fever, malaria, etc.
  • Chronic illnesses and conditions including auto immune disorders: Crohns disease, Colitis, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis etc.
  • Chronic internal organ disease: cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic and renal *

The certification program Dr. Arya Nielsen is offering consists of 11 online modules through Pro D Seminars and hands on training, mentorship and assessment by Dr. Nielsen through  

You can choose to take the full certification program and be listed on the website or you can choose a la carte and take just the modules that interest you and receive continuing education credits for each of the individual modules you choose to take online (see below)  through Pro D Seminars..

If you have taken a 8 or less  of the modules below and you want to upgrade to The Complete Program (all 11 modules) at a discount please contact Pro D Seminars directly so 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.  So you save by upgrading to the complete program if you plan on taking all 11 modules. We can apply what you have already paid toward the complete online program.

Available through Pro D Seminars now by following links below

  • Package -  Purchase all 11 modules at a discounted rate  save ~$270 (total of 50 CEU/PDA/CPD from all 11 modules)
  • Module 1 - The Science of Gua sha: Anti inflammation and Immune Protection (4 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 2 - History: Acupuncture, Bloodletting, Gua sha and Cholera (4 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 3 - Terms and Tools for Gua sha (2 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 4 - Safety and Ethics: Reports, Risks and Guidelines for Gua sha (press-stroking) and Ba Guan (cupping) (5 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 5 - Safety, Medical Errors & Ethics: 'Complications' & Contraindications for Gua sha (5 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 6 - Evidence for Gua sha: a Literature Review  (6 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 7 - Colors of Flesh, Sha and Significant Tongue Changes  (6 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 8 - Psycho Spiritual Effect of Gua sha  (3 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 9 - Indications and Applications: Gua sha (6 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 10 - Results and Recommendations (4 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Module 11 - Treating Specific Disorders with Gua sha (5 CEU/PDA/CPD)
  • Video Module - Video demonstrations of Gua Sha by Dr. Arya Nielsen (1 hour) Only available to those who register for the 11 module pkg.  The online video module (originally known as the Gua Sha DVD) details the essentials of safe and effective Gua sha practice and shows the step-by-step application of the technique with patients. Information from Arya's own research is shown including the diagnostic significance of the color of Sha, and immediate Tongue changes as a direct result of Gua Sha.

Please note the Text Book,  Gua sha, A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, is required reading for the individual modules and the certification program.

Gua Sha works (with science to back it up) and it is a tool and modality that body workers and acupuncturists can help so many clients/patients who have pain and inflammatory conditions.


This is information everyone practicing East Asian Medicine in the West should know. It is also information physicians and allied health professionals should be exposed to so that they know about an important modality with strong scientific basis. This would help them evaluate Gua Sha as a modality to incorporate into their practice, either by working with an LAc or learning more about EAM themselves. ~ Brenda


I was very pleased to learn of both the chemical and mechanical actions of gua sha. It is a modality that I use often and have recently been seeing dramatic results in the clinic. Now, I feel I have a better understanding of why it works and more knowledge to pass along to patients. Thank you.~ Lillian


Excellent course, and I'm looking forward to the rest of them. This is an incredibly important aspect to acupuncture and treatment of our client. Thank you Dr. Nielsen! ~ Stephanie


This was an invigorating course that has inspired me to try it regularly in my clinic, with strong results. I have been surprised how many patients can benefit from Gua Sha and the quality of pain relief it brings

For those expressing skepticism about the notion of a certification in gua sha  I will echo Arya's comments and say that this course takes what we learned in school to a far deeper and more sophistocated level. I have used gua sha extensively in my practice for over a decade, but by taking this course I have learned to communicate with patients and other health care providers more effectively and correctly about what gua sha actually is and what it does. As has been demonstrated in FB groups on numerous occasions, most of what L.Ac.s say about gua sha is either not true or is only partially true. I feel strongly that if we are to have any hope at all of being taken seriously within the mainstream medical community, we need to be able to explain what we do in terms that physicians understand. This is particularly true with techniques like gua sha that have a rather alarming appearance. For instance, recently I saw a 70 year old female who had had very persistent and severe mid-back pain for several months. Her pain was bad enough to cause her to spend much of the night crying each night. She had had a medical workup to confirm that the pain was not caused by cancer or kidney pathology. The pain had not been relieved by acupuncture, physical therapy, or various medications. After one session of gua sha she was completely pain-free. As recommended by Arya, I showed her what her back looked like using a mirror before she left my office and gave her a handout explaining gua sha (below). The next day she had an appointment with her dermatologist. By then her back was feeling so good that she had completely forgotten about it. When he exposed her back for examination, however, he cried out in shock. Fortunately she still had my patient handout in her purse. She showed it to him and explained to him how much it had helped her stubborn back pain. He came away from the encounter intrigued and wanting to learn more. Imagine, however, if I had just told her that gua sha "removes toxins" (as acupuncturists commonly do when discussing gua sha). The dermatologist would have felt that that is utter nonsense (which it is) and likely would have formed a strong negative association with both me and acupuncturists in general. I think that Arya has done our profession an amazingly valuable service by creating this course and making her knowledge available to us. ~ Kristen

Arya Nielsen, PhD
Dr. Nielsen is an American acupuncturist trained in the classical lineage of Dr. James Tin Yau So and in practice for over 37 years (2014). She is author of the defining textbook: Gua sha, A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, the Gua sha DVD and numerous articles on East Asian medicine.  She has a faculty appointment at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, a New York teaching hospital where she practices and directs the Acupuncture Fellowship for Inpatient Care. Dr. Nielsen is a researcher and international lecturer on topics related to East Asian and Integrative medicine. She developed and teaches the Gua sha Certification Course. Her homepage is

*Gua sha is not a substitute for Western medical care. Rather, Gua sha is part of traditional East Asian medicine that can be used with patients in conjunction with recommendations by their physician(s).

**Gua sha’s upregulation of HO-1 in turn acts as a cell protectant that slows internal organ degeneration in chronic internal organ disease.

Note: Registration for individual modues and all 11 module PKG are now available through Healthy Seminars.