Jade gua sha tools have been used for centuries in China and Asia for health and healing.
My first experience with jade gua sha was on my first trip to China by myself, not with a group. I had scheduled with the hotel in Beijing to provide a Chinese medicine doctor to help me get over jet lag when I arrived. I met him at the front desk, and while we were being introduced, the doctor took a piece of jade out of his pocket and started scraping it on the back of my neck. He said I looked like I had been exposed to germs or virus, and wanted to clear that up first. He had scraped the area at the top of my spine, in one direction, until I couldn't stand the pain any more, and that's when he said "done". And I felt amazingly better. However, the scraping raises the "sha", the blood, and it looked like I had a big bruise, that lasted about three days. But when I was on the streets of Beijing, local Chinese people pointed at me and smiled approvingly for accepting one of the most helpful traditions.
Using gua sha tools isn't usually something done by Chinese doctors. We western people keep aspirin, cold remedies in our medicine cabinets to use when we are not feeling well. The Chinese people pull out a gua sha tool and scrape a body part. Raising the "sha" unblocks the qi that is stuck, and when it flows smoothly, health returns.
The doctor and I became friends. He taught me taiji (tai chi) and qigong in exchange for my teaching him yoga and Reiki. We found a jade seller in Dandong, who took us to a jade carver in Xiuyan. My doctor friend told him several styles to carve, and I started selling jade gua sha tools here in America, one of the very first sellers.
Unfortunately, some sellers are promoting jade gua sha tools as wrinkle removers for the face. That is a terrible error. Using the gua sha tools on the face breaks the small blood veins in the face that can cause permanent discoloration. If you want a jade wrinkle reducer, use jade rollers.
The legend of the jade gua sha tool is that during the Cultural Revolution in China, the professional Chinese doctors were either murdered or sent to be with the peasants. They had none of their Chinese herbs or healing tools with them. But they were able to get flat stones of jade to use on sick people. The jade gua sha tools were not the nicely carved ones you see today. They always had scrapes on them, chips or cracks, because if they appeared to have value, they were taken away from the doctor. My doctor friend was a Barefoot Doctor, as they were called, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, and he still preferred the natural healing method of gua sha therapy.
The jade carver we found to make the jade gua sha tools for Ying Yu Jade web site was a traditional jade carver, so although he could make smoothly polished tools, he always added a mark to them, to remain traditional. The mark is usually a scratch or scrape through the flat surface. It took me 13 years to convince him to make them smooth, but every now and again, he surprises me with the "marked" tools.
The jade gua sha tools are different shapes and sizes. So choose the one(s) that appeal to you, that you think you would be comfortable using. Most people choose several styles, so they can be flexible with how they use them. When you purchase from Ying Yu Jade, I include a basic information sheet about using gua sha.
And of course they are natural and genuine Chinese jade, the kind of jade used for centuries.