Find out why just a few minutes of Gua Sha scrubbing a day could be the secret to everything from glowing skin, cellulite reduction to weight loss.
What is Gua Sha?
Translated, gua means to press or stroke, and sha refers to a rash or redness, but while traditional Chinese therapists work hard and deep – skin can be left bright red – for its health and beauty benefits, Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage stone to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique may offer a unique holistic approach to better health, addressing issues like chronic pain, cellulite, stress, and even weight loss.
I first came across this wonderful technique while living in Hong Kong and since then I fail in love with how it made me feel - light and clean- I could literally feel the detoxifying effect right after this deep massage. using the stone my therapist scraped the skin with short strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue especially around my shoulders and legs- where I often felt pain. I have been since then using it at home to improve my leg circulation and remove pain which is most often relieved with a 10 minutes massage using the gua sha stones.
. Gua sha is intended to address stagnant energy, called chi, in the body that is associated with inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
Gua sha is generally performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs. A gentle version of it is even used on the face as a facial technique. Your technician may apply mild pressure, and gradually increase the intensity to determine how much force you can handle. This Gua Sha therapy reduces swelling and facilitates Lymphatic drainage. Best when done once a day after your shower. This is one of my favorites at-home treatment which I do every morning and sometimes evening - it allows the lymphatic fluids to move and circulate thus helping reduce trapped fluids and toxins under the skin. Sound familiar? yes, some call it Cellulite another swelling, although it is not exactly the same its root cause is similar - Stagnation of energy. I recommend using it with a good natural oil such as the Hemp oil which is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acid and helps at the same time relax the skin and the entire body.
Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua Sha can be used to clear blockages in meridian channels, which connect our organs together and transport both blood and chi which is energy and Chinese medicine also called life force. Our energy channels need to flow for chi to move well throughout the entire body. If an organ is not functioning properly, the channel could be blocked - and vice versa. We can remove these blockages by scraping the Gua Sha stone along the meridians. This manual movement stimulates our lymphatic system, helping our organs function optimally by breaking up stagnation, flowing toxins within the body for easier detoxification.
Cellulite is caused by fat and waste products trapped under the skin. with the motion of the stone, one's lymphatic system is stimulated to move and expel access toxins.
This picture is showing the upper leg after 24 hours of Gua sha - the arrow is pointing to the area where there was redness before - now almost healed. gua sha may reduce inflammation, so it’s often used to treat ailments that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as those that trigger muscle and joint pain.
Neck pain, tight shoulders, and upper back
Gua sha technique may also improve chronic pain due to tension in the shoulders area, neck, and upper back. It can also be used to release pain down the legs and edema.
Perimenopause occurs as women move closer to menopause. Symptoms include: Gua sha is a holistic treatment that balances all the organs in our body this improve any conditions such as:
Does gua sha have side effects?
Which crystal to use
As with face rollers, there is a variety of tools to choose from. Jade is known for its balancing effects and its ability to cool, so it helps de-puff features while clearing inflammation.
Rose quartz relates to the heart, so it’s especially good to use on the neck and chest, but not at night, as it can be too stimulating.
Stainless steel - is good for deeper tissue massage as well as muscle massage - will improve blood circulation and skin appearance as well
FACIAL GUA SHA FACELIFT BENEFITS
You can do Gua Sha on the face, body, and scalp, and it’s best to use water – I do it first thing, in the shower – or oil, but never on bare skin.
I recommend holding the stone flat to the skin, under the eyes or over any redness, to soothe and de-puff.
Then use the curved side and work it over the skin. It is important to use short strokes while maintaining the same direction, not back and forth.
The stroke should be down the neck to drain the lymphatic system, working it in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift. Hold and press upwards between the brows to release tension.
TO DRAIN PUFFINESS
If you want to drain puffiness, work lightly, then more firmly to relax muscles. this will leave your skin red but the redness will disappear in a few minutes.
FOR GOODNIGHT SLEEP
Working from the forehead back through the hair is said to help hair growth and, is key to a great night’s sleep – doing it before bed is incredibly soothing, Imagin that you are having your hair brushed back after a shower. You can also work on the body, stroking about six times in one direction to help release tight connective tissue (making it good for cellulite and spongey flesh) and to make skin healthier – this almost freestyle approach ensures that it’s easier than skin brushing.
1. IT IS GROUNDING
The slow pace of movement and gentle touch is deeply relaxing, instantly activating our parasympathetic nervous state as a response we are more relaxed. Using Gua Sha can be a tool to tune in to ourselves more fully.
2. TENSION RELIEF
We hold so much tension in our face and neck. Using deep pressure with a Gua Sha stone can really get into sticky knotted areas to release held muscular tension, thus allowing muscles to do their supportive jobs properly. You’ll experience a dramatic release of tension with Gua Sha incorporated frequently into your self-care routine. This can be a great tool for TMJ and headache sufferers. Relaxing our facial muscles regularly also prevents and fades light expression lines.
4. NATURAL FACELIFT
The unique edges of various Gua Sha stones work perfectly to lift, sculpt, and tighten the skin. Regular use can prevent the signs of aging such as sagging, dull, and wrinkled skin. Since Gua Sha helps stimulate circulation, the technique itself oxygenates and carries nutrients to the skin cells. The increased blood flow resulting from Gua Sha contributes to a more lively, plumped up, and youthful appearance.
5. GLOWING SKIN
Gua Sha increases circulation and improves lymphatic function, resulting in a naturally glowing complexion. The action of gently scraping the Gua Sha tool across the skin with a good organic oils helps product penetration.