The majority of people are familiar with Gua Sha as it relates to the face. At the very least, they’ve heard of Gua Sha tools, which are geometrically designed implements with rounded edges made of semi-precious stones such as jade or quartz. The Gua Sha instrument is intended to be massaged along the face’s skin. It is said to provide a broad number of cosmetic benefits, including shaping facial contours, reducing puffiness, and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to practitioners.
Body Gua Sha massage is a Chinese medicine technique that involves rolling or scraping a smooth “healing” stone across the skin.
Is it really worth trying this alternative therapy now that it’s making a comeback? Everything you need to know about Gua Sha massage is right here.
What is the purpose of Gua Sha techniques?
Gua Sha is said to help the body release stuck energy. Gua Sha practitioners believe that chi (vital life force or energy) can get obstructed in certain parts of the body, causing inflammation, chronic pain, and sickness, according to ancient Chinese medicine.
A technician may scrape your skin in a downward direction during a Gua Sha massage to promote soft tissue circulation and increase blood flow.
A Gua Sha massage instrument, which is often a smooth-edged, almost heart-shaped stone composed of jade or amethyst, will be used to do these strokes. They may use a small amount of massage oil to help in the process.
How to Prepare Your Body for a Gua Sha Massage
The setting is the first thing to consider before giving yourself a Gua Sha body massage. “It’s important to keep the room warm during therapy, especially in the cold. It’s best to avoid the cold (and cold air vents). In addition, fans or air conditioners blowing directly on the target region should be avoided when practising in the summer. In the same vein, he advises against bathing or showering in cold water within half an hour of receiving a Gua Sha massage.
You’ll also need to prepare your materials, which include a tool and oil. The latter is necessary for decreasing friction and ensuring that the tool glides smoothly across the skin.
How to Perform a Gua Sha Body Massage on Yourself
When you first start using the Gua Sha tool, keep it fairly flat — most people want it at 90 degrees, but it works best around 15 degrees so that a large portion of the stone’s surface area is flush with the skin,” the Wildling co-founders advise. They also recommend starting with the extremities, such as the feet and hands and working your way up to the chest. “Apply a lot of pressure. Gua Sha should feel like a deep tissue massage on your body. Naturally, the ritual should always feel pleasant on the body, so pay attention to what your body requires. If something makes you feel uneasy, use less pressure or move on to another region. Moles, scars, cysts, wounds, rashes, and any other type of lesion should not be treated with a Gua Sha tool. Instead of going over it, simply Gua Sha around it.
Stroke towards the direction of the heart. Stroke three to five times. Do up to 30 strokes if you’re attempting to get into the fascia and relieve discomfort (however the more strokes you do, the more likely you are to leave a mark or bruise), the Wildling team recommends. “This isn’t a terrible thing; it’s a sign that the body’s stagnation is dissipating. If you get a bruise, wait until it fades before working on that part of your body again. Over time, you’ll notice less bruising on your body, and you can avoid it entirely by applying less pressure.
Head to the kitchen when you’ve finished your Gua Sha massage. Drinking a cup of warm water and relaxing for 15 to 20 minutes after practice will help to replenish fluids while also promoting metabolism and accelerating metabolite disposal.
Benefits Of Gua Sha Body Massage
Gua Sha offers numerous advantages for the face and body, and while the techniques vary, the fundamental purpose is to relieve tension and restore good circulation. Body Gua Sha uses considerably more intense pressure and faster movement to remove tissue stagnation caused by tight tissue adhesions that restrict healthy blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and qi.
The potential to decrease inflammation
Gua Sha, like other types of massage, can help to improve circulation and relieve inflammation.
As a result, it could be used to treat a variety of conditions that cause chronic pain or sickness, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and back pain. While it’s probably not a bad idea to give it a shot, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest it’s a successful treatment.
Hepatitis B symptoms may be alleviated
Researchers discovered that Gua Sha massage helped heal one man’s liver inflammation in a case study published in 2011. He was suffering from Hepatitis B, a viral infection that causes inflammation, liver damage, and scarring.
Despite the fact that the research was conducted on a single person for only 48 hours, there *might* be something to it. For the time being, it’s simply a theory.
Headaches may be relieved
A 72-year-old woman with severe headaches received Gua Sha massages for two weeks in a 2007 case study. Her symptoms improved over this time, prompting experts to assume that the massage technique was to blame.
However, further research is needed to determine whether Gua Sha may actually relieve aching heads worldwide.
Muscle healing may be enhanced
Lifting weights took less effort after Gua Sha treatment, according to a 2017 study of 65 male weightlifters. As a result, the researchers came to the conclusion that Gua Sha could potentially speed muscle recovery and could be used instead of some types of sports training recuperation.
Despite the need for greater research, some athletes may opt for Gua Sha instead of cold baths.
May help with pain
Gua Sha increased range of motion and reduced neck and shoulder pain for participants in a 2014 study of 60 habitual computer users (present!).
Meanwhile, a 2011 research of 48 patients with neck pain indicated that those who received Gua Sha treatment had less pain than those who had heated pads treatment.
If you’re tired of having tech neck, you might want to try Gua Sha.
May help with the symptoms of perimenopausal syndrome
Perimenopause (the period between menopause and the onset of menopause) can bring on unpleasant side effects such as sleeplessness, irregular periods, anxiety, and exhaustion.
In a 2017 study of 80 perimenopausal women, researchers discovered that 8 weeks of Gua Sha therapy reduced these symptoms more than the control group, which got just standard therapy.
Gua Sha is a massage method that involves scraping the body with a Gua Sha body massage tool to relieve pain and inflammation. However, more research is needed to verify whether or not any of these benefits are legitimate.
Still, it’s probably not a bad idea to give Gua Sha a shot. Just make sure you go to a registered acupuncturist or a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. If you’re on blood thinners, have a clotting issue, or have had surgery within the last six weeks, avoid Gua Sha.