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What is Gua Sha?

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

Gua Sha is a medical treatment used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). "Gua" means to scrape or rub and "Sha" is the term used for the reddish raised skin that occurs as a result of scraping. Sha refers to the blood flow stagnation in the subcutaneous tissue before and after it is raised. Gua Sha is sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping,’ defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae (red or purple spots on the skin from broken capillaries).

What can Gua Sha treat?

Gua Sha is used to treat as well as prevent the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma and pain both acute and chronic. It is also used to detoxify the body and fevers as the scraping brings the excess heat and toxins to the surface of the body to be released by activating the immune system. In addition to the wonderful therapeutic benefits that gua sha offers, it can also be an effective addition to your beauty routine with a much gentler approach.

A gua sha facial can help with:

  • Smooth fine lines and wrinkles

  • Tighten skin

  • Decrease puffiness under the eyes

  • Dark circles

  • Lift and firm

  • Plump skin to give it a youthful glow

What does the "Sha" tell you?

The colour and intensity of the Sha is both diagnostic and prognostic. If the Sha is very light in colour it indicates a deficiency of blood. If the Sha is a fresh and intense red, it means the condition is acute and has not yet penetrated deep into the body. If the Sha is black and purple in colour it indicates blood stagnation which means the condition has been long standing. If the Sha is brown, there may be dryness in the body and a deficiency of fluids. Deep dark red Sha indicates heat.

The Sha is a good reflection of detoxification and fever release

Facial Gua Sha

Facial Gua Sha is a technique in which specially crafted hand held pieces of healing stones are used to invigorate the skin, smooth out wrinkles and increase blood supply. Facial Gua Sha can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as Acne, Rosacea, Melasma and dark circles.

The goal is to get the “gua” without the “sha”!

Facial Gua Sha benefits areas such as the neck and jowls, which are prone to sagginess, the puffiness under the eyes, and the deep wrinkles on the forehead. The increased blood circulation which occurs during Gua Sha, helps to detoxify the face and move stagnant blood and inflammation, which can occur under the eyes. By providing increased blood flow to the face, the skin is better nourished and healthier.

Regular Therapy Benefits:

  • Strengthens internal organs and systems (liver, stomach, heart, bonds the entire circulatory system, vision, hearing) and spirit

  • Softens blood vessels

  • Smoothes out wrinkles

  • Improves quality of blood

  • Purifies and normalizes the nervous stream

  • The vibration of the healing stone stimulates and helps the circulation in the brain and removes tiredness

Grounding Ritual

The slow pace of movement and gentle touch are deeply relaxing, instantly activating our parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous state. When we’re feeling grounded in our bodies and calm through our mind, we can handle emotional issues or obstacles that come our way more easily with self awareness and ease. Using Gua Sha as a medium to tune in to ourselves more fully transforms this cosmetic treatment into a truly stress relieving + grounding ritual.

Gua Sha Tools:

Though there are gua sha tools made of everything from jade and quartz (both beloved among holistic medicine practitioners for their supposed healing energies) to plain old plastic.

Rose Quartz - It helps to ease tension, stress and anxiety, increases self-love and promotes feelings of well-being. They wash out toxic energies and emotions that you have trapped inside of you.

Jade - Jade is a Stone of Peace which balances the nerves, prevents illness and also soothes the cardiac rhythm. Jade is also known as the stone of eternal youth. Jade aids to reduce puffiness, drain the lymphatic system, and increase blood circulation.

Clear Quartz - Programmability, amplification of ones intention, magnification of ambient energies, clearing, cleansing, healing, memory enhancement, encourages clarity of thought and purpose to one’s heart and mind. It works on all levels of the energetic and physical bodies. An excellent stone to use for healing, manifestation or prayer work. Clear Quartz helps to establish a strong, clear connection to higher guidance.

Bian Stone - There are more than 40 trace elements and minerals in the Bian Stone. Some very rare! About 20 of these trace Elements and Minerals are said to have anti-ageing properties! By rubbing it against the skin, the Bian Stone can generate far infrared red waves. The Friction between the skin and the Bian Stone can create ultrasound pulses in the therapeutic ultra sound wave range. The Bian Stone can produce negative ions when rubbed against the skin. Negative Ions are known to help with the anti- oxidation (anti-aging) process in humans cells and DNA.

In conclusion, Gua Sha revitalizes, rejuvenates, helps diminish stress, fatigue, and severe exhaustion. It helps the body and helps to clear the mind and senses. Gua Sha is a simple treatment, but incredibly effective for many ailments which is why it has been used in China and South East Asia for thousands of years.

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