Thank you to all my curious Patients who love to learn about the history and culture behind Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I dedicate this to you!
What is “Gua Sha”?
Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese medicine modality that has been around for 5,000 years! Let’s break it down! Gua = “to scrape”, Sha = “sand”. This describes the appearance of the skin after Gua Sha, it looks like red sand (tiny red petechiae) on the skin. The “sha” may also look like minor bruising, appearing as red, dark red or purple.
What is “Gua Sha” used for?
Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors and Acupuncturists use this modality to help the body activate its innate healing. This scraping method helps to promote healthy circulation to the surface, alleviating pain and stiffness in the muscles. It also activates the body’s natural detoxification systems to clear out specific elements that create disease. Some examples include: excess heat trapped in the body that creates inflammation, external wind or cold pathogens that enter our body from our environment, or dampness that creates uncomfortable heaviness in the body. Gua Sha may be used on the body or the face, the main differences are in the diverse Gua Sha tools and scraping techniques!
What does “Gua Sha” feel like?
I would describe it as a good scratch when one has gua sha on one’s neck or back, it’s very relaxing! While on the face, it feels like a gentle and wonderful facial massage.
What are Gua Sha contraindications?
Do not practice Gua Sha over broken skin, open wounds, tumors, implants, an area that has received surgery (it is best to let the area heal naturally), patients who have deep vein thrombosis or blood clotting disorders.
Before trying out Gua Sha, I highly recommend that you receive advice or learn about Gua Sha from your personal Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor or Licensed Acupuncturist! Ask lots of questions and take time to learn about different techniques your body may benefit from.
What are the most “Gua Sha” tools made from?
Bian Stone – This material gained recognition 65 million years ago! It is sourced (mined) from a meteorite that fell from the sky and landed in Shandong, China. The Ancient Chinese Doctors during this Era noticed that the musicians who played musical instruments made from the Bian Stone, lived long and healthy lives!
It was forgotten for a while, however in the 1970’s, two Professors named Professor Yang and Professor Geng, rediscovered the Bian Stone that was called the “Pumice Stone of Sibin” during this time period.
What did they find? They discovered that the Bian Stone has the ability to create…
Far Infra-Red (FIR) waves of energy to warm and improve one’s circulation for healing. How? Infra-Red waves resonate with water molecules, they have the ability to separate the oxygen molecules from the hydrogen molecules. This in turn increases the oxygen percentage in the body. With more oxygen circulating, the Lungs and Heart are able to conserve their energy, and provide more support for your body as a holistic system.
Negative Ions that have an antioxidant effect on the human cells and DNA, preserving one’s vitality and longevity. If one is lacking in antioxidants, they may show signs of premature aging in their body.
Therapeutic Ultrasound Pulses that are emitted as the Bian Stone contacts our body and treat a wide variety of ailments.
Jade – The traditional stone of eternal youth, it feels naturally cool on the skin, and has a balancing energy on the mind, body and skin. Good for all skin types!
Stones – Each stone will have a different healing effect on one’s mind and body, example: Rose Quartz is known as the crystal of self-love and healing.
Stainless Steel – These tools are more durable, and do not break when they are dropped.
In most Asian households, if one did not have a gua sha tool handy, a clean ceramic soup spoon without any chips or cracks would work just as well!
Thank you all for learning about Gua Sha with me today! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org