As many of you know I just love taking courses and learning new healing techniques and my first one of the year is Gua Sha. I have just completed my course and WOW what a revelation it has been for me!
Gua Sha is traditionally used in East Asian and Chinese medicine. Gua Sha can help with a huge range of ailments. Just as our bodies experience stress in the form of shoulders hunched over a computer, or headaches from tension, our faces and bodies hold onto a great deal of stress. Gua Sha is a massage technique designed to relieve tension in the muscles, boost blood circulation, and encourage lymphatic drainage to banish bloat. It helps break up fascia, the connective tissue that hugs muscles but can sometimes interfere with optimal circulation.
The traditional Chinese practice of Gua Sha involves stroking the skin with a stiff instrument made of stone, jade, bone, or horn. Chinese people use these devices and techniques in homes and clinics to treat a variety of conditions.
Gua Sha is similar to massage and acupressure, but it focuses directly on increasing blood flow beneath the surface of the skin. This heightened circulation can lead to a number of noticeable healing effects in the body. This can cause redness and sometimes speckling where there are areas of trapped Chi (energy flow) but this usually fades within a day or two. The more often you do it the less it happens.
I have had intense pain and swelling in my knees for 2 years which has made it very difficult to walk far or climb the stairs. I had a bad reaction to the different medications I was prescribed, but after just one self healing session of Gua Sha I noticed a huge difference and after 3 sessions I am pain free and have a great range of mobility. I will definitely be doing this every day.
I have one set of tools in my office and another for home. I spend a lot of time stuck behind my desk and Gua Sha is really helping with the pain in my neck, shoulder, arms and hands too.
In recent decades, Western physicians and patients have begun studying and using Gua Sha. Today’s researchers have found scientific explanations for Gua Sha’s anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects, which may last for days and counteract a number of symptoms and diseases.
Researchers have shown that Gua Sha causes a dramatic increase in circulation in the soft tissues under the skin. The benefits of Gua Sha seem to occur after blood is brought to the surface of the body during treatment. As the body reabsorbs this blood, it breaks down hemoglobin, triggering the production and release of HO-1 and its catalysates: bilirubin, biliverdin, and carbon monoxide. These potent chemicals fight infection, inflammation, and a number of other diseases by boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.