Gua Sha/刮痧 (or literally “Scrape Sand” in Chinese) is a practice used by East Asian doctors and practitioners. The term comes from scraping actions that cause petechiae (blood spots) that look like purple or red sand on the skin. The technique uses flat tools made from bone or stone that release stagnant tissue fluids and boost circulation and energy flow (also known in Chinese as Chi.)
It was developed in the Paleolithic Era and was used to treat ill people or those who fell into a coma. Then, during the Ming Dynasty, tools such as willow branches started being used on the back and then during the following Qing Dynasty, the method of scraping became more precise with specialized tools made out of buffalo, and oxen horns were used on the entire body.
Now, with modern specialized techniques, Gua Sha can relieve pressures and tensions without leaving any bruising, thus leading to improved self-care outcomes.
Chi is our life force. It can be expressed as Yin & Yang
The most central concept of Chi is known as Yin and Yang. The famous Yin and Yang sign, Taiji, shows that it takes perfect polar opposites to complement each other in perfect harmony, and represents active balance in an always-evolving world.
When a person’s Yin or Yang is disrupted, he or she becomes sick or ill due to the imbalance of the life forces. We use Gua Sha to restore the balance of the opposing life force to bring balance to a person’s body.
A person’s chi flows through their meridians, which connect all of the body’s organs and internal systems together. If these meridians are blocked, there becomes a blockage in chi energy and causes an imbalance, which leads to illness. Gua Sha restores the balance of yin and yang, leading restoration of a person’s health.
Tsubo points (or what the Japanese call pressure points /acupoints) are where a practitioner can apply pressure or touch to create stimulation. There are 365 tsubo points where the body is especially sensitive to bioelectric impulses. By applying pressure to these points, one can increase or decrease the flow of electrical energy and activate or improve the flow of Chi.
Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua Sha is used to improve sleep, reduce tension, balance emotions, and relax muscle tension. It is helpful to manage headaches, eye strain, sinus pressure, and congestion.
Gua Sha also improves skin circulation and lymphatic drainage, as well as energizes and stimulates the skin. With this extra energy, the skin can work harder to repair itself as well as lead to a healthier complexion and glow.
It is especially useful for those with aging, dull or devitalized skin, dark circles, puffiness, or those who have busy/stressed minds.
Modern Skin Therapy
We at Modern Skin Therapy use Gua Sha to combine with other skincare and massage techniques to provide the most relaxing experience for you possible.
Book an appointment with us to experience relaxation, rejuvenation, and a release from your stress and troubles.
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