Gua Sha is not a fad. It's a genuine holistic healing practice that has been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. As a holistic therapist, I love it! And here’s why.
The original purpose of Gua Sha is to ‘unblock and restore the flow of Qi’. Its benefits include tension release in the soft tissues, the encouragement of lymphatic drainage and increased blood flow to specific areas of the body (not just the face), to facilitate natural healing. The benefits for me are huge! I’ve found that over the past two years of regular face/neck treatments, it has evened out my skin tone, reduced blemishes and breakouts, released jaw tension, and lifted the muscles. Combined with the use of a good quality facial oil, it gives you a fresh-looking dewy glow!
I use Cecily Braden's genuine jade Gua Sha multi-tool and grooved sodalite roller, both supplied by The Skin Wytch - my trusted and talented therapist who not only does my regular treatments, but also provides me with all the tips and tricks for a DIY facial routine that feels so good! Thank you Sarah 😊
I felt a bit buggy last week, like I was about to come down with a cold. I hit the deck two nights in a row and slept so deeply, for so long! I always know when my immune system is working extra hard. It will literally shut… my… body… down. I never fight this if I can avoid it. I let go, and surrender to the rest. An ahhhh moment. I’ve learned the hard way, in a culture that teaches us to ‘just get on with it’, and it’s quite empowering when you can say “no!” to that.
Those mornings and evenings, I facilitated my body’s own healing by using a heat pack over my neck, chest and shoulders to soften the fascia and relax/release all the muscles. Then I did self-massage with some nourishing sesame oil, followed by a full face and neck routine with my amazing tools. I rested and ate a lot of fruit too, and allowed my body to heal and fight off whatever was trying to invade it. The virus never developed. Of course, this is not always the case, and I have had a couple of the winter bugs. One being quite a severe cough that left me with a ruptured abdominal muscle (ouch!). What I’m saying is that if you can catch a little cold in its tracks, there’s a high chance you can stop it from developing if you allow your immune system the time and space to do its job, whilst giving it a little helping hand. And it’s a good excuse for some extra self-care and pamper time. Combine it all with a salt and aromatherapy bath, and you’ll be drifting off into a deep healing rest. I can imagine the 'ahhhhh' going through your head right now...
Sometimes it doesn’t seem necessary or possible to invest your time in self-care, but if you can make the effort and be consistent it really does pay off. It’s about forming daily healthy habits that you can also enjoy. I believe it’s always possible to do that. Have your regular therapies and see them as a necessity rather than a luxury. You deserve it! If you book in for a Holistic Facial at The Coach House Healing & Wellbeing Centre, it includes gua sha techniques. You'll also benefit from natural skin care products, intricate facial massage, hot flannels and a full Indian Head treatment. It is blissful, and a great way to let go and heal on a holistic level.
You may be able to see in this picture that there’s some reddening of the skin on the top of my right shoulder. This is called erythema and is a normal reaction to gua sha. It’s a sign that the blood flow has increased, and it’s usually more prominent in areas where there’s already irritation, tension or inflammation. In this case, it’s right where there was a swollen lymph node. Lymph nodes swell when they’re working to fight off an infection. The redness quickly goes and is no cause for concern. Be extra cautious around swollen lymph nodes when using Gua Sha tools. If in doubt, seek professional advice from a trained practitioner/therapist.
One thing you’ve probably noticed when you’re run down or hit with a cold, is that your skin will become dry and sometimes patchy/flaky. This is because your immune system is using extra minerals to do its job and it will draw the water from wherever it can. Your skin could be the way you notice you’re dehydrated, but this is actually the last place it will draw it from. So it’s important to drink extra water and herbal teas, and supplement with electrolytes when you feel under the weather. This will rehydrate you and replenish the areas where the water has been drawn from. A high quality, organic oil like extra virgin olive oil can be used as a face mask to nourish and replenish the skin from the outside. Olive oil is packed with vitamins that are beneficial for the skin, including vitamin E.
For more free tips, advice and guidance on alternative medicine, holistic healing and self-care, you can follow Rebecca on Instagram. You will never be bombarded with videos and trendy marketing spam. You can also sign up to the mailing list. Just use the contact form at the bottom of this page to add your email address. Don't forget to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list.
Comment below to share your experiences with Gua Sha or ask any questions. Or may be you can inspire others to practice more self-care.