What the heck is gua sha anyway?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has used this treatment for a very long time and for a wide variety of ailments.
When I first learned about Gua Sha in acupuncture school, we used soup spoons and salsa lids to gentle scrape the skin until redness began to show.
Gua sha, which translates to ‘scraping’ is a healing practice in which the practitioner take a round edge, flat tool, and using a generous amount of pressure, pulls it across the skin to increase blood flow.
This redness is called transient therapeutic petechiae; while it is desired during body treatments, lighter and more gentle pressure is applied to the face to avoid this outcome.
I first started using this method in my practice for complaints such as physical aches and pains, cold and flu symptoms, and headaches.
It has gained popularity in recent years as the benefits of applying it during cosmetic acupuncture treatments has become more evident.
Using gua sha during facial rejuvenation acupuncture
When done on the face, gua sha can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, restore firmness and elasticity, promote a bright complexion, relieve jaw tension, reduce sinus congestion, promote lymphatic drainage, and decrease puffiness.
A recent study stated that gua sha increases surface microperfusion. Simply, this means increase blood flow (which as you might remember from my previous post – increases all those good things like collagen flow, into the skin tissue).
Facial gua sha is a wonderful way to aid lymphatic drainage out of the face and down the neck.
Is gua sha for me?
Gua sha is for everybody! (almost) If you have had botox or other fillers recently, or have broken skin or large areas of acne, best to check in with your practitioner.
Remember that the skin on your face can be sensitive and always better to start with light, gently pressure as you are learning.
I use gua sha as part of my cosmetic acupuncture treatments, and offer a quick tutorial for patients to continue this self treatment at home between sessions.
I also work with clients remotely who are looking for support for their skin. You can inquire about either of these services by calling 1 778 400 6360 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.