Gua sha is a massage technique using a gua sha massage tool to gently scrap the skin which improves circulation and can provide many unique benefits. This ancient Chinese healing treatment may not have caught on like acupuncture. Recently though, gua sha has seen an increase in interest likely based off the improved health everyday Canadians have seen from regular sessions.
A gua sha massage tool uses short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation. The tools themselves are smooth-edged. Sometimes, massage oil is used to minimize any skin discomfort. Gua sha’s intended as a means of addressing stagnant energy in the body, believed by practitioners to be responsible for inflammation, chronic pain, and other health issues. Gua sha can be performed on the back, buttocks, neck, arms, or legs. Here’s a little about gua sha benefits.
Gua sha is most commonly used to address muscle or joint pain – such as back pain, tendon strains, and carpel tunnel syndrome – associated with musculoskeletal disorders. This isn’t all gua sha is good for though. Some Canadians have used gua sha to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation in the body, and to treat cold, fever, or respiratory issues. Some more gua sha benefits include reduced symptoms in women with menopause, post-workout recovery, insomnia, headaches, and increased range of movement in persons with limited mobility.
Sometimes, gua sha can stimulate small injuries to the body such as bruising. This is known medically as a ‘microtrauma’ and is merely temporary. This is the body’s response, which can oftentimes be a sign that the body’s healing or breaking up scar tissue. This sort of damage has also been shown to help with connective tissue repair.
Please note that if you are a person with a medical condition affecting the skin or veins, who bleeds easily, who takes blood-thinning medication, with deep vein thrombosis, who has an infection or tumor or wound which is not fully healed, or who has an implant, it is not recommended to have a gua sha treatment.
Gua sha continues to be studied in relation to its effect on infections like hepatitis B as well as conditions like chronic migraine headaches, breast engorgement, neck pain, perimenopause, Tourette syndrome, and more. Where conventional therapies and Western medicine fail, oftentimes an alternative therapy may be the way to find relief from problematic health conditions.
Regarding the gua sha tool itself, professional practitioners use a small handheld piece of rose quartz, jade, bian stone, or a similar material. Browsing gua sha and reflexology from Lierre.ca, you’ll find these jade, rose quartz, and other stones, and other types of gua sha tools.