” First off, Crystal, how I even pronounce that?”
Gwa-Sha. It sounds odd, but it’s really magical.
Gua Sha is a form of Chinese medicine that facilitates healing and fluid movement by “scraping” the skin. There are many different tools that can be used on many different areas of the body. The tools are shaped in a fashion that allows for the edges of the tool to be slid efficiently along the curves of the jaw, neck, shoulder, knee, ribs, spine or any other area of the body that is in distress. In this blog post, I’ll be writing specifically about the face and neck, since that’s the only place that I’m legally allowed to manipulate muscles or tissues.
Now, HOW Gua Sha works is the best part. This healing method is multi-faceted. On the most superficial layers, scraping promotes blood flow to the surface of the skin. This is excellent because blood carries oxygen, water and white blood cells to dehydrated or distressed skin tissue. It also carries away carbon dioxide and other internal garbage.
On a deeper level, all of our sinus cavities drain into lymph vessels that empty into lymph nodes in the jaw and neck. These nodes empty into the arteries in our chest, and are then flushed out by the lymphatic system. When using a Gua Sha tool and applying pressure to strategic points on the face and neck, the drainage from the sinuses is assisted to the vessels manually, which aides in keeping the “chi” (as the ancients call it) moving along in our head. Think of it as a river. Stagnant water is gross. Flowing water is beautiful and powerful.
Finally, Gua Sha helps to break up knots in the muscle tissue in the upper lip and jaw areas. When the tool is repeatedly scraped over the same area of fascia, it’s much the same as getting a massage and releasing the knotted area. This is FANTASTIC for those who suffer from TMJ pain.
To add to the experience of the whole thing, I finish off my Gua Sha facials with a few passes with an ice cold jade roller to facilitate vasoconstriction. This basically means that all of the swollen and open capillaries in the face shrink back up and any redness or swelling from the Gua Sha is eliminated. Based on all of the years I’ve been doing skincare, I can honestly say that nothing brings happy glowing skin like warm stimulation followed by a shock of cold. It usually isn’t the most comfortable, “spa like” think I could do, But I love the result and it’s always done at the end to bring you out of the catatonic state that my clients are usually in. Hahaha!
Who is Gua Sha good for? Anyone, really. But specifically for anyone who suffers from:
- Inflammation from dry or acneic skin.
- Under eye puffiness
- TMJ pain
- Fluid Retention
- Sinus pressure
What are the side affects? Temporary bruising or soreness can happen if you have large jaw knots or other areas that need lots of attention. Flu like symptoms can happen due to the stimulation of lymph fluid. Drinking plenty of water after Gua Sha is recommended.
Jade rollers are another tool becoming increasingly popular. They can also be used for lymphatic drainage and vasoconstriction. You basically roll, in strips from the inside to the outside edges of the face from the top of your head to your neck. Then, you roll straight down your neck in strips. It’s very hard to describe, but I can post a short instructional video for all of my jade rolling babes!
If you’re interested in a Gua Sha facial, you can book one by clicking the “book now” link on my facebook page or by visiting http://www.vagaro.com/archbrowandbeauty
Happy facial-ing !