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What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is one of the oldest recorded forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves using tools, such as jade, with a lubricant to scrape or rub parts of the skin. Gua means to rub or scrape, and Sha is a type of stagnant energy or blood stasis. The intent of the treatment is to stimulate blood circulation to improve the health of the tissues. Gua Sha can be used when a person is dealing with an acute or chronic disorder, or when experiencing aching or tension in the muscles.

Gua Sha is not only used to treat areas of the body, but can be done on the face as well. When performed as a facial treatment less pressure is used along with a slower speed. As with the body, the Facial Gua Sha also improves the health of the skin and tissues by promoting circulation of blood and lymph. By using a light pressure, along with a little friction and a light stretch, a bit of heat is created in the tissues, improving micro-circulation. Gua Sha helps to detoxify the face, allowing the release of muscle tension and helps break down muscle adhesions, has a sculpting and contouring effect on the tissues, and can even make the skin look more radiant.

Natural skin care tools and techniques, like Gua Sha, are recently becoming more popular. Facial Gua Sha can now be found on spa or holistic practice menus, with tools available for purchase at your local stores and online. Facial Gua Sha is a natural, gentle treatment that can be done by your skin care professional, and one that can become part of a home care regimen to maintain healthy, radiant skin.

Submitted by Melanie Pittman
Licensed Massage Therapist & Esthetician