Gua Sha

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What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing method in which a trained professional uses a smooth-edged tool to stroke your skin while they press on it. It dates back at least 700 years, to the Ming Dynasty.

People use gua sha to treat chronic pain all over their body. They often do it alongside other complementary treatments like herbal medicine, massage, acupuncture, and heat therapy.

Facial gua sha treatments are adapted from the full body detoxifying treatment to offer a beautifying relaxing ritual for the face, neck and decolletage. The gua sha tool is stroked across the skin to encourage lymphatic flow, increase circulation, and smooth and lift the skin.

How Gua Sha Works

In gua sha, a technician scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool. The technician applies massage oil to your skin, and then uses the tool to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion.

Gua sha is intended to address stagnant energy, called chi, in the body that practitioners believe may be responsible for inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

Gua Sha Specialties

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Gua Sha Facial Benefits

With Gua Sha treatments, you can achieve the following:
Gua sha may also reduce inflammation, so it is often used to treat ailments that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as those that trigger muscle and joint pain.

Conditions Treated

This ancient Chinese healing technique may offer a unique approach to improve health, addressing issues like chronic pain and improving blood circulation. It also treats the following:
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Gua Sha Treatment Procedure

Gua sha is generally performed on a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs, and a gentle version of it is applied as a facial technique. Your technician may apply mild pressure, and gradually increase intensity to determine how much force you can handle.

After the targeted area is oiled, the gua sha tool is then used, specifically at a 45-degree angle, to rub a combination of long and short downward strokes across the skin.

That depends entirely on your body and your situation. Acute or short-term symptoms tend to resolve more quickly than long-term symptoms. Some may be advised to come every week for treatments involving gua sha, while some patients may only get it once a month or once a season.

Because it has a cumulative effect, for chronic issues we recommend coming weekly for 4-6 treatments including gua sha, acupuncture, and other modalities to get the best results, then re-evaluating.

Gua sha feels like firm, steady, stroking pressure against the skin. During a treatment, the skin is lubricated with oil to ensure a smooth, easy glide. Everyone’s tolerance for gua sha varies. Some people love firm pressure, while other people do best with very light pressure. Light pressure usually feels extremely soothing. When medium to firm pressure is applied, it feels like a deep massage but should never be overly painful. Gua sha performed on the skin of the face and the front and sides of the neck is very gentle to protect the delicate skin and structures of these areas.
Gua sha typically has minimal side effects but can include temporary bruising or discoloration of the skin as well as soreness or tenderness in the areas treated. These should all dissipate within a short period of time.
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Gua Sha Results

When used on the face, gua sha results can include relieved tension in the face, reduced puffiness and inflammation, and reduced sinus pressure. As for usage on the body, one may feel less muscle and joint pain.

Facial gua sha treatments can lift, sculpt and tighten the skin. Regular use can prevent the signs of aging such as sagging, dull and wrinkled skin. Since gua sha helps stimulate circulation, the technique itself oxygenates and carries nutrients to the skin cells. The increased blood flow resulting from gua sha contributes to a more lively, plumped up and youthful appearance.

Gua Sha FAQ

The gua sha facial is a gentler version of body gua sha. We apply varying techniques and strokes to selected areas of the face and neck to improve many types of skin conditions. Gau sha can reduce fine lines and puffiness and support a better complexion. Over several treatments aging signs of wrinkles and sagging skin can be reduced.
Gua sha is not painful. Gua sha helps relieve pain, soreness, discomfort and many other problems. All tools have a smooth edge.
If you’re seeking the cosmetic benefits you can have gua sha weekly. If you’re hoping to relieve muscle tension in the face, jaw or neck or diminish wrinkles you may consider a more frequent schedule for your initial appointments. Best is to review with us at your initial appointment.
We do not use the gua sha technique for an acute injury, bruises, abrasions, sunburn, rashes, broken skin, pimples, moles, the abdomen of a pregnant woman or varicose veins.

Why us? We provide high-quality TCM and acupuncture services while always prioritizing the client’s comfort.