The GUA SHA
Gua Sha is a bodywork tool that can be used for pretty much anything from improving immunity, your daily aches and pains or headaches, chronic severe ailments in the body, promoting blood flow and natural drainage of your lymph nodes. Traditionally, gua sha has been used to lightly bruise the skin by using a scraping technique to help detoxify the body and relieve pain. It releases built up waste and stagnancy within muscle tissue and stimulates blood flow and healing. It is used to move the lymph, release lactic acid from the muscles, break up scar tissue, and to move congestion along the energy lines of the body. The edge of this gua sha is rubbed along the skin, always working towards the heart to assist in blood flow.
In addition to using this tool as a detoxifying tool on the body, you can also use it to massage, contour and refine the face for that natural face lift we all want. Its ability to promote blood flow and lymph drainage makes it the perfect tool to lift and brighten the skin, find relief in jaw tension and assist in alleviating headaches.
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- Start by noticing where your muscles feel tense or knotty.A sign of stagnation is a blanched area after pushing down on tissue where your skin is slow to regain its pink colour. Apply a small amount of oil to the skin and use your gua sha tool to scrape along the tense area of your body.
- Ensure you always more towards the heart.This will facilitate the lymph moving in the right direction.
- Create sufficient friction and pressure to raise the toxins that flood to the skin’s surface and promote removal of disease in the body.
- Start slowly and apply pressure to your desired amount.
- Cleanse the face and hands, before drying the face with a clean washcloth
- Apply face oil with approx 1-2 pumps, covering the face and neck. Apply oil starting on the forehead and moving down in the direction of the lymph fluid channel. This activates movement in skin and tissues, and it’s a nice prep before the gua sha.
- Sweep down your neck on both sides, opening up the passage for lymph fluid in your face to drain away.
- Sweep along your jaw line from the middle of your chin out to your earlobe, keeping your tool flat. It is recommended that you anchor the skin at your chin with your other thumb as you glide the tool back to your earlobe in the opposite direction. You can gently jiggle at your ear to encourage the fluid to drain down the neck to the lymph nodes at the base, just above your collarbone.
- Sweep underneath your cheekbone, promoting the movement of fluid that tends to be stored here, and direct it toward your hairline. Again, anchor the skin at the corner of your nose and you can lightly jiggle your tool at your hairline to stimulate draining.
- Sweep over your cheekbones, using the groove of your gua sha to glide from the edge of your nose to the hairline.
- Gently sweep under your eyes, starting from the corner of the eye, moving it around the eye socket toward the hairline. Again anchor the inside of the eye to hold the skin tight.
- Sweep over the eyebrow and out toward the hairline moving over the eyebrow and finishing at the hairline. When you sweep up, do it in sections across the brow and repeat over any sensitive areas.
- Sweep from between the eyebrows and up to the hairline. Then from the middle of the forehead and in to the hairline, around the ears and down the neck.
- Repeat on other side
Key tips to make the most of your practice:
- I suggest sweeping each area between 6-10 times. Keep your tool almost flat to your skin (about 15 degrees) rather than having the edge of the tool at 90 degrees to your skin.
- Ensure you have a sufficient amount of oil on your face to avoid pulling of the skin.
- Use the tool in any way you like as long as it feels good for you.
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