Gua sha: what is it and what are its benefits?

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is about 2,000 years old. It is also known as coinage, although, to be exact, guide means 'scrape' and sha it is defined as 'sand'.

In fact, in this treatment, a flat jade or quartz stone is scraped on the skin. At present it is part of the set of alternative or natural therapies. The objective is to help address some health problems, as it helps relax muscles, mitigate pain, promote tissue drainage, and improve circulation. It has also begun to be used for aesthetic purposes, as part of the treatments antiageas it would reduce wrinkles.

Tools needed for the Gua sha

The main implement for the technique of gua sha is the stone. It can be made of jade or quartz and is usually made in the shape of a heart.

Although there are different ways for different parts of the body. Some look like a fish, others look like a bird's foot, and some are even rectangular. In addition to this, a jade roller is used in the massages, as well as a facial oil or some moisturizing or moisturizing cream.

It may interest you: 9 tips to get rid of wrinkles and prevent their appearance.

What are the benefits of gua sha?

Although the benefits of gua sha They have not been studied in their entirety in a scientific way, their defenders do not hesitate to affirm that their applications have multiple benefits to treat various conditions. This would depend on the type of stone, as jade is associated with soothing and quartz would help reduce inflammation, improving circulation and stimulating lymphatic drainage.

Migraines, arthritis, neck and back pain

He gua sha is traditionally used to treat the symptoms of various ailments that cause inflammation, as well as chronic pain. On the other hand, it is considered that it can help with migraines, as well as with neck and back pain, caused by poor posture.

The massage with the technique of gua sha relieves tension in muscles. According to research, it was effective in treating chronic neck pain compared to other techniques, such as the heating pad. Also, a clinical study stipulated its effectiveness for migraine, even in patients who did not respond to over-the-counter pain relievers.

These stone massages could be effective in reducing pain associated with migraine headaches.

Perimenopausal syndrome and breast engorgement

Perimenopause is a set of symptoms that become present when women approach the age of menopause. Among the most common signs are the following:

  • Irregular sleep periods
  • Absent or excessive menstruation, with the presence of dysmenorrhea.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fatigue syndrome
  • Feeling of suffocation or suffocation.

However, one study found that he gua sha can help reduce these perimenopausal symptoms in some women. On the other hand, it has also been used in the management of breast engorgement.

Thus, research indicates that women who receive massages with the gua sha after childbirth they are less likely to suffer from engorgement, which benefits them in the breastfeeding process.

Aesthetic purposes

Currently, the most attention grabbing with respect to gua sha they are its aesthetic purposes and applications. This technique is used as part of the treatments antiage, well It is assumed to reduce wrinkles, fighting sagging.

For these purposes, the gua sha applied to the person's back, buttocks, arms and legs. Although it is done in various areas of the face as a facial massage. These would stimulate blood circulation, and would help the products used to be better absorbed.

Keep reading: Facial points to massage and stimulate the body

Do you have contraindications?

As It is a natural, non-invasive treatment, the gua sha It is safe. However, rubbing or scraping the skin with the massage stone can cause bruising that disappears in a few days.

On the other hand, it is contraindicated in some cases, such as those mentioned below:

  • Not to be applied whether the person has had surgery recently, particularly in the area to be massaged.
  • If you take blood thinners or you have clotting problems should not have the gua sha, since during the application of this technique some small blood vessels can break.
  • Likewise, it should not be rubbed on traumas, blows, cuts, wounds, edema or blood clots.

How is the gua sha performed?

He gua sha It must be applied by a person with experience and knowledge in this technique. When massaging the body, the stone should slide upward and in one direction only. The same goes for the face. Let's see some examples:

  • Neck: It begins at the nape of the neck, making upward movements and also from the inside out, using the heart-shaped side and exerting a little more pressure on the base.
  • Facial contour: the movement is made from the chin towards the ear, following the contour of the face with the same side of the stone. At the end of the movement a slight pressure is exerted.
  • Cheekbones: several movements are made, from the nose towards the cheekbones and from these towards the ears, also applying light pressure at the end of each one
  • Nasogenian folds: with diagonal movements that go from the end of the lip towards the chin and, in the same way, towards the edge of the eyebrows.
  • Eye contour: the line of the eyebrow is followed until it ends at the temple, with the side of the stone having a heart shape and maintaining the upward movement.
  • Forehead and frown: it is pressed from between the eyebrows making the movement upwards, to the hairline, with the convex part of the stone.

The anti-aging use of the gua sha it is the most widely used today.

Does it have a proven effect?

For opponents of the technique of gua sha, the treatment has no scientific basis. Although a massage undoubtedly tones the muscles and increases vascularity, this occurs regardless of what is used, that is, the stone is not indispensable and the effects are not due to it.

However, several studies have shown that the use of gua sha helps reduce the intensity of neck pain in patients, with just one week of use. In another investigation, it was observed that this technique helps patients gain mobility and flexibility, reducing the consumption of pain medications.

Finally, in an investigation carried out at the University of Beijing, gua sha to activate immune responses and reduce inflammation in mice infected with PR8. This technique inhibited inflammatory infiltration. Anyway, it is a controlled study in its conditions and in animals.

The gua sha at night and without makeup

The jade or quartz stone conforms to the contours of the skin to stimulate, as long as the movements are performed properly. Other recommendations that should be taken into account indicate that it is better to do the gua sha with a clean and hydrated face, after removing all makeup. Performing it at night, before going to bed, not only contributes to rejuvenation, but also relaxes the muscles.