By Fei Nie

Introduction to Guasha

What is Guasha and why should I use it?

Traditional Chinese Medicine states our Qi, the vital energy and blood must flow freely and in a balanced harmonious way throughout our bodies to maintain optimal health and wellbeing. The blood circulates between various layers within the body- skin, muscle, vital organs as well as into the skeleton, bone marrow, spinal cord and the brain, nervous system and endocrine system, our glands.

Symptoms and disease are in essence the body’s way of expressing externally an imbalance that is happening inside.  Practices such as acupuncture, massage, moxibustion, nutrition, herbal medicines and qigong (a form of yoga) are all utilized to promote proper balanced qi and blood flow in the body.  They each represent a different approach or pathway to robust health.  

How to use guasha

We use guasha to gently massage the surface skin layer of the body to help improve circulation and promote healing.  The gentle rubbing will clear toxins from the skin and blood around the skin layer and thus protects the body and improves resistance to stress coming from the outside.

Guasha is a very standard household self-treatment modality commonly practiced for thousands of years in Asian countries. It is a technique that anyone can use.  Of all the approaches, herbs, acupuncture, massage etc, is the most simple, extremely safe and, don’t be fooled by its simplicity, it is remarkably effective!

Who is guasha for?

The great benefit is that anyone can do it and if properly practiced it will do no harm.  Best of all it can be practiced from the comfort of your own home and it does not require a practitioner or licensed massage therapist.  When it comes to self-care, we at Plants by People highly recommend it.

The guasha technique

The meaning of guasha loosely translates to scraping, rubbing or pushing.  Essentially, guasha is a tool-assisted type of massage rather than fingertips and hands.  It is important to remember though that we are not talking about traditional massage techniques which go deeper into the muscle and fascia layers of the body.

Guasha techniques focus primarily at the surface skin layer only.  The thickness of skin on the body varies depending on the body part anywhere from 0.5mm on the eyelids to 4.0mm on the heels of the feet.  As you massage or stroke the surface of the body at this surface skin layer the qi and blood flow will be stimulated and circulation will be naturally enhanced thus promoting flow and also releasing blockages and even toxins within the body at the surface skin layer.

Are there side effects of guasha?

There may be a slight reddening of the skin as you do this which usually indicates that an area that was blocked or stagnant is relaxing, opening, and releasing.  Skin pores will open and toxins will release.  Go slowly, be sensitive to your body, feel the sensation and gently stimulate your skin layer with this ancient technique for optimal health and radiance.