One of Ancient Chinese medicine's tenents is that health problems within the body begin at an energetic level. A disruption in a person'ss energy flow from physical or emotional distress could cause stagnation throughout the body. And, they also had a fantastic, yet remarkably simple, tool to help manage this - Gua Sha massage.
We've spoken before about Gua Sha for the face, as it has proven to have many aesthetic benefits, causing the ritual to make its way from its origins in TCM and massage to a new home in the world of modern beauty. But regular Gua Sha massage has remarkable benefits for the body, too. So today we want to focus on what we call the Feather or Tear Drop Styled Gua Sha Tool with its fabulous grooves that make it particularly suitable for working tension our of the thighs, legs and shoulders.
A 2014 study on Gua Sha massage benefits for managing pain seems to support what Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have long known. But, if you are still sceptical, consider the well-researched positive effects of regular massage (even self-administered massage) which also seem to back up the claims of this ancient ritual.
Effects you can expect to see from regular Gua Sha massage on the body:
- Increased blood flow
- Soothed muscles
- Increased lymphatic flow (toxin release)
- Reduced cellulite in the legs
- Reduced cortisol (help destress)
- Increased immunity
- Increased hydration (oils)
You'll want to start this treatment with a generous amount of oil on your chest and neck – we recommend our Relax & Nourish Organic Body Oil! - which will ensure this self-care ritual goes to an indulgent level. Pressing your Tear-Drop Rose Quartz Gua Sha at the centre of your chest, move the gemstone in slow, relaxing strokes outward (approximately eight times each side). You might see reddish bruising, but this is entirely normal and is actually a regular part of this process. The redness fades incredibly quickly, and you can always decrease the pressure according to your comfort level.
Then, starting at your hairline, stroke down the nape of your neck to your shoulders (an absolute divine feeling for those of us who spend a lot of time on our computers). You'll notice that these movements follow the natural lines of your body and muscles, making it the perfect massage after a long day of work or strenuous exercise.
Applying oil as needed, stroke down the backs of your upper arms. This is perfect for avoiding that loose, thin-looking skin that can accumulate in this area of the body. The hydration from the oil and promotion of circulation from the massage will encourage the skin to stay tight and youthful.
You can then move on to the torso, stroking down from the bra line to the hips, then curving from the outside of the ribcage and moving inward.
It is the effect Gua Sha has on the legs that have people adding this ritual to their daily routine. Because Chinese medicine dictates that stagnant chi is connected to water metabolism (a stagnancy that can cause cellulite), the massaging movements are said to encourage proper fluid management by your body, diminishing the look of cellulite. Sounds fabulous, right? Gorgeous legs, beautiful tone, and a reduction in the stubborn lump-look that often accompanies the thighs? Sign us up!
There are different techniques for the legs, so try them out and choose which you most prefer.
You can push the stone down the front of the legs and move upwards as you work the inner leg and thigh, or you can start at the ankle with long upward strokes over the calf then at the knee upward toward the hips.
Gua Sha is best practised regularly - every time you apply your body oil, grab your Gua Sha tool and spend a few minutes massaging the part of your body you feel needs a bit of love. For chronic issues, you will want to press firmly and move in one direction about 15 times before waiting a few seconds and starting again. For less chronic and more for lymphatic drainage and an immune boost, less pressure and moving rather quickly is useful Our high-quality Rose Quartz Gua Shais crafted not only for the body with its organic shape and ridges to ensure you can really dig into problem areas but is also perfect for your facial massage. Check out this essential multitasking tool for your daily routine here.
Related Article: Benefits You Can Expect From Regular Gua Sha Use (Face & Body)..