Scraping Massage

Click here for a great video of GUASHA
CHINESE GUASHA FACIAL MASSAGE

Like with all facial massage it:

• Reduces wrinkles, lines, and folds
• Promotes collagen production
• Increases skin firmness
• Accelerates skin rejuventation
• Promotes blood circulation – activates Qi
• Helps eliminate toxins and increases the metabolism
• Strengthens immunological functions
Guasha Therapy is the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) art of facial and body scraping for beauty, health, and wellness; similar to acupuncture treatment, but without the use of intrusive needles. The Guasha technique helps to restore and re-balance the vital energy system in the body, which eliminates pathogenic factors directly. It has been practiced for more than 25 centuries by the Chinese people and is a precious heritage of traditional Chinese medical science and massage therapy. Like Acupuncture and Feng Shui, Guasha Therapy is recognized for its positive energy, and its ability to repair aesthetic problems. Be careful not to be to vigorous and damage, bruise, or break the skin.

Chinese Guasha Facial massage is performed by applying gentle scraping with unique shaped Jade or ceramic plates, and essential oil, oil, or cream on specific points and meridians/meridian points on the face and body. The Guasha technique is based on meridian scraping theory. In TCM, there are 14 meridian pathways with corresponding acupuncture points distributed throughout the body and connected to each organ system. The face has direct meridian connections to nine of the major meridians of the body.

Via Dr. Oz

Scrape Away Pain: Gua Sha

When I was finishing my undergraduate coursework, I was working part-time in a hospital research department. My co-workers knew I had my eyes set on Eastern Medical training. On rare occasions, questions concerning Eastern Medicine would arise, and these questions would always be directed toward me.

 

Young, naïve and inexperienced, I was just as curious as they were. One morning, I had an email sent to me, with a web link to a forum for cardiologists. A picture depicting the back of a gentleman was displayed on the website. His back was scraped and bruised in a specific pattern unlike anything I had ever seen before. Under this picture, a simple caption read “What is this?” and I was utterly dumbfounded. As it turns out, gua sha is what it was.

 

As I was finishing my clinical training in Beijing, I would find myself smiling at the memory of that picture; something that once seemed so dumbfounding had become something I was so commonly administering to patients.  Gua sha is a common practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and an invaluable technique in an acupuncturist’s armamentarium.

 

Gua sha is an ancient healing technique used by many clinicians of TCM. In this procedure, a lubricating medium, such as massage oil, is applied to the skin of the area to be treated. A smooth-edged instrument is used by the acupuncturist to apply short or long strokes on the skin, typically in the area of pain or on the back parallel to the spine. This stroking motion creates raised redness (petechiae) or bruising (ecchymosis).

 

Pain, both acute and chronic, is the most common indication for gua sha. In the TCM tradition, pain is oftentimes caused by the stagnation of blood in the local area of discomfort. The guiding principle behind gua sha is that this technique has the ability to break up stagnation, to promote the smooth flow of blood in the area, thereby relieving pain.

 

While gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain, it can also be utilized by TCM clinicians to address conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, heatstroke, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains, and muscle spasms.

 

There are several theories that may explain why this ancient technique works: gua sha increases blood flow (microcirculation) in the soft tissue, potentially stimulates the body’s natural pain-relieving opioid systems, and it may block the pain response pathways so you feel pain relief.

 

Some view gua sha as folk medicine, but the scientific research community may beg to differ! Researchers from institutions like Harvard and Beth Israel Medical Center are demonstrating both efficacy as well as offering insight on why gua sha works. A study published in a 2011 edition of Pain Medicine demonstrated that gua sha decreased pain for chronic neck pain sufferers, noting that “neck pain severity after 1 week improved significantly better in the gua sha group compared with the control group (heat therapy).”

Benefits of Facial Massage

A facial massage can be a wonderful thing, just like anywhere else in the body the face can hold tension.  Relieving tension is not the only benefit to a facial massage.  Depending on the technique, Western or Eastern, a facial massage can:

  • Relax the facial muscles
  • Improve circulation
  • Provide physical and psychological relief
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Release toxins and impurities
  • Relieve facial pain, headaches, eye strain, neck tension, premenstrual symptoms, puffiness,  nervous disorder, and sinus congestion
  • Stimulates the Meridian points located on the face
  • Correct Gall Bladder and Liver imbalance

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The next time you go to get a facial or a massage ask for a facial massage to be added to your treatment if it is not already included.  Many people don’t think to ask for this service or they receive a shortened version when they receive a facial.  Ask for a full facial massage which typically lasts 15-20 minutes it feels wonderful and you will look wonderful as well.  Make sure that the Esthetician or Masseuse is gentle to the skin on your face not pulling and stretching it.

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