Gua Sha for the Body
Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment that involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation. The skin is lubricated, usually with oil and then pressured or scraped with a round-edged instrument using a stroking action to intentionally cause transitory therapeutic petechiae that represent extravasation of blood in the subcutis (i.e. the release of blood into the innermost, fatty layer of the skin closest to the muscles that consists of a network of fat and collagen cells). This results in the appearance of small red petechiae called ‘sha’, that usually fade within 2 to 3 days. Raising Sha is said to promote normal circulation and metabolic processes as it releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing.
Whilst the redness and inflammation caused by gua sha looks like bruising, it is actually more superficial and shouldn’t create the tenderness associated with proper bruising.
Modern research shows Gua Sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua Sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting etc., and why Gua Sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders including liver inflammation in hepatitis.
Gua Sha for the Face
Gua Sha tools and movements can also be used on the face as part of a facial rejuvenation and revitalisation treatment but the pressure is much lighter and it is rare that any redness or marks are left on the skin. Facial rejuvenation and revitalisation treatments such as those offered by Tiempe Acuesthetics® often include Gua Sha for the face to reduce muscular tension in the facial muscles thus easing expression lines and also to reduce muscular tension in the neck and shoulder area which in turn affects the face.
Gua Sha FAQs
What are the contra-indications for Gua Sha?
Gua sha should not be carried out on someone with an acute infectious disease, severe heart disease, serious varicose vein or any type of illness with a bleeding tendency or blood clotting issues. It should not be carried out on broken skin, sunburned skin or skin suffering from infectious or dermatitis type conditions or scabies. It also shouldn’t be carried out on skin that has an injury with bruising or abrasion
Does Gua Sha hurt?
No, gua sha does not hurt. It feels similar to a deep tissue massage and is often reported to be a relaxing experience.
What will the skin look like after the treatment and how long will it take to heal?
The skin will look red and inflamed but should not be painful to touch. The redness and inflammations should clear within a few days.
Does the skin require any aftercare following the treatment?
No, the skin does not require any special aftercare routine but where gua sha is used on the face a part of a Tiempe Acuesthetics® treatment then it is recommended to use the Tiempe range of skin care products or similar.