What is Gua sha?
Gua sha is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that uses a tool, such a stone that is scraped over the skin to break up tension due to stagnation from water retention, muscle tightness, or other congestion.
The traditional meaning of the word Gua sha (Chinese: 刮痧) or kerokan (in Indonesia), is Gua – to scrape and sha is the reddish marks that can be left from Gua – sha is petechiae, petechiae are pinpoint, round red spots that can appear on the skin often looking like a red rash. Practitioners believe that gua sha releases unhealthy bodily matter from lymph blockages etc. stimulating new oxygenated blood flow to the areas, thus promoting metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing and recovery.
The treatment has also been known by the French name, tribo-effleurage
Facial Gua sha comes from the same roots, but has evolved over time to become a soothing, relaxing procedure. It is a gentle, fine-tuned adaptation that focuses on individual muscles, fascia, lymphatic stagnation, meridian lines, and pressure points.
History of Gua sha
The first records of Gua sha appeared In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) where the treatments were systematically written into major medical records, although the practice of Gua sha is assumed to be much older.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Gua sha is commonly used to alleviate muscle soreness, pain, and certain illnesses, as well as increasing the body’s blood flow by scraping a tool, stone, or one’s own hands across certain areas of the body. According to the principles of TCM, your qi (pronounced “chi”), or energy, must flow throughout your body so you can feel your best. When qi becomes stagnant in certain areas, it’s believed that health problems can occur.
Traditionally Gua sha created petechia, this was its purpose as it was believed that this was the way to alleviate a problem. This is still the way with the traditional TCM Practitioners however when giving facials the aim is for relaxation and the gentle release of toxins which are then stroked through the lymph draining pathways to the lymph node to be dispersed of. In the process of doing this it helps produce new skin cells giving a glowing healthy looking skin.
Gua sha tools
So, where do crystals fit into all of this? They fit in by using them as ‘tools’ but also using them in a more spiritual manner.
Experience has taught me that using crystals during a facial massage adds an extra, special dimension. Simply by placing a crystal on the 3rd eye can bring about a sense of calm and serenity. When you add to that the coolness of a crystal being stroked across the forehead it can feel like it’s washing all your cares and troubles away.
All the tools I use are crystal gems, mainly rose quartz and amathyst. I would add here that I have written and run a number of crystal courses so know the incredible feeling that can be achieved by using genuine crystals.