Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing method in which a smooth-edged tool is used in long stroking movements. There are quite a few alternative names, depending on the culture where it is found:
- Cao Gio (Vietnam)
- Kerik (Indonesia)
- Khoud Lam (Laos)
- Ga Sal (Cambodia)
- Graston Technique
It can be done with a coin, a smooth rock or crystal, the back of a spoon, the lid of a jam jar, or tools made specifically for this purpose. I prefer a smooth edged Rose Quartz tool.
This treatment has many benefits:
- it stretches the connective tissues
- improved blood circulation
- myofascial release
- a break down of scar tissue (very good for old injuries)
- a release of muscle tension
- improved lymphatic drainage
- reduced pain and inflammation
Gua Sha Facial Massage
Gua Sha is currently very trendy as a facial massage. In this instance, the pressure is a lot less to avoid any bruising. The aim is not a deep tissue massage but rather to simply energize the muscles and fascia of the face, rather than flush out toxins and stagnation.
The benefits of a Gua Sha Facial Massage:
- Reduces puffiness
- Increases circulation
- Releases muscular tension
- Lifts skin and contours the face
- Stimulates collagen production
If you are interested in the Gua Sha Facial Massage a 30 minute appointment is sufficient. Please note that the treatment only includes the facial massage; no other facial treatments are done. It is best to come without make-up.
Oil will be applied with bare hands at the start of the treatment. After that a Rose Quartz Gua Sha tool will be used for the massage. The massage consists of long strokes across the skin, with increasing pressure as the massage progresses.
The treatment will cause the appearance of small, raised, red, rash-like dots that show under your skin. These are called petechiae.
In general, Gua Sha is considered safe and should not be painful, however, you may have some bruising or discoloration of your skin. Because it involves rubbing or scraping skin with a massage tool, tiny blood vessels known as capillaries near the surface of your skin can burst. This can result in skin bruising. Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days.
Potential Side Effects
Gua Sha is not recommended for those:
- who have medical conditions affecting the skin or veins
- who bleed easily
- who take medication to thin their blood
- who have deep vein thrombosis
- who have an infection, tumor, or wound that has not healed fully
- who have an implant, such as a pacemaker or internal defibrillator
- who had surgery in the last 6 weeks
- Appointment Duration 30 minutes – Treatment Duration 20 minutes – Cost R250
- Appointment Duration 45 minutes – Treatment Duration 30 minutes – Cost R375
- Appointment Duration 60 minutes – Treatment Duration 45 minutes – Cost R500