The ins and outs of Body Gua Sha
Gua sha has been used for thousands of years across Asia to treat all kinds of conditions including: fever, inflammation, coughs, migraines and any sort of pain. It also helps prevent illness – because it clears toxins from the body and increases circulation.
This ancient Chinese technique involves simply press stroking the skin to treat and help prevent the effects of stress. Stress disrupts your circulation and creates internal heat in the body which gets stored in the muscles. The press stroking motion expels this heat, disperses and increases the flow of blood to the area that is most congested.
Practising Gua Sha for the first time can seem a little unfamiliar, but rest assured, you really can’t get it wrong. Just start gently and be led by what feels right for you.Let’s just cover some specifics to help you get the hang of the technique.
On the press-stroke action you need a fairly firm hand to slowly sweep the Body Restorer across your body. Imagine you are scratching an itchy insect bite, and use a similar pressure. We say 8 strokes as a guide, which is enough to be effective without over-doing it.
Why do you need oil? Well first and foremost it provides lubrication, allowing the Body Restorer to glide effortlessly over the skin. The nourishing benefits of our specifically formulated oil penetrate more deeply during treatment. You can also use the tool during the day over clothes to release tension.
The chest, neck and back form the basis of the Body Restorer Ritual, as these are the main areas that hold stress and tension. Once the one-minute de-stress ritual has become habitual, you can focus more time on areas that feel particularly tight or painful. For some it’s the neck and shoulders, for others the lower back or chest. It may be all of the above!
The Body Restorer is shaped with a convex edge to work into the joint areas, a concave edge to mimic the curves of your body, and a double pointed edge to work into smaller areas of tension, such as your neck. Please note, you should wait until any redness has subsided before re-treating that area.
The three most common areas where we store tension are the shoulders, neck and lower back. Take the stress test and discover if you’re holding stress and tension in these areas:
1. The Neck.
There’s usually a lot of natural tension held here, typically from spending large amounts of time on the phone, poor posture or spending too long sitting at a desk. Relieving neck pain can reduce headaches, improve sleep and encourage better concentration.
Start by pressing gently turning your head from side to side. Slowly look down to your belly button and then up to the ceiling. Rotate the head in both directions, noticing any areas of stiffness, tension or tenderness.
2. The Shoulders
The shoulders are where most of us hold our tension, especially when we are sitting immobile at a desk, hunched forward. Test your shoulders by rolling them forward and back. Do they move smoothly or can you feel crunching in the connective tissue? If it’s tight or crunchy this is usually a result of your muscular adhesion - muscles sticking rather than gliding smoothly.
3. The Lower Back
Finally, press across your lower back with the tips of your fingers – it may well be tight and painful. Lumps and bumps are natural here, so don’t worry!
Your lower back is directly related to your kidneys and your adrenals - hence why it is such an important area to keep healthy. The lower back is often weak and it might feel cold, so treatment here is additionally good for warming the area up and promoting circulation.