5 Gua Sha Benefits and Uses
At East Boca Acupuncture, we love Gua Sha! It is one of the most effective and immediate treatments that we offer. Below are, what we believe to be, the top 5 benefits and uses of Gua Sha.
1. Improves Pain (Including Back and Neck)
One of the top uses of gua sha on the body is for pain. A randomized study published in 2017 in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine evaluated the effects of gua sha on chronic lower back pain symptoms and inflammatory biomarkers in elderly subjects. The elderly study subjects with chronic back pain were treated with gua sha or a hot pack. The researchers found that during the one-week follow-up period, while both treatments improved movement of the lower back, the amount of pain reduction and disability improvement were notably greater in the gua sha-treated group compared to the hot pack group.
Another randomized controlled clinical trial also found that gua sha has “beneficial short-term effects on pain and functional status in patients with chronic neck pain.”
2. Possible Cellulite Reducer
Some people use gua sha for cellulite, a condition in which the skin has a dimpled or lumpy appearance. While there hasn’t been much research conducted to date, many first-hand accounts have been positive. One gua sha practitioner claims the practice helps to get rid of cellulite, which she calls “globules of constricted toxins.”
3. Major Skin Booster
Many people love gua sha facial massages because of their potential skin-boosting and anti-aging benefits. Since research has shown gua sha can boost circulation, it’s not surprising this type of facial is known to have impressive effects on the health and appearance of skin. It is said to decrease puffiness, clear congested pores, firm the skin and make it generally more radiant than it was pre-treatment.
Cecilia Wong, a Manhattan celebrity facialist has used facial gua sha on her clients for years and started practicing the technique on herself at the age of 10. She says, “What I love most about gua sha is that results are immediate, and you can’t say that about everything. After gua sha, my skin is lifted, tightened, and any puffiness is gone.”
If you’re looking to use gua sha for face wrinkles and fine lines, there are no guarantees, but if you are going to see any improvements in signs of aging (or in other skin concerns like acne), then consistency is key. If you do see improvement, it won’t be overnight (unfortunately), but if you make it a regular practice, you just may find yourself looking more youthful.
4. Acne Helper
While it’s important to avoid using gua sha if you have cystic acne or open lesions, some people have found facial gua sha to be helpful in their fight against breakouts. For example, after eight to 10 weeks of weekly professional facial gua sha, acne-sufferers have seen improvements in their chronic acne. Some regular users also report that their pimples go away faster and they experience fewer and less intense breakouts.
5. Breast Engorgement (During Lactation)
When nursing, it’s possible to experience breast engorgement, which is when the breasts overfill with breast milk, becoming swollen and often painful. Engorgement can be a challenge to successful breastfeeding and sticking with breastfeeding if the situation does not resolve.
One scientific paper reveals how a woman experiencing breast engorgement benefited from the gua sha she received from nurses the second day after giving birth up until leaving the hospital. Along with other helpful factors (including education on proper breastfeeding techniques), gua sha appears to have played a role in helping this mother to continue breastfeeding successfully.
Gua sha breast massage using light pressure is also used to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage of the breasts, or even to possibly promote firmer breasts.
We hope that the information found in this blog has been helpful! We’d love to see you in the East Boca Acupuncture office to discuss Gua Sha and how it can help you heal holistically!