Common questions about Gua Sha

June 2, 2020
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Gua Sha involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to boost circulation. This article will answer some of the common questions about Gua Sha.

Does gua sha slim face?

A sculpted face with well-defined jawlines and high cheekbones are accepted signs of beauty, and every girl wishes to have them. The facial Gua sha has become very popular for the various benefits it has.

One expectation and question that commonly pops up in the minds of most of the girls (and women) is whether Gua Sha helps in slimming the face?

Well, the answer is yes and no. No, it is not a diplomatic answer. It is the truth.

Why yes?

Many women would say that their face slimmed because of Gau Sha. And some would say no to that. Let us try to unravel the anomaly in the answer and experience of different women.

For many women, the face puffs up because of lymph and water retention. It is not fat under the skin but the lymph, which mars the outline of the face and makes it look round and plump. One of the significant advantages of facial Gua is it de-puffs the face and helps the drainage of lymph and water from the face.

Hence, in the initial days of doing Gua Sha, the face loses lots of fluids, and one can see visible changes on the face. All those women who suffer fluid from the face believe that the Gua Sha slims the face. But we have to remember this will be true till the time you do Gua Sha therapy regularly.

Why No?

Not every face has lymph and water retained under the skin. Many women have perfectly detoxed facial skin. But there could be ‘fat’ under the skin, that hides the facial contours. Now Gua Sha does not dissolve or remove fat. And that is precisely the reason why many feel Gua Sha does not slim the face.

So, if someone has fluid retention on the face, they can expect the face to slim out, and those with fat, may not experience any slimming of the face.

How often should I use gua sha?

There is no fixed schedule or regimen for Gua Sha. One can do it every day (since it takes just a few minutes) or once in a week. It all depends on what is the expectation of Gua Sha.

Gua Sha principally performs two functions, namely;

Therapeutic: Gua Sha on the body is mainly for therapeutic needs. It is to relieve pain and stress buildup. In most of the cases, one session of Gua Sha provides excellent relief, and there is no need to repeat. But just in case it has to be repeated, depending on the seriousness, it can be done daily or alternate days. But the quick repetition of Gua Sha is not suggested if the skin is inflamed. Since essentially it is body scrapping, doing Gua Sha daily may be painful, unless you use a very smooth and round-edged tool.

Secondly, if the need is to relieve and destress the facial muscles, or if sinus drainage is the need or lymph drainage is the intent, then one has to do the facial Gua Sha almost every day. This daily routine can continue till complete relief is felt, and then one can switch to thrice or twice a week.

Beautification: If the facial skin is reasonably good and one intends to maintain it that way, then Facial Gua Sha thrice or twice in a week is good. But if the wrinkles have set in and the skin sags perceptibly, then one should do it every day.

On the whole, for effective and sustained benefits, facial Gua Sha should be done at least twice a week. Doing it more number of times is not at all harmful, but doing it very less frequently will sacrifice the benefits. Of course, one has to balance it with the daily schedule.

Can gua sha be harmful?

Gua Sha is a safe therapy with no side effects or long term after-effects. But since the treatment involves scraping of the skin, bruises may appear, and some times there can be capillary damages too. These bruises generally disappear in a few days.

Since there is always a danger of skin cut, it is imperative to sterilize and disinfect the Gua Sha tools.

One should avoid Gua Sha:

  • if there is some medical issue with the skin or the veins.
  • if one bleeds easily.
  • if someone has an infection, tumor, or any unhealed wound.
  • if there is any implant in the body, like the pacemaker, etc.
  • if surgery has happened within the last six weeks.

How long do gua sha marks last?

Gua Sha scraping makes the skin pink, red, or purple sometimes, and petechiae develops. The blood from the subcutaneous capillaries oozes out and remains under the skin. That is what produces the marks.  These marks generally go away in a couple of days. They do not last beyond a week or ten days.

Drinking water immediately after the therapy helps reduce the marks and also flushes the toxins. Keep the bruises covered to protect it from cold. It not only aids quicker fading of the marks but also prevents the reoccurrence of the symptoms to a large extent.

In case the scraping turns out painful, apply ice packs on it. Alternatively, you can take some over the counter medication to reduce inflammation and pain.

Prevent any cut or damage to the skin, and in case the skin is cut, take necessary medical precautions to prevent any infection.

Does scraping release toxins?

Due to intense activity at the muscle level, metabolic waste and toxins are released (for example the lactic acid). Scrapping breaks down the accumulated waste, physically. And the increased microcirculation of blood (about 400 times) flushes these toxins from the painful parts of the body. It is always good to drink lots of water after the Gua Sha. Because it helps flush off ‘these’ toxins.

So, yes scraping releases toxins from the affected parts. And that is one of the reasons why it relieves pain and stress.

As with all the alternative forms of medicine, the research evidence is not sufficient to prove this conclusively. But the experience of humanity for thousands of years now, stand to vouch for the correctness of this statement.

Do you use oil with gua sha?

Yes, one should always use some oil or balm before Gua Sha. That keeps the skin lubricated and assists in smooth scraping. Secondly, some medicated oil or lotion enhances pain relief. Scraping the dry skin will bruise it badly and possibly cut the skin as well.

Can Gua Sha reduce cellulite?

Poor lymphatic circulation, coupled with lipid deposition, swells the fat cells. These fat cells deposit under the skin and create cellulite. That is one explanation of how the cellulite forms. And frankly, medical science is a little far from conclusively explaining the formation of cellulite. But the above explanation generally finds acceptance amongst the alternative therapy practitioners.

Gua sha promotes lymphatic circulation. As the lymph moves, it loosens up the cellulite, and that also moves from its place. The scraping of the thighs or the glutes physically shifts and moves the cellulite. The effect of these two actions results in reduced cellulite in the affected parts.

Whether the cellulite has really dissolved is not clear, but it does disappear from the scraped part. That being the explanation, one cannot be really sure about the reduction. But ‘the disappearance’ happens. Many beneficiaries of reduced cellulite have observed that it comes back after some time on discontinuance of Gua Sha.

Can you shower after Gua Sha?

Do not shower immediately after Gua sha. You should wrap the scraped part of the body to keep it warm. Warmth increases the therapeutic efficiency of Gua Sha.

After a couple of hours, one can shower with warm water. Warm water keeps the good work on Gua Sha in progress.

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