On a global basis, experts estimate that approximately one in five people struggle with chronic pain.
Do you see a lot of people with chronic pain coming to your spa and looking for relief? While techniques like massage therapy and aromatherapy can work well for these individuals, they might also benefit from Gua Sha.
Never heard of the Gua Sha technique before? Not sure how it works or what it has to offer?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about Gua Sha scraping and what it can do for your spa clients.
What Is Gua Sha Scraping?
Gua Sha scraping is an ancient Chinese skincare technique. It involves using a special tool to scrape the skin and improve the circulation of blood throughout the body. Practitioners believe that Gua Sha can be beneficial to folks struggling with a wide range of health issues, including chronic pain and various skin conditions.
During a Gua Sha treatment, a technician uses a small, smooth-edged instrument (often made of amber, quartz, or another natural material) to scrape the skin in a repeated downward motion. The intention is to stimulate circulation and help get stagnant energy (also known as a person’s qi) moving through the body in the proper way. By doing this, inflammation can be relieved and healing can begin.
Technicians most often perform Gua Sha on the back, neck, buttocks, arms, and legs. After undergoing Gua Sha treatment, a rash can sometimes develop on the treated parts of the body. This rash clears up within a few days and signifies inflammation and stagnant energy leaving the body.
Gua Sha can be performed on the face, too. It’s usually done in a much gentler way, though, to reduce the likelihood that one will develop a rash afterward.
Gua Sha Benefits
There are lots of reasons why someone might want to try Gua Sha. Some of the most well-known benefits that it has to offer to your clients include the following:
Chronic Pain Relief
Gua Sha can work wonders for those struggling with chronic pain. It helps to reduce inflammation throughout their body that could be contributing to their pain. Many people also find that their range of motion improves in a significant way after undergoing this treatment.
Research shows that it’s especially helpful for combating neck pain and back pain. One study even found that participants who experienced Gua Sha scraping for just one week saw much more relief for their neck pain than those who used a hot compress.
In addition to treating chronic pain, Gua Sha can also help those who struggle with migraines. For many people, especially those whose migraines aren’t helped with traditional medications, Gua Sha can be an effective tool that reduces inflammation, relieves stress, and provides incredible relief.
Those who undergo this treatment also don’t have to worry about dealing with the side effects that their migraine medications might cause. It’s an all-natural approach that allows them to continue going about their lives pain-free.
Perimenopause Symptom Relief
Perimenopausal women often experience a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, including the following:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular menstrual cycles
Gua Sha appears to provide significant relief to women struggling with these symptoms. It’s a safe complement to other, more conventional treatments, and it seems to be more effective than when these treatments are administered on their own.
A study of 80 women showed that those who received 15 minutes of Gua Sha once per week alongside conventional treatment had better results and more relief than those who received conventional treatment by itself.
For people who struggle with digestive distress and bloating on a regular basis, Gua Sha can provide a lot of relief.
The scraping process helps to move stagnant energy through the body, and it can improve blood and lymphatic flow. This, in turn, helps to keep everything moving in the way it’s supposed to and prevents the buildup of fluid in the body.
In addition to those who experience bloating in the abdominal area, it can also help those who notice water retention and “puffiness” in their limbs or face.
Improved Skin Health
Gua Sha isn’t just meant to treat internal health issues. It can also benefit those dealing with skin conditions like fine lines, wrinkles, and cellulite. It does this, primarily, by improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
When the blood and lymphatic fluid are circulating through the body properly, this helps to provide the skin with the nutrients it needs to look its best. It also helps to carry away the waste products that could have a negative impact on the skin’s appearance.
Faster Muscle Recovery
Athletes and gym-goers can experience great relief when they undergo Gua Sha scraping on a regular basis. The treatments can help to carry waste products out of the muscles and help them to heal faster after tough workouts or training sessions.
One study on weightlifters also found that those who experienced Gua Sha felt that they could lift the same weights with less effort afterward. This may be because their muscles were able to recover sooner after they had their bodies scraped.
Finally, Gua Sha is a powerful stress reliever. Just like massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and other holistic treatments, Gua Sha is a good option for those who just want to relax and feel a little better, even if they’re not experiencing significant pain or other symptoms.
In fact, Gua Sha could be an effective preventative tool for these people and may reduce their likelihood of dealing with more serious issues later.
If they have the treatment done on a regular basis as a sort of maintenance procedure, they can keep their energy balanced and flowing through their bodies in the proper way. This, in turn, will help them to manage their stress and minimize their need for more extreme interventions in the future.
How to Perform Gua Sha Scraping
As you can see, Gua Sha has a lot to offer your clients. Whether they struggle with chronic pain, muscle soreness, or are just looking for a unique way to relieve stress, Gua Sha could be a great option for them. The technique is fairly simple to learn, too.
If you’re interested in offering Gua Sha at your spa, here are some steps you need to take to perform it correctly:
Gather Your Equipment
Start by gathering the equipment needed for Gua Sha. Gua Sha doesn’t require a lot of tools, but you will need a massage table and a skin-safe oil like fractionated coconut oil. You’ll also, of course, need your Gua Sha scrapers.
A Gua Sha scraper is often weighted to make it easier for the technician to apply pressure to the skin. These scrapers might be made from natural healing materials like jade, rose quartz, or bian stone. When Gua Sha is performed in a medical spa or clinic, technicians will usually use a stainless steel scraper.
Apply the Oil
Once you have your tools at the ready, you’ll have your client lie down on the massage table. They might be face-down or face-up depending on the area you’re treating.
When they’re comfortable, you’ll apply a bit of oil to their skin. This helps the scraper to move more smoothly.
After the oil has been rubbed in, you can begin scraping. Press the Gua Sha scraper into the skin and move it in a downward motion, applying firm and even pressure and using short strokes.
The skin will appear red afterward, but the person receiving the treatment should not feel any pain. Many people report feeling relieved and “unplugged” after undergoing Gua Sha.
Keep Your Client Comfortable
To ensure the Gua Sha scraping treatment is relaxing and not uncomfortable for your client, take care to avoid scraping over areas that have moles, pimples, or other blemishes. This includes things like varicose veins, scratches, and open wounds.
It’s also best that you recommend for your clients to schedule their appointments at least an hour after eating. This will help them avoid any discomfort, especially if they’re going to be lying face down on a table.
Know When to Avoid Gua Sha
Gua Sha can be a great treatment option for a lot of people. It’s not for everyone, though. Pregnant women ought to avoid Gua Sha scraping, as should those who have bleeding disorders or certain communicable diseases.
Should You Offer Gua Sha at Your Spa?
Now that you know more about Gua Sha scraping and how it can benefit your clients, does it seem like a good service to start offering at your spa?
Once you master the proper scraping technique, you’ll be able to expand your list of spa services and cater to all the people searching for “Gua Sha near me” online.
To get started, make sure you have the proper tools. Head to our online store today to check out and order our Gua Sha tools and other massage aids.
You may simply want to try this technique on yourself at home.
*We make no claim or recommendation about the medicinal benefits of the products listed in this article. We advise you seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.