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Scraping the strain away: Using a Gua Sha for your body

This is an image of Gua Sha

Gua Shas have been a favourite skincare tool for almost every individual out there. And with their array of extraordinary benefits, why would they not be? But were you aware that Gua Shas are capable of working their magic on your body and not just your face? We are here to let you in on this underrated feature.

What is a Gua Sha?

A gua sha is a massage tool that is created using different semi-precious stones. It traces its origins to ancient Chinese medication. This tool focuses on moving energy around your body and alleviating it. Using a Gua Sha tool on your face or your body is touted as a natural healing process. A hidden secret is that this tool can even be utilised on your body, scraping it gently to get rid of multiple concerns.

What are its benefits?

One can go on and on about the wondrous benefits of a Gua Sha. However here are a few benefits a Gua Sha can offer our body-

1. Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage is just as crucial for the rest of your body as it is for your face. The absence of this can lead to your body looking heavily bloated. A Gua Sha boosts lymphatic drainage in your body by increasing blood circulation in your shoulders, arms and legs. Our lymphatic system needs a slow nudge to leave our body looking radiant too.

2. Immunity Boost

Yes, you read that correctly. A Gua Sha can also aid with boosting your immune system a tad bit. We are often attacked by common colds and cases of flu at the slightest, indicating our immunity is not strong enough. Draining the lymphatic system can heavily help in flowing all the toxins present in our body. Regular and correct usage of the Gua Sha will certainly come to the rescue in times of need.

3. Improvement in Perimenopausal symptoms

Perimenopause is a time in the life of a woman - 8 to 10 years before her menopause begins, as this is when levels of estrogen keep fluctuating. Hot flashes, chronic pain, mood swings and insomnia are just a few of the symptoms that manifest during this time. A Gua Sha when used on acupoints on the back, upper arms and legs can reduce these drastic symptoms.

4. Goodbye neck and shoulder pain

Incorrect posture and incessant hours in front of a laptop/computer screen have definitely resulted in us dealing with constant pain in our neck and shoulders. A Gua Sha when used regularly to massage these points can offer relief by releasing your pent up muscles.

5. Diminishes cellulite experience

Over time our body develops cellulite, which is nothing but fat deposited under your skin. It is an absolutely normal and natural feature of your body. But if you wish to diminish the appearance of it, a Gua Sha is your ideal companion. This tool works to break up the tension and boost blood circulation in your body which further leads to nutrients flowing in your body. Owing to this, collagen and elastin find a place - tightening your body and reducing cellulite.

6. Ease body muscles

Activities like heavy lifting and working out along with being on your feet all day long can lead to a lot of muscle tension. Stress is another contributing factor to our muscles tensing up. With Gua Shas working to release tension in our face, they also work miraculously to ease the tension present in our body muscles - thus easing our muscles.

This is an image of gua sha and its benefits

GETTING THE BEST OUT OF A GUA SHA

Now that we have established the wondrous benefits of using a Gua Sha on your body, let us take you through how you can get the very best out of it and tackle your specific concerns.

1. S Shaped

The shape of this tool has been specifically created to suit wider parts of your body like your shoulders, back and neck. It works effectively to release muscle rigidity and offer you relief.

2. Wing/Fin shapedΒ 

Though Gua Shas that are shaped in a wing/fin is commonly utilised for the benefit of your face, they can also be used to massage parts of your body. Gently massaging your biceps, triceps and chest can boost circulation in those parts and have them rejuvenated.

3. Dolphin shaped

The most commonly used Gua Sha is the dolphin-shaped one. Used and loved widely by practitioners and skincare lovers alike, this Gua Sha can work on giving a deeply intense massage to your glutes and thighs.

This is an image of the shapes of gua sha

Using a Gua Sha on each body part

A Gua Sha will battle all our body concerns when used on each body part the right way. Always ensure the tool is clean and disinfected. It can be stored in your fridge for extra cool relief. Ensure the body part you are focusing on is cleansed and oiled with a body oil of your choice. This will ensure a smoother and effective massage.

1. Neck

Using the concave side of the Gua Sha, begin at the very base of the side of your neck and move the tool upward in gentle motions. Repeat this action on the other side as well. Shift to the front of your neck and in similar gentle motions, drag the Gua Sha upwards.

2. Shoulders

Begin at the base of your neck with the flatter side of the Gua Sha and move it downwards in shorter movements. Move towards your shoulders and with the longer concave side drag the tool downwards to release pent up tension. Repeat these movements on both sides of your shoulder.

3. Chest

Use the concave side of your Gua Sha at the midline of your sternum. Work your way under the collarbone in horizontal and slow motions. Glide the tool towards your shoulders, outwards not inwards. Conduct the same process on the other side of your chest as well.

4. Arms

Begin with the top of your arms and use the concave side of the Gua Sha to massage it in long and downward strokes. Ensure that each and every part of your arm - from your biceps to your triceps are equally covered. Repeat these movements on your other hand.

5. Back

To use the Gua Sha on your back, it is ideal if someone else is administering the massage to you. Ensure you are laying down on a flat and soft surface. Use the convex side of the tool and begin at the top of your back and scrape the tool downwards in slow and long motions. Repeat each downward stroke at least 2 to 3 times. It is crucial to maintain the same pressure on each part of your back - whether it is the upper or lower back.

6. Thighs and legs

Begin with your calves and use the Gua Sha to apply pressure on various points of the calf, you can move either upwards or downwards. Move a little above the ankles and apply pressure similarly. Take the concave side of the Gua Sha and either use upward or downward strokes. Ensure no place is missed. Move to your thighs and flex them while you use the tool. Apply some pressure on the hollows near your muscles. Then in upward strokes massage your thighs and glutes. Repeat this action on your other side too.

This is an image of how to use gua sha

However, usage of body oil before massaging a specific area is a must. Various body oils bequeath you with different advantages. Here are some of our favourite picks!

1. SKOG Bergamot Oil

The Clary Sage/ Bergamot Body Oil by SKOG is meticulously made with 100% pure Sweet Almond Oil. It works to diminish body acne and soothe and balance your skin, healing it further.

2. Cinnamon Soul Citrus Breeze Luxurious Body Oil

The Citrus Breeze Luxurious Body Oil by Cinnamon SoulΒ intensely hydrates and moisturises your body with its blend of Walnut Oil, Almond Oil amongst others. It will leave you feeling and smelling as fresh as an orange!

3. Skog Jojoba Oil

The Jojoba Oil by SKOG is a nourishing and repairing oil that has a combination of Vitamin E and B along with Zinc and Copper. This oil soothes your skin and heals scars.

How often can a Gua Sha be used on your body?

For individuals who are just beginning to walk on the pathway to using the Gua Sha on their body, it is best to use this tool at least 3 times a week. Experienced users can use it 5 times a week. However, it is best to use a Gua Sha on your body as and when specific body parts seem rigid or you face pain.

Who should avoid using a Gua Sha?

Individuals who have had any kind of surgery at least 6 weeks prior to using a Gua Sha to massage their body should steer clear from it. Further, if you are dealing with any clotting disorders or consuming any blood thinners - this tool is not meant for you. If skin infections are pestering you, a Gua Sha is not recommended.

How can I clean and store my Gua Sha?

The cardinal rule of using a Gua Sha is that it must be cleaned properly. Usage of an unclean tool on your body could result in adverse reactions or rashes and infections. Cleaning a Gua Sha is not a difficult task. All you need to do is mix some water with a disinfecting soap of your choice and dip a soft towel in this water. Gently wipe your Gua Sha with this mixture and pat it dry with another clean towel and you are good to go!Β 

This is an image of how to wash and clean your gua sha

SUMMARY

Scrape your body to glory with Gua Shas and tackle everything that is troubling you. It is time we start using this tool to its fullest and not just to massage our faces! Our bodies deserve to be relaxed, painless and free too!

- Sakshi Rawte

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