Don’t you just love when you discover a new ritual or routine that completely changes and transforms the way you looked at your life and your body? I do. Especially when said ritual is Gua Sha massage and acupressure for the body. Gua sha meaning “to scrape sand” is a small stone tool used either for the face or the body to gently scrape or massage the body and help drain the lymphatic system. Nowadays in Western culture, Gua Sha is used primarily for the face to sculpt. However, in Vietnam where it originated it is used for the body and face to heal and restore. After buying my first tool a few months back to use on my face. I quickly abandoned the ritual as I did not see or feel any noticeable difference.
That was until I stumbled on a youtube video where the Gua Sha tool was used for massage. As someone who loves a good sweat session (and has the aches and pains to go with it), this new ritual seemed right up my ally. In part because getting a massage every week is not feasible given my lifestyle and bank balance. And after watching a few videos and reading up on it, I started to practice Gua Sha massage on myself in the evenings in bed for relaxation and flushing my system. Soon after I found out about acupressure which also uses the Gua Sha stone to helps achieve a deeper massage.
After doing it a few times at night I can say that I am a convert. Not only can I feel my body warm up after I’ve put the tool down. I also find that my aches and pains are also gone. Whilst Gua Sha can be done by anyone. I would only recommend acupressure to those who don’t mind a bit of pain. As I often find I am pretty bruised, red and tender for a few days after. So whether you choose to try one, or both. I would highly recommend this simple and effective stress busting practice.
Be warned that it can be addictive, but only in the best way possible. All you will need is a Gua Sha stone, some massage oil and a glass of water (trust me hydration before, during and after is crucial) and you are good to go. The great thing about it is that you can also massage loved ones. I would recommend following a youtube video to start and taking it from there. As you get more confident you can even mix Gua Sha massage and acupressure for maximum pleasure and pain relief.