This blog is all about the frequently asked body gua sha questions we hear from you. We know it can be a little difficult to get started on a gua sha practise in the beginning because we are scared to do it wrong. Our goal this week is to put any gua sha fears to rest, so you can have the best possible start to your gua sha journey.
If you have any body gua sha questions you would like answered, ask them on our insta account HERE
Q: How does body gua sha massage reduce cellulite?
As you begin to release tension and break up facia adhesions with the gua sha tool, you increase blood flow in the skin so that more nutrients enter the skin and waste leaves the skin. It’s through blood - as in increased blood flow, that collagen and elastic is delivered to the skin, which firms and tightens skin over time.
In addition, you can use the body gua sha massage, if you have tense muscles and need extra relaxation.
Poor diet, poor hydration, lack of movement, weak lymph & blood circulation, suppressed emotions and unresolved anger can all contribute to the accumulation of toxins in the connective tissue and stagnant energy, which causes cellulite and sagging skin. That’s why it’s so important to take a holistic approach to eliminate the cause of cellulite.
In our book “Honest Beauty Talks vol 1” (buy it HERE or on Amazon) you’ll find a complete cellulite treatment guide using our Shape and Drain body gua shas.
Q: Body gua sha massage: What do I need to know before getting started?
You may experience some bruising when you start to break up fascia adhesions with the gua sha techniques. Even though it doesn’t (and shouldn’t!!) hurt to do the gua sha massage. Bruises are quite normal and actually a sign of you have worked in the right place! Just don’t “chase” bruises - Slow and gentle pace will get you further than hard and intensive (which requires much longer rest periods).
You may feel overwhelmed in the beginning, but remember that 5 min. every other day is better than nothing at all and you will still see results. They’ll just show up a little later.
Results take time! This is not a quick fix. It has taken many years to accumulate cellulite, and it will also take time to release it. But in a year from now, you wish that you had started earliere. So just get going. Grab your gua sha and start with baby steps today.
If you tend to get varicose veins and broken blood vessels easily, then move forward slowly and use very very light pressure with the gua sha. If you can tolerate body massage without aggravating your symptoms, you can also tolerate gua sha. Gua sha SHOULDN’T HURT. It should feel like a pleasant deep tissue massage. If it hurts, make it even gentler and slower until the tensions and accumulations dissolve.
Q: What do I need to get started?
A body gua sha with a smooth side such as Drain body gua sha in sodalite crystal.
A body gua sha with a textured side such as Shape body gua sha in rose quartz or obsidian. You'll find them HERE.
Your favorite body oil, preferably mixed with arnica oil extract to prevent and heal bruises.
Aorund 10 mins a day to do a body gua sha massage
Q: What is lymphatic drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is an important part of Gua Sha treatments. In almost all our facials and our cellulite treatments, we work with the drainage of lymphatic fluid to the lymph nodes.
During absorption of nutrients from the blood capillaries to the body, excess fluid is released into the body's tissue. This is called lymph; In Latin, Lympha means "clear water".
Lymphatic fluid is a clear liquid, which consists of a variety of waste products from the cells in the body's tissues. It can also contain foreign microorganisms or particles such as bacteria, viruses, etc.
Lymphatic capillaries are thin vessels that absorb the fluid. Each lymphatic capillary carries lymph into a lymphatic vessel, which in turn connects to a lymph node. When the lymphatic fluid reaches the lymph nodes, it is cleansed and returned to the venous circulation. It is safe to say that our lymph nodes are the body's detoxification plant.
When working with lymphatic drainage, we always work in the direction of the lymphatic pathways (see illustration above). If the lymphatic system is damaged or its function somehow impaired, the fluid will accumulate in the skin. This can cause fluid retention, swelling, pain and increased risk of infection.
The lymph´s primary task is to remove the excess fluid from the skin and rid the body of foreign microorganisms and toxins. With the help of lymphatic drainage, we can stimulate the lymphatic circulation and thus remove excess fluid build up in the skin.
By stimulating the lymph, we can also treat many different skin conditions such as cellulite
Our favorite lymphatic system beauty tools are our sodalite Shape Body Gua Sha, cold showers and dry brushing.
Q: How is body gua sha massage done?
Apply oil to the area you want to work on. Preferably from a spray bottle, as oily fingers are the number one reason to drop and break your gua sha.
Use side 1 (textured side) of your SHAPE Gua Sha tool. Scrape light and briskly, but with comfortable firm pressure, up and down the area. You can also scrape from side to side but never in circles.
From a pain scale from 1-10, where 10 is very painful, you should never exceed a pain level of 3-4.
Continue the scraping with side 1 for a few minutes until the surface of the skin is warmed up and has turned slightly pink.
Using side 3 (smooth side) of your SHAPE Gua Sha tool or side 1 (curved smooth side) of Drain Body Gua Sha, scrape with firm pressure up along the lines of the lymphatic system. Always use a long scrape up towards the heart (not up and down as before).
Do 10-60 scrapes on the same area before you move on to the next area.
Q: Which sides of the Shape body gua sha do what?
- Curved pointy side = Smoothes out fascia adhesions, increases blood flow, tightens loose skin. Used for cellulite type 1-3 and warm up for type 4.
- Waves = Smoothes adhesions in the deeper layers of fascia. Used for cellulite type 4. We recommend you wait 4 weeks before using this technique to avoid too many bruises. Always start out with side 1.
- The smooth side = Used for classic gua sha scraping technique and final lymphatic drainage. Used for all cellulite types.
- End = Used for digging into bound up areas of fascia (type 4). Dig into the tissue with small movements and firm pressure to release adhesions and restricted fascia. This side is used for cellulite type 2, 3 and 4. (Link to figure out your type of cellulite.
Q: How often can I do body gua sha massage?
You can do body gua sha daily, until you are satisfied with the result. If you get bruises, and the area is too sore, wait a few days until the bruises are gone before you do it again.
We recommend you use 5-10 minutes on one body part a day, so that you get the whole body done in one week. It gives the areas plenty of time to recover and you’ll get to work with your entire fascia system. The fascia system is a holistic system that “communicates”, which means that the cellulite on your thighs may well come from tension in the hips, and then you can scrape a lot on your thighs without seeing proper results, before you work on your hips too.
Q: Does body gua sha massage have to hurt before it works?
No! From a scale of 1-10, where 10 really hurts, you should be around 3-4. If you work with the end (side 4) in bound areas, it will be around 4-6 on the scale. Never more!
Q: Why does body gua sha massage cause bruises?
Spots with tensions, fascia adhesions and stagnation will typically be more tender. These places are also spots where you might experience bruises when you ”break through” the fascia adhesions. So the bruises are really a sign that you have worked in the right place. It does not mean that you should chase the bruises! Rather make the massage a little lighter, more gentle and take your time.
This is a self care practise and something to look forward to. 5-10 mins a day is better than one hour once a week. Do your body gua sha massage on the sofa while Netflixing, it won’t take extra minutes out of your day and you get to unwind while you release stress and tension from your body.
Q: Why is body gua sha massage on warm skin more effective?
It has been proven that fascia, the loose connective tissue, becomes less viscous with heat, meaning it becomes more fluid and pliable when warm. In the sauna, after a warm bath or after working out is the ideal time to do a body gua sha massage to reduce cellulite. The inner heat from working out combined with external heat from the sauna means the superficial as well as deeper layers of fascia become softer, and we can go much deeper with the massage without pain.