I have been studying and teaching the Healing Arts for over 30 years. I first came to Ayurveda after attending a workshop with Dr Deepak Chopra in the late 1980’s.
I went on to study and receive certifications in Massage Therapy, Pilates, Ayurveda and Feldenkrais. My studies have taken me all over the world, and my life is rather nomadic. I like to create healing spaces at events where I call on others to share their expertise.
During my studies I came across the Guasha, a flat hand held tool, used to literally scrape away ailments.
The Guasha has been instrumental in my work as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Massage Therapist. It has a wide range of benefits, with pain relief and lymphatic drainage being the most widely known.
The Guasha is incredibly useful as one can travel with it in a pocket and access it whenever needed!
“HISTORY OF THE GUASHA”
The Guasha is an ancient hand held tool used to scrape an area of the body or head; scraping therapy.
Originating in Asia, families would rely on the guasha as relief and prevention for many maladies. The Guasha was always used as first aid prior to calling on a physician. Every household would have one, and eventually the Guasha spread to become widely used in most of Asia and India, and more recently in the West.
Originally, Guashas were carved from buffalo horn or Jade. More recently wood, bone and resin have become popular materials in their production.
Guashas are also made from Jade, Rose Quartz, Tourmaline, Agate and other semi-precious stones . These are great for using on parts of the body where the skin is thinner, like the face and chest. Some like to use the healing quality of the stones as an added benefit to a session.
“HOW TO USE THE GUASHA”
Hold the guasha at a 45 degree angle. Using a quick and firm hand, scrape the edge of the guasha over an area of skin that has oil applied to it. One can use a number of oils including coconut, grape seed, olive, raw sesame, or medicinal oils such as Mahanarayan or Bhringraj.
Always use oil, or soapy water (in the shower) with the guasha so as not to break the skin. If you notice discoloration, move to another area to prevent damaging the tissue. Scrape in any direction you choose but always finish with a couple of strokes TOWARDS the heart or artery that you are working near.
Feel for grainy ridges under the skin, which indicate areas that need breaking down. Revisit these areas often (every few days) until the gravelly areas dissipate and skin becomes smooth.
Drink plenty of extra fluids after guasha in order to move the old lymph and ‘chi’ out of the system through urine and sweat.
You may experience bruising and blotching after guasha, especially in areas that are new to scraping therapy or that hold unhealthy, stagnant or blocked ‘chi’ (toxicity). Do not be alarmed. Bruising will subside and return less and less as your body cleans up and detoxes. Starting healthy eating habits at the same time is beneficial for detoxing.
For hiccups, gas, nausea, indigestion, pain in abdomen, bloating and constipation: (Scrape in a downwards direction ending with a couple of scrapes upwards, towards the heart.)
- Upper Abdomen
- Front of legs below knees
“SOME BENEFITS OF THE GUASHA”
By increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin, guasha has been known to relieve many illnesses and maladies.
In the following pages are some examples of how to use this wonderful tool on different areas of the body for some common ailments.
For scars: (Scar must be at least 4 months old and not red or showing any sign of infection or inflammation.)
● Scrape along scar tissue
● Scrape sides of scar tissue and any lumps on edges
For headaches & migraines, stiff neck, tinnitus, lack of concentration:
● Scrape entire head, including the neck and around the ears
For toothache, tooth grinding, healthy teeth and sagging skin on jaw line: (Be more gentle than on fleshy parts of the body. I use a jade or rose quartz guasha.)
● Scrape from chin along jaw line towards the ears (both sides)
For crêpey and aging skin, cellulite, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injury, arthritis, shoulder pain:
● Scrape upwards on upper arm, lower arm and front of shoulder
● Scrape between and along fingers and hands in all directions
I hope you enjoy your new body tool and use it in your self-care! For more information on Healthy Lifestyle Tips & Guasha visit www.MelinasGarden.com