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This traditional Chinese tool has become widely popular in the west, mostly due to the facial and skin beautification treatments. But what could come as a surprise to many is that this tool can also be a natural ally in preventing and healing colds and flu.
The Gua Sha treatment stimulates blood circulation by expanding blood vessels, increasing your blood flow. The micro bruising caused by the scraping signals your cells to boost their immune activity. Essentially it helps your body by jump-starting your immune system, which is now ready to fight any viruses that are taking residence in your body.
In Chinese medicine, the skin - our largest organ- is considered the first barrier against external harmful agents. Because it helps drain your body’s lymphatic system, it’s a natural cure for decongestion. If done correctly, Gua Sha can help alleviate cold symptoms, comfort sinus infections, coughs, runny nose, and headaches.
The Gua Sha is used in the body areas that contain your respiratory system: neck, chest area, and shoulders. To begin your treatment, you will need a massive Gua Sha tool. These are specially designed for the body, while smaller ones are best used on your face.
Start at the top of your neck and use downward strokes, moving the tool down to your shoulders. When scraping the front of the neck, stop the movement at the collar bone.
Beginning at your collar bone, use outward stroke to move the tool towards your shoulders. You may finish with downward scrapes over your breastbone.
Start at the base of your hairline and scrape down to the bottom on your neck. Next, move to your shoulders down on your shoulder blades.
Press and use a small circular motion in the fleshy area of your hand, between your index and big finger. This is a special acupoint that can feel sore if you have a cold.
Give yourself the time and attention to perform this treatment at home.
Pour yourself a cup of warm tea!
You can benefit simply from the moment of respite to give yourself a massage, relax your muscles, and be gentle with yourself in a time when your body needs extra rest and attention.