The Benefits of Gua Sha and Ancient Indian Massage Techniques

Imbalanced energies and pressures create disharmony in the body, which leads to pain and ailments. But with the help of certain massage techniques, you can look and feel better in no time.

By Adarsh Soni
29 Jun 2021


What is Gua Sha?

Traditionally, the term Gua Sha is associated with an ancient Chinese healing technique that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. But in the modern context, the term has come to represent the flat and smooth tool that is used during massage therapy. A Gua Sha is generally made of semi-precious stones like jade or quartz and is used to massage the face. Gua means to stroke or press, and Sha refers to redness. According to early practitioners, the redness that is obtained through scraping encourages the skin to heal itself. The modern-day Gua Sha is significantly less extreme than the traditional practice but when combined with the right serums, it can leave you with healthy skin and a natural glow.



The Benefits of Gua Sha

  • Can help with migraines

According to research conducted by Dr Myriam E Schwickert, Department of Internal Medicine, Naturopathy and Integrative Medicine, Essen-Mitte Clinics, University of Duisberg-Essen, Essen, Germany, a patient who suffered from chronic headaches, highly profited from Gua Sha during her 14-day inpatient multimodal treatment.

  • Aids lymphatic drainage

A slow lymph system can cause puffiness, swelling, fatigue, acne, and other skin problems. Gua Sha is beneficial for lymph circulation since it helps with muscle movement through massage.

  • Renews skin cell growth

Gua Sha brings fresh blood to the surface of the skin which renews skin cells, hence reducing the visibility of acne scars. This can be combined with a good quality vitamin C serum for better results.

  • Reduces symptoms of perimenopause

Common perimenopause symptoms include insomnia, irregular periods, anxiety, fatigue and hot flashes. A study by Dr Fang Meng, Clinic of Gua sha Therapy, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China, found that gua sha may reduce the above-mentioned symptoms of perimenopause in some women.


Ancient Indian massage techniques


Abhyanga is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic oil massage therapy for healing and detoxifying. This ayurvedic detox and stress reduction therapy is performed using an aromatic combination of oils prepared with herbs warmed and blended based on your dosha type.


Benefits of Abhyanga

  • Nourishes mind and body and rejuvenates the whole body
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Promotes deeper sleep
  • Enhances complexion and luster of skin.
  • Reduces stress
  • Prevents stiffness of muscles



‘Shiro’ means head, and ‘dhara’ is the continuous flow of a liquid. In this process, warm herb infused oil, milk or buttermilk is poured in a slow steady stream on your forehead.


Benefits of Shirodhara

  • Stimulates the third eye and crown chakras
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia through natural serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin release
  • Relieves migraine headaches
  • Releases negative emotions and thought patterns
  • Improves sleep patterns
  • Improves mental focus and concentration


Marma point therapy

Marma points are specific locations in your body which are believed to aid energy flow. According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, there are about 107 marma points located in our body and each of them serves a different purpose. Here we’re focusing on the ones that are located on the face:

  • Hanu: to improve circulation to the face and connect with inner feelings, gently press and release the area in the middle of the chin.
  • Oshta: to help ease dizziness, improve mental clarity, gently press and release the area in the middle of the upper lip.
  • Apanga: to relieve eye strain, press away from the eye towards the bony orbit in the outer corner of each eye.
  • Sthapani: to relieve tension and bring peace and harmony to the mind, gently rub in a clockwise spiral in the middle of the forehead.


The Bottom Line

Gua Sha and Ayurvedic massage techniques are alternative therapies that have been proven to provide relief with chronic pain, migraines and when combined with the right serums and moisturisers, they can help achieve healthy skin. Although it’s perfectly safe to use a Gua Sha stone at home, the more rigorous massage techniques should only be performed by licensed practitioners.


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