Here is some sha, on the back of my friend @ivesacupuncture. Translated by some to "sand,” sha appears when you lightly press and stroke the skin using a gua sha tool made of bone or jade, edge of a soup spoon, edge of the lid of a jar. Sha looks different on everyone, at different phases of health, energy, healing processes. It can be bright, or dull, or red, or purple. Maybe a lot, or a little. In classic East Asian medicine fashion, "it depends."
I should probably share that it stimulates the immune system, because it does, in a very fascinating and specific way. And that it relieves pain, speeds injury recovery, and invites fresh blood and lymph in to refresh the tissue and clear the red blood cell fragments that I've drawn out of the vessels into the interstitial space. Also, that it clears fevers and detoxifies the liver <hepatitis> and lungs <asthma, bronchitis>. .
But also. What's interesting to me about gua sha is that it helps release the outer layer of the body, which is protected by a type of qi called wei qi. Wei qi is, in the most old-fashioned and basic survival-y way, just trying to keep us safe and warm. Operating on instinct and reflex, the exterior layer tends to absorb all the shocks, all the stresses, all the times you almost got sick but didn't. All the emotional conversations that left you feeling shut down, unsure how to respond or move forward. Definitely all the traumas. It helps tuck away the toxins so they're unable to poison us outright. .
Seen through this perspective, gua sha helps vent whatever we've been suppressing. Whatever our bodies are ready to release will be released through gua sha. Colds and flus that are trying to make their way in? Of course. But also, latent emotions? Check. Toxins in our lungs, in our liver, in our muscles? Check. The armoring in our muscles and fascia in response to emotions and traumas? Uh huh. Simple and amazing.
#guasha #guashatherapy #chinesemedicine #weiqi #liver #immunity #pain #stressrelief #acupuncture #release #letitgo #healing #qi #blood #renewal #gowanus #brooklyn #nyc