You may remember that I spoke about Katie Brindle and The Hayo’u Method in a previous post, speaking about rituals and breathing techniques that you can do to control stress and health issues. I went in depth about the illness I have been through since I was a baby and how we have been working together to undo all of the damage that’s been done. As I’m documenting the journey, the next thing I’ve been learning with Katie is how to do Gua Sha. What’s that? Let me tell you!
Gua sha, translated from Chinese into English means to scrape the skin with a blunt object (Gua) to release blood circulation and redness (sha). It’s an ancient, traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to release unhealthy elements from injured areas of your body and stimulates blood flow and healing. When you Google this, it does look incredibly scary at first due to how red your skin can go and the fact that some of the stagnant blood comes to the surface and lasts for a few days. I want to say before anyone runs away though, it does not hurt at all. It feels very similar to rubbing a rounded jam jar lid over your skin, so it’s more like a pressure and a massage than anything painful. The only time it can be sore is if you hit an area that’s tender to begin with (which you aren’t supposed to do) or if you get right on a bone, so I avoid those areas and concentrate on tissue.
Katie has released two different Gua Sha tools as part of The Hayo’u Method which she has designed specifically to eliminate stress and incorporate into a self treatment routine. The idea behind both of these treatments is to clear away the signs of stress and aging as well as enhance nutrients and blood flow around your entire body, including your face. She also has oils which have been designed with a combination of herbs and flowers which you need to use to do the Gua Sha (or unscented like me if you’re intolerant to smells). So let me tell you what products she has and my experience with it.
The Body Restorer
The Body Restorer is designed to help clear away the daily build up of stress, in just one minute, but for me, I’m using it to help with my ailments and internal heat problems. This tool is shaped to fit the contours of your body – the concave line glides over the skin, whilst the convex side is designed to enable a deeper, more intensive treatment, then the U shape works well on the fingers and smaller areas. It’s made from 100% stainless steel and should be used with oil. This can either be the Hayo’u Body Oil, or a milder oil like coconut which I have to use as I’m sensitive to smells.
The main goal for body Gua Sha is to enhance the nutrient supply and draw out tension in your body, boost your immunity, and also aid lymph draining to help reduce congestion and toxicity, in general, but for me it’s also helping to release my heat build up at the same time. A lot of people will get similar treatments (like the Cupping methods that swimmers use) to help with their muscles and also to make them get better a lot quicker when they are sick with a flu or cold. It’s truly fascinating!
The Beauty Restorer
The Beauty Restorer tool is made from 100% Xiuyan Jade for its restorative qualities and it’s designed to be a part of the one-minute beauty ritual and preferably used with the Hayo’u Face Oil. Since Jade is a natural stone, it’s been ergonomically shaped for use on your facial contours as you can see in the design. This helps you clear away the signs of stress and aging on your face, in just one minute. I haven’t used this tool yet as my face is very delicate so I’m using only the body tool. My mum will be reviewing this one on my other website, The Fashion Supernova, very soon!
My Gua Sha Treatment
So I had my first Gua Sha treatment at Katie’s treatment room and after doing a lot of research on it, I was definitely ready to give it a go. She explained to me everything about Gua Sha and what she would be doing, focusing on my back first, and then teaching me how to do it on myself for self treatment going forward. I wasn’t expecting any pain as I had been told constantly that it wasn’t painful, so I wasn’t apprehensive at all, I was quite excited.
Katie rubbed coconut oil on my back and then proceeded to rub the Gua Sha stainless steel tool over my back. Repeating 8 strokes on each section, or more/less if it was required. It felt very much like a different kind of massage and as expected, it wasn’t painful. You can use a much harder pressure if you want to go intensely, but as I’m very delicate and my body can slip into a healing crisis at any given moment, she went gently. It’s amazing as my body responded very quickly to it, releasing lots of red to the surface, then in certain areas (around my liver mostly) the Sha was coming up a lot. That’s what you can see in the photos in the little red dots. Funny how it’s only in certain areas isn’t it?
You might just think that’s because you have damaged the skin and of course it goes red as you’re scraping it, but that’s actually not the case. I was skeptical on that myself too, but after doing my entire back exactly the same (not one part of it was missed) you can see that the redness only came up in areas that there were issues underlying, and of course it came up intensely around my liver as my liver has to go through a lot. It’s kind of magical to me that only the damaged areas show up, as I’ve since done it numerous times on my whole body and only a little bit comes up on my left shoulder blade and my chest, everywhere else is almost empty. I need to do my back again, which I will have Adam do, and see if there’s a better improvement.
The redness goes away fairly quickly, pretty much within a few hours or less, however the deeper pigments that come up which look like blood stay there for a few days. My mum’s went away after 3 days, but mine was still there after 4-5 days, fading each day. This is because I have a much slower healing rate than normal people do, due to my Ehlers Danlos. So for me, I’m using this Gua Sha as a treatment not only to eliminate stress and more problems building up, but as a healing tool for my other problems I’ve had since birth. I will say that afterwards you feel very energised too. I didn’t feel well yesterday and thought I was coming down with something, but after doing the treatment on myself, I feel great today. There’s definitely something to be said about Chinese medicine and I’m so glad Katie is showing it to us all in ways we understand and can use in our daily life.
You should definitely check out the Gua Sha treatments if you want to learn more about it, even if you aren’t doing it deeper like I am, just releasing the redness gently in the 1 minute rituals is beneficial. It really helps your skin look younger, much more clearer (I always think Katie’s wearing make-up and she never is, that’s how clear her skin is!) and youthful. Plus, if it helps your body release stress and toxins, what’s not to enjoy? I can see Gua Sha gaining popularity more and more as the months go by and I hope more people will use it too. It’s helped me so much and that’s the honest truth. I’m definitely on a road to recovery. Just a quick note, don’t use it on broken skin, broken bones, or damaged skin. If you have Sha still present on your skin as well, don’t repeat the Gua until it’s gone down. But let me know what you think! I’d love your thoughts!