Guasha is a traditional Chinese medicine modality in which unidirectional strokes are applied on an area of the body with a round-edged instrument to cause temporary redness. Guasha is still unknown to many in the West although celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle McPherson are proclaimed fans.
Guasha therapy is used to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Break down tissue blockages
- Relieve pain
- Improve circulation
- Release toxins
- Promote healing
- Enhance metabolic processes
- Modulate immune system
Guasha can be a powerful treatment for pain, upper respiratory and digestive problems, and many acute or chronic disorders.
According to Dr. Arya Nielsen, director of acupuncture in the Department of Integrative Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, guasha stimulates anti-inflammatory and immune response properties. In addition to thousands of studies done in Asia over the years, there’s been an increase in Western research in the past decade on biomechanism effects of guasha. A breakthrough study was done in 2009 by a group at Harvard using bioluminescent imaging with a mouse. According to Dr. Nielsen, this study showed that guasha upregulates HO-1, CO, biliverdin and bilirubin, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cytoprotective, at “multiple internal organ sites immediately after and over a period of days following a guasha treatment”. Other randomized control studies have also shown the anti-inflammatory and therapeutic effects of guasha on conditions, such as active chronic hepatitis, in which liver inflammation indicates organ breakdown. The anti-inflammatory effect of HO-1 uptake may also explain guasha’s historical use in traditional Chinese medicine to treat:
- Musculoskeletal pain
- among others
At Asiana Wellness, we also offer facial guasha which is a gentler treatment to tighten the skin, contour the lines, and reduce puffiness that occurs due to fluid retention. One of the main reasons for facial fluid retention is systemic inflammation caused by sugar, gluten, dairy, excess alcohol, allergies, or chronic illnesses. Fluid retention may also be due to excess salt intake or sedentary lifestyle.
Facial guasha helps to drain the lymphatic fluids, remove toxins, stimulate collagen production, and rejuvenate skin cells for an improved appearance and a healthier glow. Dr. Park, who is certified in Cosmetic Acupuncture, has a mastery and love of guasha that will help you enjoy its full benefits.
Please click on the links below to learn more about our other modalities: