Health is everything and many of us work hard each day to ensure we’re maximizing it. This can mean modifying our diets, hitting the gym, and trying new supplements. But few of us have the luxury of regularly visiting a masseuse to improve our blood flow and reduce inflammation.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore that aspect of your health altogether. Instead, you can use muscle scraping tools to improve your blood circulation and workout recovery while also reducing inflammation throughout your face and body. Keep reading for an overview of how to use these tools and to get a closer look at what they can do to support your health.
If you’re ready to invest in muscle scraping therapy now, here are a few products that will help you do it:
- Our Gua Sha Tool is the ideal, authentic way to scrape your muscles
- Lavender Essential Oil to be used with your muscle scraping routine for added relaxation
- Organic Chamomile Hydrosol to help with muscle pain and inflammation
What is muscle scraping?
Muscle scraping is another name for gua sha. This is an ancient Chinese healing practice with roots dating back as early as the 1300s and the Ming Dynasty.
The original purpose of gua sha was to scrape away (gua) any energy blockage (sha) in the body. The Chinese of that era used jade stones and smoothed animal horns to scrape the skin in a single direction. They believed that this would enhance blood flow to a troubling part of the body in order to promote healing.
The modern practice of muscle scraping is very similar to what was practiced in ancient China. The idea still boils down to using a gua sha stone to promote better blood flow, which in turn will provide the body with several worthwhile benefits.
Muscle scraping can be performed both on the face and body so you can use it to improve your circulation and reduce inflammation wherever you need it most.
What are the benefits of gua sha?
There are three primary reasons why people use gua sha therapy. Here’s an overview of each of the benefits that you may be able to enjoy after trying it out.
Inflammation is a problem that many people deal with in their faces. It can also be a problem in your muscle systems -- especially after a tough workout. Muscle scraping therapy addresses these issues by reducing inflammation wherever you use it.
Pain is not only uncomfortable, but it also limits the ways in which we can work towards a healthier body. If you’re struggling with pain, then muscle scraping therapy could be just what you need to relieve it. There have been several studies suggesting that gua sha can have a significant pain-relieving impact when used consistently.
Improved Range of Motion
Muscle scraping can also improve your range of motion thanks to the way it increases blood flow and circulation. Gua sha tools also help to alleviate scar tissue, which can be a limiting factor in your ability to exercise a full range of motion.
Will muscle scraping support my fitness routine?
The benefits of muscle scraping are applicable regardless of whether you hit the gym hard or take care of your health in less-intensive ways. But if you are someone who works out regularly, you’ll be happy to know that several studies have suggested that muscle scraping will support your regiment.
One study found that muscle scraping may improve weightlifting performance. The study asked a group of weightlifters to perform compound movements like squats and deadlifts. Some were told to muscle scrape and others weren’t.
The researchers found that those who used gua sha tools were able to lift more weight with less exhaustion than those who didn’t. Even more intriguing, those weightlifters who muscle scraped had an improvement in their body’s immune response and less protein breakdown.
Other studies have found links between muscle scraping and improved cardiovascular performance. They found that gua sha can improve heart rate variability. This increased variability can lead to better endurance while the heart is performing less work.
While these studies were conducted for fitness junkies, they have ramifications that apply to everyone. The studies show that muscle scraping supports healthier blood flow, which can reduce exhaustion, increase endurance, and improve the functioning of your heart.
Can I muscle scrape myself or do I need professional help?
Most people who use gua sha to improve blood circulation do so themselves. It’s especially easy to use on your face. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, gua sha is a simple process that can be done in the comfort of your home without issue.
But you may be interested in working with a professional gua sha therapist as well. Doing so can be a good option when you’re just starting out with the treatment, as you’ll get the chance to both feel and see what it looks like when done correctly.
Hiring someone to perform gua sha on your body can also be a good choice if you’d like to address muscle groups that are hard to reach on your own. For example, maybe you want to treat your back with muscle scraping. If so, a professional may be able to do that more effectively than you would be able to on your own.
Of course, you can also just ask your partner or a close friend to work on hard-to-reach spots themselves. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the benefits of muscle scraping wherever you want them without having to pay more than you want.
How do I use a gua sha tool to scrape my face and muscles?
It’s important that you take the time to learn about the proper way to use a gua sha tool before getting started. Here’s a step-by-step guide that you can follow to ensure you’re scraping your muscles in a way that will truly promote better blood flow and healing throughout your face and body.
2. Press the tool into the body using firm, smooth strokes.
3. As you work around the body, be sure to use the gua sha in one direction only.
4. Use this routine wherever you’d like to improve blood flow in your body.
Things to Avoid While Muscle Scraping
Gua sha can be a bit complicated when you’re first starting out. For example, many people move around the body too quickly. Muscle scraping is meant to be performed at a leisurely pace so that enough attention can be given to each muscle group that you’re addressing.
You also should understand where to apply pressure and where not to before you get started. Gua sha shouldn’t be performed in bony parts of your body or along the spine. It’s meant only for your body and face’s muscles and tissues. Using the tool elsewhere will hurt you more than it helps you.
Additionally, take care to ensure that you’re not applying too much pressure -- especially on the face. Doing so could lead to unwanted marks that will take some time to disappear.
Finally, make sure that you’re using enough oils to lubricate the tool before you use it. The gua sha stone should be able to slide across your body and face effortlessly. If it’s catching anywhere, then you need to apply a bit more oil to the body part before continuing.
What oils should I use while muscle scraping?
Most people use either essential oils or carrier oils while using a gua sha tool. These have natural healing properties that will help you to get even more out of the effort you put into muscle scraping.
You can even customize the oils that you use to provide your body with the specific healing benefits that you’d like to maximize. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular essential oils used by fitness enthusiasts for muscle scraping.
Peppermint essential oil is perfect if you’re hoping to treat pain, tension, and swelling through gua sha. It contains menthol, which provides a natural cooling effect that will do wonders on achy muscles. The oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that will elevate the healing impact of your muscle scraping routine.
Lavender Essential Oil
If you’re hoping to turn your muscle scraping routine into a treatment that relaxes and calms your muscles, then lavender essential oil is the way to go. It’s also a natural pain reliever that will reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Chamomile hydrosol is an excellent choice for fitness enthusiasts who deal with muscle spasms, as it may be able to help reduce them. Chamomile is also great at reducing muscle tension and combating the excess inflammation that often causes it.
Your Own Creation
You can also combine several essential oils to create blends that have been individualized to meet your unique recovery needs. For example, if you want to use a blend that both calms and reduces muscle tension, consider combining lavender essential oil and chamomile hydrosol.
Check out our natural beauty wellness kit to get everything that you need to begin creating your very own all-natural DIY healing products.
Check Out Our Gua Sha Tool
Are you ready to add muscle scraping to your health and wellness routine? If so, consider purchasing the Jade Roller Guasha Tool Kit from the Nourished Essentials store.
It includes an authentic jade gua sha stone that’s ideal for muscle recovery, reducing facial inflammation, and improving blood flow. You’ll also get a jade roller with your purchase, which you can use on your face to get even more out of your new muscle scraping routine.
Don’t forget to pick up your essential oils as well. We sell a wide variety of oils that will help you unlock the full healing powers of gua sha.