One of the benefits of implementing or adding Gua Sha to your acupuncture practice is it really takes your business to the next level. It boosts your treatment results. It attracts new customers. And promotes your vis your professional visibility.
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Hi, my name is Dr. Shelly Goldstein, and I am bringing this presentation to you from New York. I have been practicing cosmetic facial acupuncture for over 30 years, and I currently run the. Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Program at the Pacific College of Health and Science. It’s a training program for those of you who are interested.
But before I begin today’s presentation, I’d like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for hosting me today. It’s always a pleasure to be here and let’s get started. This is one of my favorite topics. Always talking about beauty and health and different ways to enhance our acupuncture skills.
When we think about facial acupuncture, it’s not modern it’s dates back to the time thousands of years ago, and it was referred to as my. MYR means beautiful appearance. And it was a holistic regime practiced throughout Asia for centuries. And it was a combination of acupuncture herbs that are either topical or ingested and then various MYR treatments of which Gua Sha is one of ’em.
And that’s what we’ll be talking about today. With all of these, this, the intention was to promote systemic health and wellbeing and to delay the visible signs of aging. And initially it was used for the emperors to keep their concubines looking beautiful and healthy and for the EMS to maintain a youthful and radiant appearance.
But honestly, I’m pretty sure that there were variations of my wrong regimes utilized in most house. One of the benefits of implementing or adding Gua Sha to your acupuncture practice is it really takes your business to the next level. It boosts your treatment results. It attracts new customers. And promotes your vis your professional visibility.
And what does that mean? It adds monetary value to your service menu and at the bottom at the end of the line, it increases your business revenue, both in terms of your services that you provide. And then also these are wonderful tools to retail, and so you can make money selling them to your patients as well.
And the patients actually really love it. They enjoy the treatments. They like the results of the treatments and they really appreciate the home care engagement, which means when they take the tools home. They then begin to use them for themselves and it empowers them. It makes them feel like they’re participating in their treatment and they love the results and it feels good to it.
I don’t know how many of you actually use Quasha in your practice or on yourself. It really, it’s such a wonderful treatment and it really feels good on your skin. Not only that, but it gives you great results as well. So let’s look at Gua Sha, let’s look at the application of it and then how to use it.
And when we talk about Gua Sha, we’re specifically talking about it for the face today because we’re improving facial appearance. When you look at the different layers of the face, we look at it from bone, muscle, fat and skin, and to, and with Gua Sha, we’re primarily affecting those upper layers of tissue, which is the skin.
And for us, the skin is made up of multiple layers. The at the bottom is the muscle on top of the muscle is the subcutaneous or level of the hypodermis. And then the dermis and the epidermis is what you see when you look in yourself in the mirror, or you look at someone else it’s a top layer of skin.
And directly, it’s very thin as you can see in this diagram and then the dermis or the dermal layer as we refer to it is this much thicker area that sits directly below the epidermis below the dermis is the subcutaneous or the fat layer. And then below that lies muscle and surrounding all of those tissues either to attach them one layer to the.
or to separate the layers from the next or the individual components within those tissue layers is connective tissue. And here’s a diagram of connect tissue looks like this kind of sticky web of of tissue and it, so it’s sits in between the different layers of tissue. And it also is within the different layers that we just referred.
When you think about connective tissue, and this is gonna be very important for this conversation. We wanna look primarily at the primary components of connective tissue. So you see this red line running up and down, that’s called collagen and collagen is what provides the support for the tissue.
It’s like the mattress that you lie on and you get. and it pops back up and you lie on it and it pops back up and you lie on it pops back up and over time it starts to sink our breakdown. And so the collage and the structure of the collagen starts to break down over time. And then you have a last in fibers.
They’re the more angled little lines in this image. And there, the snap ability, what we call the ability for the tissue to. Back to its original shape after you stretch it. And you can see, I try on your hand, if you grab a piece of your skin and you lift it up, the ability for that skin to snap back into place, that’s due to this skin’s elasticity dedicated by the elastic fiber, and then you have another primary component.
Are these little blue. Circles that’s called. Those are called fibroblast cells and they make collagen. So something happens. It stimulates fibroblast cells to produce more collagen in the tissue. And all of these elements are bathed in hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is what’s responsible for that binding or the water that is within those tissues that provide primarily moisture within the tissues.
Now what’s important here is this. So if you look at this image, you can see what collagen depletion looks like with the loss of skin integrity. So on the face, and it first begins right at the angle of the corner of the mouth. And you can start to see a little pitting in the tissue as in, right in here.
So this is plumper tissue and then where it starts to pit or think of the. The collagen in that mattress that starts to break down well, that’s what happens in your skin. And so the tissue actually starts to break down the collagen structure starts to break down and it causes the tissue on the surface of the skin to have this collapsed appearance.
For us. What we need to know is remember the collagen that snap back collagen is actually the primary component in connective tissue. And what’s unique to collagen is collagen fibers have this mechanical or electric property, and that’s the basis of the ability to interact with other tissues.
So how is it that when we put an acupuncture needle, The skin, it radiates the Dutchy, it radiates through the tissue. From a Western perspective, it’s the collagen fibers that crab this mechanical and Al electrical property that actually caused that radiation throughout the tissue. And when there, when that collagen is activated or when this, we call it Paso electricity, it can be activated by a number of items or influences.
And when they are these external influences activate the collagen. What happens is it sends that electrical or that Paso effect through the tissue in this specific area, but into other neighboring structures as well. And when we talk about those external influences, we’re talking about pressure.
Vibration and friction. And what’s interesting about Gua Sha is it contains all of those. You can use your Gua Sha tool to apply pressure to the skin. And when I say pressure, what you’re doing is you’re taking the tool and you’re rubbing it across the surface outta either. Light with light pressure, medium pressure are maybe more firm pressure.
And when we do that, what you’re doing is you’re stretching the tissue to cause that small electrical current to slide across the skin. And we call that effective for a, what we call a mild FA release. And then there’s vibration is when we take the tool and we can jiggle it across the area.
And what happens when we create what we’re doing is we’re also increasing that neural signaling and we use it to relieve muscle tension, to stimulate lymphatic drainage and to. Circulation. And then there’s friction. We actually use across the gradient. So if the muscle fibers are running in a horizontal fashion, you may use the tool more perpendicular to actually run across.
The direction of the tissue to create a little bit tension. And when that happens, what we’re doing is we’re actually challenging, stimulating that fiberblast activity to create more collagen to help, to decrease pain, realign, collagen fibers. We can use it to break up adhesions in the skin tissue, which is great for diminishing scars.
And so we’re gonna talk about that a little bit. Now what’s important to note is when with classic Gua Sha treatment and for those of you who done it, what do you do? You take the tool you scrape across the skin, along the skin with the intention of creating T TKI are the little red dots that you see.
And then the redness, or it almost looks like bruising on the surface of the skin. What you’re doing is you’re almost breaking the capillaries and creating that blood, the red blood cells to excavate into the subcutaneous layers of skin. And then in, with the intention of, from a Chinese medicine perspective, moving blood and Chi harmonizing the tissue, and then we use it for multiple fascial and muscular imbalances, like muscle pain, tension tissue stagnation.
And from Chinese medicine perspective to relieve pain, wind cold and heat, and typically the discoloration resolves itself or begins to resolve itself within 20 to four to 48 hours. This is not the intention of facial acupuncture. Our patients generally do not like big bruises on their face. So when we apply facial Gua Sha on the face, we’re not promoting Pete.
That is not the intention of our treatment. What we’re trying to do is increase. We’re still increasing circulation and moving blend and chew. We’re still harmonizing the tissue fashion, the muscular imbalances, and we’re still relieving pain. Cold in heat, but we’re not doing it to the degree that we’re actually stimulating that the Ticia and there’s controversy about whether this is really a Gua Sha or not Ma naming that the intention or the purpose of Gua Sha is to excavate that blood, but it, but we do know that it works on the face and.
Because we’re not breaking those capillaries because we’re not promoting that TKI release or what we’re using it for more is to, from a cosmetic perspective, to soften wrinkles, to sculpt and contour the face to improve collagen, to create thicker skin, we can use it to break up scar tissue. And then very important is to resolve local blood coagulation or, and to break up lymph stagnation in the myofascial tissue.
One of the primary benefits of Gua Sha for facial acupuncture is in fact, this removal of stagnation of limp in the tissue.
To talk about the stones just for a moment. We’re using gemstones. So gemstones versus crystals versus jewels are basically the organic mineral that is caught and polished to create a specific shape. And we know that each of these different. Types of materials or minerals have different purposes and different properties.
But we’re also concerned right now about the shape and the shape for most of our treatments are gonna determine the function that we’re using the tool for. So you have an, these names are not. The technical names, but they’re common names. So you have the fin or that teardrop shape. You have the dolphin heart, you have waves, you have rectangular shapes, the spoon, the fish, the.
And ones so on each of these, the curved edge say the long edge and also the shorter edge of the fin and the tear drop in the hard shape. The longer edges of the wave, these are the, and the wand. These are used for that long sweeping movement that you’ll do. For sculpting different areas and moving li where is the combed edge?
Say this right in here. You can use it for wrinkles for the forehead area. So it’s really good for the top of the head. We have the pointed edges. Remember we’re talking about pressure specific pressure. So these little more pointed edges say the bottom of the wind or the bottom of the fish. Those are really good for acupressure for getting into the wrinkle areas and redo and minimizing lines.
And then you have the rounded paddle say this spoon. Or the top of the fish, or even the bottom of the second wave or the last wand. And those are really good for specific areas. Say under the eye for gentle lymph drainage dark circles and just general lymph drainage as well. So the really the type of tool that you use is gonna determine the.
Treatment that you’re gonna provide, which is always nice to have a multiple different or different types of tools in your toolbox. Also what’s very popular. These days are the Combs, the edges or the Chrome. And this is for cross fiber friction. Remember we talked about going against the direction of the tissue.
So the bottom right here these are what we call Combs or for, or edges for cross fiber fiction. And there are a number of those tools available in the market as well. I’ll give you a link at the end. And then also to be aware of the thickness of the tools. So the thicker tools are more for long strokes, treating long areas where the thinner ones might be used for more targeted areas or shorter strokes.
Yeah. Now don’t confuse Gua Sha tools with a roller, the Gua Sha tools we’re really using for specific treatment. Whereas the roller is more of a massage tool. You might use it after your treatment. As a nice little massage. Some people use it to improve blood circulation. I think the gosh eye tool works a little bit better for that.
As well as decreasing puffy Ma, but people generally use it. They’ll finish their treatment. They’ll apply a little bit of oil or cream or something to the surface of the skin. And then they do use the roller at the end just to either improve circulation, calm, calm the skin again, depending upon the gemstone that you’re.
Jade might be used for cooling. Whereas the rose quartz is more beneficial for improvement, circulation, that type of thing. We talked about lymphatic drainage. And again, I want to emphasize that one of the primary benefits of applying Gua Sha treatment to your treatment. And I personally use it in the beginning of the treatment at primarily to move the lymph.
It’s the Pillsbury tube. It’s nice and squishy and puffy. It’s hard to actually activate the points and to get your treatment results in. But if you get rid of some of that lymph, you reduce some of that swelling that’s in the tissue, then it’s a lot easier to be effective in your treatment. So when you look, when I say lymph, what we’re looking at, for those of you who aren’t familiar, we have lymphatic vessels that are located near the vessels of the circulatory.
They run through the body and through the face at certain points in the lymphatic system, there are lymph nodes. So the swelling or the fluid goes through the lymph vessels, they get cleaned or purified. Pied in the lymph nodes and then they keep moving down and on the face, they dump at the sub super clavicular node right here, it’s around kidney 27 with the intention of going back and taking that fluid back into the circulatory system to repeat the cycle.
What’s interesting is that these lymphatic vessels and nodes follow the trajectory of the meridians or familiar meridians and pathways of acupuncture points. So let’s look at this when we are applying. Facial gloss off or lymphatic drainage. What we wanna do is we want to follow the meridians and the specific pathways in the face around the ears, behind the ears, down the SCM, into the clavicular head, right at the kidney 27.
So it looks like this. You have your patient, you clean their face, you apply a little oil because you’re, you are moving the tool across and it can scratch or irritate their skin. If you’re not, if you don’t have a certain amount of slip or ability to slide, but don’t use too much because then you can’t, you don’t have as much control.
Then oftentimes for Gua Sha, for lymphatic drainage, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna empty the portal, starting from the neck. So we’re gonna clean the we’re gonna slide the Gua Sha tool down the SCM. Across the clavicular area into kidney seven, and then we’re going. So we’ll do that several times. You can come up the back of the neck.
It feels wonderful. And then again, just empty this area, clear it out. And then we’ll move up to the face. So you will start across the jaw area. You’ll go along the cheek area. Again, the intention is just to move that li out back into the kidney 27 area. You will go either down the face, across the cheeks, around the eyes, but again, in the mid face and lower face, you really wanna move it into these little black areas where the nodes.
Down the SCM and across the clavicle on the forehead, you’re gonna sweep across the forehead again with our behind the ear, with the intention of sliding of moving all of that fluid through the nodes to be cleaned. Down the SCM and again, into the kidney 27 area. So that’s your intention and you can pull out maps either the one, the previous picture from here, right?
This image and find the nose and then just keep sweeping along the meridians into the nose, back into the kidney 27 area. Once you open up that the lymphatic system, get that nice and drained. Then you’re gonna focus on the areas of concern. So what are your areas of concern puffiness under the eyes?
Are you gonna do use wrinkles, treat it to treat wrinkles. Do you want to go on the spot side, sun spots? Do you. Skull this along the zygomatic bone. That’s your cheekbone. Do you wanna clean the Mandal the jaw area? Do you wanna massage the scalp, the neck, if there’s neck tension in the neck and the upper back and the shoulders.
So depending upon the intention of your treatment, those are the different tools that you’re gonna use, and you’re gonna apply different strokes to, to create the changes that you’re looking for. In general, we say that one to two sessions a week will give you longer lasting results, especially if you use have six to 12 sessions, but remember what our life pattern also determines the problems that we’re causing.
So if they’re constantly lifting their shoulders or your patient is constantly tightening their neck or furrowing their brows or frown. It’s gonna come or drinking or eating foods that create lymph inflammation within the tissues that will come back. And this is where it’s helpful to sell the tools to your patient and have them teach them how to do it themselves.
They’ll really appreciate it. and then here’s just a list for you of different points. Remember, we talked about using the pointed end of the tissue of the tool to actually go into the the acupressure points. And so you remove lymph. You direct your treatment towards your area of concern, and then you can complete your treatment by taking the pointed end and applying it into specific pressure points that are, or acupuncture points again, relative to the treatment results that you wanna obtain.
So are you treating the neck? are you treating the lower face? Are you treating the cheek area? Are you treating the forehead in the eye? So again, you’re tailor constantly tailoring your treatment to the to the specifics of what your patient needs. Of course, there are always a few precautions or contraindications for eye use.
So if someone has facial cancer cells on their face, you wanna be careful if they have extreme edema, you may wanna look into that. Why is that happening before you start draining? If they’re bleeding or clotting disorders, if by any chance you are a little too heavy handed with your glass eye toll, you could cause clotting, you could cause bleeding.
You could cause that TKI on the face. And again, we never use squa eye directly over open wounds or sore. And we’re careful about acne and eczema, particularly if the acneic lesions are open and oozing. And then when you see Ray moles tags or lesions, you probably wanna refer them to your dermatologist or their dermatologists prior to treating them.
And then precautions. If they’re pregnant or lactating, we may or may not use Gua Sha again, if they’re very weak or I, you may wanna do some treatments first that are more building and then immunocompromised, you would certainly want to make sure that they have permission with, from their physicians in order to move forward.
It’s just safety for. Once you have performed your wash hour treatments, you will notice right away. That you can improve facial contour, you can improve wrinkles, reduce them. You can improve skin tone and color. You can remove tissue, puffiness and swelling that lymph drainage that we’re talking about.
It’s really good for under eye circles or puffiness. You can also in moving the lymph and doing some sculpting, you can actually plump and tighten flacid skin. It’s great for easing muscle tightness, tension and pain. You can smooth, fine lines and wrinkles. You can sculpt the cheekbone and the jaw lines tighten the neck area.
Even skin color by working on the points that where the there’s hyper mentation or sun spots, and it really gives your skin this really rosy glow doing look and appearance. So it’s a wonderful tool to have it. Doesn’t take a long time to use. And it’s great as a retail and for in improving your bottom line, your finances and your business and That’s about it.
So I know this is short. I know it’s a kind of the cliff note version of Gua Sha. If you have more information that you’d like, or if you have any questions, you can always contact me through my website. If you’re interested in more facial courses for facial cosmetic acupuncture and lectures. And then I highly recommend if you’re interested in purchasing Gua Sha shop products, this is a great website.
She has beautiful tools in their reasonably priced. So again, I just want to thank everybody and thank for being here. Thank the American Acupuncture Council and stay tuned next week, where Poney Chiang is coming. He’s wonderful speaker and I, and he is always a delight to listen.
So again, thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you. For listening to this, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s. Today’s good.