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Gua Sha for Insomnia: A Gentle Approach to Better Sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation or poor sleeping habits can impact health and performance. Find out how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can improve your sleeping cycle for a well-rested night.

Gua sha for insomnia a gentle approach to better sleep

A regular, healthy sleep cycle may control physiological processes and keep the neurological system in balance. Chronic sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can impair brain function, leading to neurasthenia and other severe disorders. At the same time, insufficient sleep, having nightmares, insomnia, low-quality sleep, or waking up throughout the night are typical physiological processes. Still, if they persist for an extended period, they pose significant health risks. Some of the complications of insomnia include increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

Fortunately, there is a gentle approach to better sleep. You can efficiently treat anxiety and stress that can cause insomnia and insomnia itself with the Gua Sha massage.

Therefore, this article will discuss using Gua Sha for insomnia and everything you need to know on how to use it to improve your sleep.

What Is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy that uses a massage tool to scrape or rub your skin to improve blood flow and circulation. This ancient Chinese therapeutic technique could provide a new approach to improving health by addressing chronic pain and other related issues.

A Gua Sha massage practitioner scrapes your skin using multiple strokes, encouraging microcirculation and blood flow. Practitioners carry out these motions using a Gua Sha massage tool with a smooth edge. After applying massage oil, the massage therapist uses the massage tool to scrape your skin.

Gua Sha made its debut in ancient China. With records dating back to the Stone Age, it is one of the earliest forms of TCM ever discovered. In truth, it was during the Ming Dynasty that this alternative therapy— often used to scrape away disease—was documented in the significant medical literature.

Woman receiving a Gua Sha massage.
Gua Sha can help you have better blood flow and circulation.

How Does Gua Sha work?

Gua Sha practitioners believe inflammation may be caused by the body’s qi or blocked energy. Many disorders connected to chronic pain, including insomnia, are caused by inflammation. It is believed that rubbing the skin’s surface might help break this energy. It can also help lower inflammation and accelerate the healing process.

During a Gua Sha massage, the practitioner massages different parts of your body, such as the neck, back, legs, or arms. They can also use the Gua Sha technique to massage your face. The practitioner may begin lightly and increase the pressure to determine how much you can endure.

Does Gua Sha hurt?

When learning that Gua Sha entails scraping, you might cringe. However, your body won’t be scraped by a practitioner like you scrape ice from a windshield during winter. Gua Sha is generally gentle, but the pressure might increase based on the knots your Gua Sha practitioner encounters.

Furthermore, tools used for Gua Sha have rounded, smooth edges. They won’t cut, stab, or pinch you. In truth, to get you comfortable, the practitioner will first massage the treatment area with cream or lotion. Practitioners won’t attack an area head-on straight away. Instead, to encourage circulation and help unwind the tight tissue, they will find the symptoms and causes, operate on it softly at first, and then progressively increase the intensity.

Gua Sha And Insomnia

There are many potential reasons for insomnia, and there may be several contributing aspects. Insomnia has a complicated cause-and-effect relationship with other health issues since it can trigger or cause them to flare up.

According to medical professionals, insomnia is caused by a hyperarousal problem that gives the patient trouble falling asleep or to stay asleep. Hyperarousal may occur mentally and physically, and various environmental circumstances and medical issues can trigger it. For instance, stress, irregular sleep schedules, lifestyle, caffeine consumption, chronic pain, or mental health disorders can cause insomnia. Furthermore, if you consume alcohol frequently, it can impact your sleep cycle and lead to insomnia.

Fortunately, Gua Sha helps treat insomnia by relieving tension and soreness in the shoulders and neck, awakens the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of relaxation, and helps repair your muscles. Furthermore, by helping you relax your mind and body, lowering your stress levels, and reducing tension and pain, Gua Sha helps improve your sleep. Therefore, the benefits of Gua Sha for insomnia are undoubted.

Woman sleeping deeply.
If you want a good night’s sleep, use Gua Sha for insomnia treatment.

Gua Sha And Its Gentle Approach To Better Sleep

To better understand how Gua Sha can help relieve you of insomnia, you need to understand its benefits for the body and mind, leading to better sleep. Therefore, here is how Gua Sha can help you have a better sleep:

It improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage

Blood rushes quickly to the treated region due to the Gua Sha tool’s scraping action on the skin’s surface. That helps deliver precious oxygen to your whole body, especially your brain, to help it relax and remain in deep restorative sleep.

Gua Sha also encourages lymphatic drainage, as according to experts, Gua Sha can decrease puffiness by removing fluid buildup. As a result, you will sleep better when your body is not suffering from water retention.

It helps reduce stress

Gua Sha stimulates parasympathetic nerve activity. Therefore, your body is forced into a state of rest and relaxation, reducing heart palpitations. As a result, you will feel relaxed after a hectic and stressful day just by having a Gua Sha massage before bed. It will help you sleep better, longer, and without interruptions.

It relieves pain

There is a link between chronic pain and insomnia. Pain typically happens when your nerves are intensely stimulated. Your brain is consequently stimulated, and you are forced to stay awake. In other words, pain causes your brain to stay awake, contributing to sleep deprivation.

Gua Sha may be helpful if you need to relieve aching muscles that give you trouble falling asleep. Those who had Gua Sha massages claimed that their muscular soreness disappeared immediately. In truth, Gua Sha reduces discomfort overall, not just in the targeted area. Also, the pain alleviation persists long after the Gua Sha sessions are over.

At the same time, Gua Sha massages can significantly improve persistent low back pain. Those who receive Gua Sha experience reduced back discomfort and improved mobility. According to research, Gua Sha may even have a more durable anti-inflammatory impact than heat treatment.

Closing Thoughts

Gua Sha is a TCM technique that may enhance circulation, relieve pain, and relax muscles. It can also help reduce your stress and anxiety levels which can all help improve the quality of your sleep. Therefore, you can successfully use Gua Sha for insomnia and other related issues.

Article contributed by Kurt Baker.

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