Body combing, the self healing wellness trend

Wellness watchers have a new trend to embrace – body combing. This self-healing wellness trend, an extension of the time tested Chinese traditional therapy Gua Sha is gaining popularity to address chronic pain and weight loss.  Have you ever gently scraped your back with a hair comb? You get a lovely relaxing sensation. Body combing involves a much deeper stimulation.

jade combs are meant for larger surfaces

Good news for those obsessed with jade rollers! Body combing involves the use of jade combs made of Rose Quartz crystal meant for a stimulating massage on the areas of concern to improve circulation and reduce inflammation.

While conventional jade rollers, small handy tools are meant for face and other small surface areas, jade combs are meant for larger surfaces like back and legs. Jade is known to have potent healing properties effective in reducing stress, irritability eliminating negativity. Rose Quartz is considered as the stone of eternal love restoring love and harmony in relationships much popular among wellness-obsessed individuals.

The root of body combing – Gua Sha:

Man with pain in shoulder

Gua Sha offers a unique approach to your health and wellness by addressing chronic pain and body fatigue. This Chinese healing technique involves scrapping of your skin surface with long strokes stimulating the micro-tissues for better circulation. A smooth-edged tool is used to facilitate the stimulation a comb-like tool better serves the purpose. The smooth ends of the comb teeth enable micro-stimulation.

Unblocking the energy flow:

skin surface is rubbed or stroked in a particular manner,

Most of the Chinese healing techniques involve the release of the stagnant life energy known as Chi. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe any blockage of Chi is responsible for inflammation, the underlying cause for most types of pain and other ailments. When the skin surface is rubbed or stroked in a particular manner, the free flow of energy gets enabled resulting in reducing of inflammation and promoting healing.

According to Chinese medicine, 12 major meridian energy channels initiate from the head. There are specific points on these meridians where Chi can be easily accessed. When you comb gently, the meridian channels get stimulated. The head, being a sensitive area of the body, deep intense combing is not feasible.

Chinese medicine says, stimulating the skin surface by combing strengthens the defensive power of Chi. Combing not only reinforces your body immunity but improves your skin texture keeping the nerves and muscles strong and in good shape. Skin is the largest organ of the body acting as the first line of defense. Body combing reduces cortisol release easing stress and improving skin health inside out.

The technique:

Massage oil is evenly applied over the skin

Massage oil is evenly applied over the skin and the body comb is used to scrape the body repeatedly with downward strokes. Facial Gua Sha also follows the same principle but the tool and stroking techniques are different depending on the muscle contour. Blunt jade stones or rollers are used. You can try the techniques at home easily.

The technique with body combs is applied to the back region, buttocks, abdomen, necks, arms and legs. The therapist or technician normally starts the process by applying mild pressure gradually increasing its intensity to your tolerable level.

Gua Sha is known to provide an array of health benefits like easing muscle tension, migraine and neck pain, treating breast engorgement during the early lactation period and peri-menopausal symptoms.

Body combing in beauty makeover and weight management:

Body combing created a sensation in the wellness market with promises of weight loss and cellulite treatment. Beauty market discovered a new body contouring tool with Body Comb that has the potential to reduce water retention and improve other skin conditions like dryness and chicken skin bumps on upper arms and thighs.

Much of the credit of popularizing Body Combing in the wellness domain of the UK goes to Katie Brindle, the Chinese Medicine specialist and also the founder of a wellbeing company. An experienced teacher in Chinese medical techniques, she takes special interest in teaching Gua Sha techniques, a self-massage technique with this special tool Body Comb.

This is an advanced technique of body brushing popularized by celebrities like Elizabeth Hurley and Elle Macpherson. Body brushing is looked upon as a detox procedure that helps to get rid of cellulite. Celebrities are known to apply body brushing regularly to improve circulation for dimple-free upper arms and thighs.

Cellulites are fat deposits under the connective tissue. According to Chinese medicine, impeded water metabolism causes cellulite when the body energy Chi gets stagnant. Apprehended to face the harsh dry scrubbing with a natural brush, many image-conscious women prefer to stay out of this and decide to live with the existing cellulite and skim bumps.

But Body combing has brought in a more comfortable and effective option for body enhancement. Since the combs are made of jade, it can be used for a long time as a self-massage tool. Just like the body brush, it also facilitates lymphatic drainage driving out toxins from the body but the experience is pleasant.

Using body comb on the head reduces stress and headache and may even promote hair growth owing to improved circulation. The most delightful promise, it claims to reduce extra inches of flab too!

Few brisk strokes early morning help you to fast get over sleepiness making you invigorated. Slow, long strokes in the evening soothe your stressed nerves. In Chinese philosophy, body combing or Gua Sha before going to bed may help in reducing excited energy levels enabling better sleep.

Practice matters than techniques:

Body Combing with jade combs

Gua Sha should be carried by trained technicians. But Body Combing with jade combs can be done at home without emphasizing much on techniques. However, it is always good if you can get some guidance initially. This is more effective than body brushing if you can apply on proper meridian channels.

Apply a lubricant oil or water. Use warm water if you wish to do combing while having a shower. The following steps will help you:

  • Start from the chest. Apply outward strokes on either side of the chest from the breast bone.
  • Shift your attention to the back portion of each upper arm.
  • Next focus on your abdomen. Apply downward strokes from beneath the breast to the hipline. Then do the same on either side of the rib cage.
  • Apply right ward strokes over each buttock from the waistline to the upper thigh.
  • Lastly, work with the back and front part of the legs maintaining similar downward strokes inside the thighs.
  • If you intend to use body comb on your head, start from the hairline and press the comb down to the backside of the neck. The process can be repeated from the temple to the neck. If you feel any sense of stimulation, linger the process for some time.
  • To reduce tummy fat, comb along the belt line or ‘dai meridian’ from the lower spine around the ribs. Then apply down strokes on the tummy 20-30 times. Energy blockage in the belt area or ‘Dai Meridian’ often causes fat accumulation.

Dry yourself quickly. Have a glass of warm water to protect yourself from exposure to cold as your body pores are vulnerable to pathogens after the combing. According to Chinese medicine, warm water keeps your body warm. The basic steps of body combing should not take more than 5-6 minutes. You may find red striations all over the body, which is normal. It will go away after some time. Body combing is not suitable for broken skin or if there is any bleeding tendency.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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