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Exploring Holistic Healing: Jenna’s First Time Trying Reiki and Gua Sha!

Updated: Apr 29

Embracing Holistic Approaches

I love holistic medicine, and I also love trying all things health and beauty. So, when providers I trust offer me suggestions for integrations to try, I will usually say yes and ask questions later. Keeping an open mind is one of my life’s mantras, especially when it comes to my health and well-being. I’m a believer in overall wellness!

Introduction to Gua Sha

woman getting gua sha
Gua Sha Treatment.

I’ve been going to acupuncture regularly. I started to help with a knee injury I sustained after falling off a bicycle in Mexico. I was sober, just bad at anything that resembles a sport. Every few months my provider, Beth Grubb Li of Sixx Cool Moms Approved Business Beth Grubb Li Acupuncture in the Kentlands of Maryland, would suggest I do a Gua Sha treatment on my stiff shoulders and back. As you can imagine, having a job largely in social media means I’m constantly looking down at my phone or computer. I try to take care of my back, but it still gets super stiff. I like to say I go ‘full croissant.” If you watch my posture through the day, you’ll see me slowly shift back into my original roly-poly form.

What is Gua Sha?

So what is Gua Sha? This traditional Chinese healing method involves a professional using a smooth-edged tool to massage your skin while applying pressure to the object. It’s become popular as a facial technique to sculpt your jawline and provide lymph drainage, creating a less swollen facial appearance. You may have seen jade and pink products specifically for the face out in the wild.

The Process and Benefits of Gua Sha

The name Gua Sha — pronounced gwahshah — comes from the Chinese word for scraping. It may also be called skin scraping, spooning, or coining. When used on the body, this historical practice is believed to help release stagnation or blockages in the body's energy flow, known as qi or chi, and to promote the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. These blockages are thought to contribute to various health issues, including pain, inflammation, and illness. By scraping the skin, Gua Sha practitioners aim to stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, and encourage the body's natural healing processes. There are minimal side effects, but the act of scraping causes skin bruising called Petechiae, which heals in a few days but can look pretty gnarly while it heals as witnessed below. Most acupuncture providers will offer Gua Sha as part of your session or as an add-on treatment, so ask them the next time your neck is feeling stuck and stiff. The only caveat, make sure you don’t plan to wear a bathing suit within 5 days of your treatment, or you will scare people at the beach.

My Experience with Gua Sha

gua sha rash
It looks worse than it feels. Doesn't hurt after at all.

For Beth to perform the technique, I take my top and bra off and cover my front with a sheet for modesty. I sit on the edge of the practitioner table, and Beth uses the table as leverage as she applies oil before pressing down on the spoon scraping the tight areas of my neck, upper back, and shoulder blades. I’ll be super honest; this isn’t a relaxing procedure. It doesn’t quite hurt, but it’s irritating to feel the spoon roughly scraping against my knots. I’d liken it to a very light rug burn sensation, but the immediate muscle release after the session is well worth the short-term discomfort. Beth instructed me to keep my neck warm, as cold air could make my stiffness worse as the treatment takes hold. And as with any of these services or just because your kidneys need more of it to flush out all the White Claws you’ve been pounding… drink water.

Introduction to Reiki

woman receiving reiki treatment
Reiki practitioners use a series of 12 to 15 different hand positions during a treatment session.

Moving Along to Reiki. As a lover of the ‘woo-woo’ arts, I have always been curious about energy healing and Reiki, so when the opportunity presented itself for a session with Rachel Kaufman of Sixx Cool Moms Approved Business Integrated Healing Vibes, I decided it was the perfect birthday treat for myself to myself. While Gua Sha is based on Chinese medicine, Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist monk and spiritual teacher in the early 20th century. After a spiritual experience on Mount Kurama, Mikao developed the system of healing known as Reiki, which he initially called "Usui Reiki Ryoho" or the Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method. "Reiki" is derived from two Japanese words: "rei," which means universal or spiritual, and "ki," which means life force energy. Together, Reiki can be translated as "universal life force energy."

Understanding Reiki Healing

In Reiki practice, practitioners believe that the ‘universal life force energy’ nourishes and supports the body's natural ability to heal itself, promoting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. During a Reiki session, the practitioner channels this universal life force energy through their hands and directs it to the recipient, either by placing their hands lightly on or just above the recipient's body. The practitioner acts as a conduit for the energy, allowing it to flow freely to wherever it is needed most in the recipient's body. Reiki is often used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and support the body's natural healing processes. It is also believed to help balance the body's energy centers, known as chakras, and to clear any blockages or imbalances in the energy field.

My Reiki Experience

I walked into Rachel’s home studio located in a separate office off her property, and the space was serene and set for our session. We sat down for about 10 minutes to talk about my session goals and for Rachel to explain the Reiki process. Our 90-minute session was one of the most relaxing 90 minutes of my life. I felt my stress float away and had some visual imagery come through for later processing. Rachel moved over my body either hovering or using a very light touch. She included crystals and essential oils in our session for an overall, zen, and wonderful experience. I think I fell asleep a few times, but I may have also been on another planet; it is hard to tell.

After Reiki Session

tarot card reading
After Session Card Pull.

After our session, Rachel and I sat back on the couch so I could bring up any responses to our session, and to pull a tarot card, which is a perfect way to close out an energy healing. I found incredible value in the card I pulled. That evening, I fell asleep easily and slept peacefully for the entire evening. I highly recommend quarterly energy clearing sessions to reduce your overall stress level, and potentially get in touch with your spirit guides. If the opportunity comes for a card pull DO IT! It’s amazing how accurate Tarot Cards can be when you set the right intention before pulling!

If you like massage or acupuncture, trying Gua Sha or Reiki is a wonderful way to learn more about energy, chakras, and qi and to assist in alleviating symptoms of pain, discomfort, and illness in the body!

Visit our Sixx Cool Moms Approved Business directory to find a Reiki and Gua Sha practitioner by you!

Author: Jenna Levine Liu, Founder and President of Sixx Cool Moms. You can follow Jenna on Facebook, Instagram, and begrudgingly TikTok



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