Can Gua Sha Be The Secret To Improved Posture?

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Has someone ever told you to stand up straight and put your shoulders back? It's the demand of mothers everywhere. Luckily, there are numerous ways to correct poor posture. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people who work from home has tripled in size. This means a lot more of us are spending our days at our desks, or even in our beds, slouched over computers as we work. 

Some people may try yoga as a way to correct their posture and release tension in the body. But has anyone ever thought about a gua sha as the secret to improved posture?

For those who don't know, a gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine practice in which flat stones are used on the body to release tension and improve circulation. It has been around for over 2,000 years but recently became a trending self-care tool online via TikTok.

The gua sha can solve a lot of problems, but one that might surprise you is that it can help to improve your posture.

How to use gua sha to improve your posture

When people hear the word "gua sha," they most likely think of the flat stone tools only being used on the face because that's how they first became popular on social media platforms. However, the practice of gua sha actually initially began as a body treatment with great benefits for more than just defined cheekbones, per Poosh.

You can actually use the gua sha stone on your neck for posture relief, which could definitely benefit those who spend a lot of time at their desks. Make sure to apply your preferred type of face or body oil to your neck and massage it into your skin first so that the tool glides smoothly over the skin without tugging. Begin with the gua sha tool behind your ear, and then slowly move it down your neck and into your shoulders with firm pressure. Repeat as needed, and then switch to the other side.

Licensed naturopathic doctor Dr. Nadia Musavvir explains to Well + Good how this helps improve your posture. "During times of stress, it's common to subconsciously hold tension in the neck and shoulders, causing tightening of the muscles which often brings your shoulders up and rounded forward — especially if you're sitting at a desk all day," she said. "Using gua sha along these shoulder muscles can help loosen the tightness and improve your posture."

Other ways to use gua sha

There are many other ways to benefit from a gua sha as well, per Poosh. Use it on your thighs to reduce cellulite and on your arms to help with lymphatic drainage in your upper body. In general, a gua sha may help reduce inflammation and puffiness, firm the skin, and flush out toxins from the body.

You can use a regular facial-sized gua sha stone on your body, or you can buy a bigger one to cover more surface area of your skin at once. If you're unsure of where to purchase your first body-sized gua sha stone, look no further. Amazon has some pretty great, inexpensive options.

Last but most certainly not least, make sure you are always using a clean gua sha tool. Keeping tools that touch our body and face clean is important to maintaining good health and reducing the spread of germs. Even though the tool itself is typically a small smooth stone, it can still hold a lot of bacteria. If you don't take care of your gua sha, it could lead to skin infections down the road.