Okay. First question.
If you learn how to do Gua sha, you want to learn how to do it properly, right? You want someone who isn't going to spout out a bunch of half-truths with mediocre theories or someone so full of academic turkey stuffing that they haven't a clue what it means to get your hands dirty day-in day-out with patients.
I've written a few books with particular interest in getting Gua sha known in the West outside of the small circles that it was used when I first used it over 20 years ago. I can't be sure but I think they might have helped a bit. Incidentally, if you ever read one of my books and you like it, please tell me. The ones that don't, often make themselves heard. Here's a selection:
"I took one star off my review because of the Asian woman on the cover. Why do men authors think this is okay?" (She is, of course, referring to my wife of 25 years who featured all throughout the books),
"you can find all the same material on the internet" (This is a double whammy - a one star review punishing me for other people copying me - and it happens a lot by the way),
"It's too simple", "it's too complicated" (I think that's called a no-win situation)
"It's in Spanish" (A one star review on the Spanish edition page - Huh??).
So, if you have anything on the positive side, try to get through to me too! You'll make my day.
Anyway, my attention then turned to practitioners and I wanted to encourage a new kind of Gua sha practitioner who can join me in pushing what it can do. This is why I wrote the level 1 and 2 Certificate courses (3 is coming!) and began solidifying what I learned in my North African clinic. Instead of going searching for hermit Gua sha gurus in the Tibetan plateau and finding my own special enlightenment, I treated people and treated people and treated people in the place I was. I tested ideas and pondered a great deal. It was the case of, "I wonder what happens if I..." And through trial and error and a stroke of luck, I came up with some pretty cool stuff. Now this doesn't mean I'm going to live in a tree, wear a robe and grow my beard real long, although it's tempting, but it does mean, I think there's gold in them hills and here are some jolly good reasons to mine it together:
1. You get a whole new perspective on Gua sha
The concept of my training is to ensure you know all about Gua sha from different perspectives and issues of safety, comfort and effectiveness just like you would expect from a comprehensive course. The techniques you need, the styles, the strengths, the dangers, the red flags etc. But tossed in with this essential knowledge is the secret sauce - something that certainly transformed my ideas about the body and what you can actually do with Gua sha on a multiple levels..
2. You get to master something really quite special
I didn't put together these certificate courses over a couple of weeks in lockdown, I started it 2 years ago and have been adding things and re-editing it ever since. Over the last year it has morphed into ecological Gua sha and I'm sure it will change even more along that path. Partly because it's the understanding of the ancient Chinese but partly because it's so eloquent and down right beautiful in its concept and execution. Once you know Chinese medicine in this way, you'll never see it the same again.
3. You get a cutting edge course which goes above and beyond
You know I mentioned that I do the "I wonder if I " thing with Gua sha, Well I do it a lot and from my knowledge of acupuncture, I often bring things across to see if something similar works with Gua sha and when it does, I add it in.
4. You get a face-to-face tutorial
This is a brand new feature of the certificate courses. Imagine not being sure how to hold the tool right. You're read the material. You've watched the video but you're still not sure. If only there was a way that someone super smart could come along and show me exactly what I'm doing wrong. Yep. You got it. Me sipping Rosé and munching on tapas under a Mediterranean sun is no obstacle to a good old face-to-face video chinwag. Wherever you are in the world. I just have to find that super smart person :)
5. You get tested with...er...tests
You may be thinking here, hang on, this is not such a good thing like the others in the list. But this is where you get the structure to learn. You get smaller quizzes all the way through and a bigger exam at the end. If you don't pass the test, you don't graduate from the course. That's an important aspect regarding quality and a motivator to follow along. (Note that the basic Facial course doesn't have tests).
6. You get a practical assessment
Now this is the big one and applies to the certificate courses. I'm not just going to leave you in the lurch after passing your exam and nervously trying to scrape your first scalp or back or arm or wherever. I'm going to watch you! Yes, the joys of video come in again and either through live or recorded medium, I get to tell you what's going right and wrong on a real, live person!
7. You get access to my direct communication channels
Maybe you know of Batman's red phone or the Kremlin hotline sitting on the desk in the White House. When there's an emergency, you lift the receiver and you get straight though. I don't have quite the same thing but I think you get my gist. You ask a question within the course, and I get right back. Even after you finish!
8. You get access to a monthly webinar
You send me the questions, and I answer them as best I can.In all the hundreds of course videos I've made, you very rarely see me. You hear me, sure. But you don't see me. I prefer to entertain you with great clips rather than my old weathered face, but the monthly webinar is the exception. This is open to all students past and present on any of the paid courses.
9. You're eligible for insurance
I'm often asked whether Gua sha can be practised as a stand alone treatment modality and in most places yes, it can. With the certificate courses, you're also eligible for professional indemnity insurance which all practitioners should have to protect themselves.
10. You get private membership
Sign up and join my facebook group especially reserved for students and graduates and you get to share amongst a group of like-minded people (no nutters allowed).
So, there you have it. 10 whole reasons to join me in my Gua sha exploration.
The reality is you either jump in or you don't. This stuff isn't for everyone. If you're saying to yourself, "that's what I've been looking for!" You're going to be in the right place.
If not, well, just come along when you're ready. There's plenty of room.
Here are the course links:
Facial Gua sha Basics (A lighter version. without the exams/assessments etc)