Season 2 of the Gua sha show starts with a fascinating episode on the reasons why you should use Gua sha on the head area. In episode 1, Clive looks at how structural changes, circulation changes, holographic changes and temperature changes can be made on the body and the face by treating the head area with Gua sha. He explains the tools you need and the technique and, as always, brings his unique perspective to Gua sha that you can't miss!
✨ If you're ready to explore the potential of Ecology in Motion™ Gua sha, both personally and professionally, join me on this transformative journey of health and healing at the Komorebi Institute
Hello and welcome to another season of the Gua sha show. I have 15 more shows packed with information on Gua sha that no one’s going to tell you! So in this episode we’re looking at your head.
So whether you do Gua sha for health or relaxation or you do Facial Gua for beauty reasons, this episode of the Gua sha show applies to you. It applies to everyone. Scraping over the head is one of the fundamental parts of Gua sha and if you’re not doing it, what are you doing?
Why You Should Use Gua sha on Your Head
When I mention using Gua sha over your head, some people are surprised and didn’t know that it was a good idea to use your tool on your scalp. Maybe you think it’s well.. too hard. And yes it is a bit hard but like the rest of your body there’s tissue underneath the skin.
When you look at those images of sha on the back, you can understand why people might not readily scrape their heads. But it’s pretty rare for sha to appear over the head area. It can happen but especially if you have a full head of hair, it normally wouldn’t and it’s not something I’ve seen.
So let’s look at why you should be scraping you head.
Understanding the Anatomy Underneath Your Scalp For the first reason we need to look at the structures underneath your scalp. Your forehead is mostly made up of the frontalis muscle and this is tensioned over your head by the galea aponeurotica which then blends into the occipitalis muscle at the back of your head. This is essentially one structure which is tensioned like a skipping rope. Your scalp is from the external occipital protubrance at the back of your head to the brow above your eye socket. If you do Facial Gua sha, then I’m sure that you can see the importance of your head now. So underneath your skin isn’t just bone - there’s superficial fascia, the galea aponeurotica (collagen fibre), loose connective tissue and the pericranium membrane. This means that when you scrape over the scalp there is lots of potential for change because you are connecting with blood circulation, the tensioning of fascia, the muscle chain across your head. And in fact, we can continue the fascia over the head at the neck with the nuchal fascia which the connects to the back. In this way, in a very real structural way, your scalp is connected with the muscles and connective tissue structures down your neck back and if we realkly want to continue, over your buttocks, down your hamstrings, your calf and into your foot. This is actually the bladder sinew channel and is the connection of a group of muscles with their direction of movement. If you bend yourself backwards these are the muscles you’re activating and they’re connected in a direct way to the muscles/membrane over your head.
The Benefits of Gua sha Head Massage Now the second reason is intricately connected to the first. Within those structures blood flows. It flows in different ways in different structures just like rivers do within different environments. Large blood vessels cut through the body like large rivers but much of the smaller tributaries that flow through connective tissue look more like the branches of a tree - these are the capillaries within the tissue bed. This whole system has a remarkable organisation by the ancient Chinese and they mapped it out in a very elegant way. All the main yang channels meet at your head - these are the big body wide channels such as the bladder which goes all the way down your back to your little toe or the stomach which goes all the way down the front of your body to your middle toes.These yang channels are the channels which are most accessible for Gua sha and that can be affected by scraping on your head. So by scraping your head you can make changes in how your lower back feels or your digestion. You can also affect forehead lines or crow’s feet. There’s nothing mysterious about it. It makes logical sense. It’s just following the same principles as the natural world around us.
The Concept of Microsystems in Gua sha And this brings us neatly into the third reason you should be doing Gua sha over your head. And this again is following natural science, looking at nature, establishing principles and applying them in a correct way. This is where the idea of microsystems comes from. It’s the idea that each part of the body has an aspect of the whole body within it. You may be familiar with this idea with reflexology which is a microsystem on your feet. Sometimes this is really visible like the shape of the foetus on the ear and other times not so obvious like the scalp. If any of you have my Holographic Gua sha book, then this will be familiar to you, as in it I go into considerable detail explaining it all. So within the scalp area there are zones which correspond to parts of your body and if those zones are active (which means they feel sore) then treatment of them can have an affect on the body part. For example the middle of the top of your forehead is the zone of your head, face and throat. Go along an inch (a few centimetres), and it’s the zone of the chest, go a little more towards the ear and it’s the digestive zone. If you press this area with a tool, you can sometimes feel nausea.
The Role of Heat in Gua sha Treatment And the fourth reason for treating your head is connected to Heat. What happens to heat naturally, it goes up right? So when you have heat in the body it has a tendency to rise towards the head. Hence with a fever, you really feel the heat in your head. There’s an area at the top of your head which the ancient Chinese named Baihui or 100 meetings and scraping from here downwards in several directions is a great way to help the body to deal with heat rising up to the head. Think menopausal heat. So I hope I’ve shown you that if you aren’t doing Gua sha over the head, you’re really missing a whole chunk of Gua sha and certainly with Facial Gua sha, you’re doing a disservice to a face treatment if you don’t think about why the face is as it is and not just start lifting and tugging.
How to Use Gua sha on Your Head Although it becomes a little complex, the basic movement over your head is from front to back. This is the natural tendency of the body. The scrapes are shorter and firmer and you can follow lines over the head. So if you started at the midline of the top of the forehead, you can follow that same line to the back of the head and then start again at a line further away.
Choosing the Right Gua sha Tool for Your Head
So do you need a specially shaped tool to scrape over your head? No, you don’t. You’ll see comb shaped tools of all shapes and sizes and they were designed with the head in mind but, really, you just use a normal tool. Wing shaped, square shaped, spoon shaped, wave shaped…anything shaped! As long as it has a smooth edge suitable for Gua sha.
Lubrication for Gua sha on the Head
And do you need to lubricate your head like you do with the rest of your body? Well, that depends on whether you have hair or not. Generally, if you have hair, you don’t need lubrication. If you don’t have hair, you do! The area of your head that I’m referring to today in this show is within the natural hairline from the top of your forehead to the nape of your neck.
As I mentioned earlier, the best information to guide you with scalp Gua sha is my Holographic Gua sha book and to get all the foundation of how Gua sha works, well that’s my Ecology in Motion courses. It’s an approach to Gua sha which is so different with what people think is Gua sha, I had to give it another name!