"This is probably the first time we've talked about the San Jiao meridian- the invisible Yang Organ System. The San Jiao is responsible for the transportation of fluids through the body. It's responsible for the functional relationship between various Organs involved with fluid metabolism and metabolism in general. It's between the Lungs, Spleen, Kidneys, Small Intestine, and Bladder, and it's paired with the pericardium. It helps the body transport lymphatic fluid and prevents toxic build up". - Mason Taylor
Today on the podcast, we're taking a moment to observe and acknowledge the ancient healing tradition of Gua Sha. A healing technique that spans ages and cultures, bridging the gap between the practitioner's office and the home through direct engagement with the physicality of our bodies.
In this episode, Mason runs through the techniques and details of using the SuperFeast Bian stone Yin/Yang Gua Sha tools- how to engage, use them safely and feel connected to this ancient wisdom and ancient lore. Mason explains the function of eliminating internal heat and stagnation through the gentle scraping of the Gua Sha tool, supporting and assisting the movement of lymphatic fluids through the San Jiao meridian system.
The Gua Sha tool offers profound benefits when incorporated into a daily facial-beauty routine, offering lasting radiance and buoyancy to the skin. But it is far more than just an elegant beauty tool for the face- it is a safe and gentle way of moving Qi around the body and preventing disease in our daily lives.
"The San Jiao meridian is the regulatory capacity for the body to move between the lower dantian, the middle dantian, the upper dantian, and the three burners-the three centres. And when they're in sync, you're connecting the Three Treasures, the Jing, the Qi, and the Shen. Everything's being regulated, harmonised, and connected, and the waters are moving on".
- Mason Taylor
- Facial Gua Sha for detox.
- Why Bian Stone for Gua Sha?
- Chi Nei Tsang organ massage.
- Immune function and Gua Sha.
- How long do we use Gua sha for?
- Gua Sha and the lymphatic system.
- Gua Sha and the meridian systems.
- San Jiao- the invisible Yang organ system.
- How to use SuperFeasts Yin Yang Gua Sha tools.
- The distinction between facial Gua Sha and body Gua Sha.
- Gua Sha and the distribution of Qi through the Gallbladder.
- Why the San Jiao meridian system is essential for detoxification.
- Stagnation-an indication of disease and disharmony within organ systems.
Mason Taylor is the CEO/Founder of SuperFeast and a renowned tonic herbalist. On a soul mission to bring people back to their body and nature while bursting through dogma, he shares passionately and uniquely in his workshops, podcast, and content on how to cultivate healing and potentiation through health sovereignty. An expert in Daoist tonic herbalism, Mason has helped tens of thousands of people globally discover medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic tonic herbs, and the healing philosophy from which they emerged. Mason is also a budding comedian; bursting the bubble on the “health scene” with his antics.
Mentioned in this episode
Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?
A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus we're on Spotify!
Check Out The Transcript Here:
We're going to go all over the place today talking about gua sha. I'm going to try and stay a little bit structured, but no doubt my excitement is going to kick in. There's so much that we can talk about in terms of the instructions for face gua sha because we're going to talk about the distinction between face gua sha and how it emerged right now in the beauty industry and body gua sha, but I think I'm going to move past the boring you with the step-by-step. SuperFeast has got a PDF. You can go to the website, and it's going to take you through the steps of how to do face and how to do body, and go through some lots of ins and outs, but what I would really, really like to do is talk about the relationship that I've been cultivating with this ancient practise.
This is ancient practise. It's getting a rock that's smooth and running it over the body where there's tension to either help with the symptoms of disease or to help prevent disease. That is so intrinsically what I want to achieve here at SuperFeast. SuperFeast exists off the back of me going, "I'd love to prevent disease as much as possible and prevent unnecessary disease or prevent degeneration as much as possible." So that's what led me to tonic herbalism because it's so decentralised.
Right now, the biggest threat to our health is us buying into and believing that we shouldn't be engaged with those practises like herbalism and with physical touch of the body, like physical manipulation of the body, physical healing of the body through us getting in and getting engaged. We sit back for so long waiting for symptoms to pop up because we're not allowed to engage with the medicine because it got so complex. Chinese herbalism got so complex, it's only... You talk to some of these people in these institutions teaching acupuncturists. The way that they see it is they're the only ones that can have access to herbs because they're working with extremely complex formulas that are working within the balance of extremely complex disease states.
Well, what about the tonic herbs that were given to us and that were identified thousands of years ago of those herbs that we take into our lives? In the beginning, you're throwing random darts at a board and hopefully something sticks. The good thing is they're gentle. You get a little bit of momentum building up your defence, your surface defence, and you get a little bit of momentum building up your kidneys, and so on and so forth, and you get more skilled as you go along. You've got to start somewhere.
That is why tonic herbalism exists, so you can start somewhere in a very safe way, getting engaged with the cultivation of your being, not just sitting back and hoping that nothing happens, and then getting your symptoms pop up, and then eventually, pop, something does come up, "Oh, I will go to the practitioner," and then they can give you some benign lifestyle things to do, "Sleep and blah, blah, blah." Yeah. Cool. You should have those things in place, but where's the bridge between the practitioner's office and home? We need a few little bit more advanced stuff, which is a little bit more advanced than sleep. I will layer in the herbalism, and then this is where the gua sha lives as well because the gua sha can live in super advanced practitioner land, or it can land in decentralised.
Everyone's home should have a set of gua sha tools because there are so many little symptoms and things that pop up through life as we go along, and having gua sha there in... like whether it's in your prevention mentality whether someone's got it for their face just sitting there. They want to run over the meridian lines of the body through the face and ensure that you're bringing an uplifting energy to the face. That might be the entry level for you, or you've got kids and family members, and you are that one tending to the fire of health and tending to the fire of the half. You are the one that started to slowly engage, bringing these gua sha tools, right? These gua sha tools, a deep folk medicine, a healing modality.
Really, as it gets formalised coming from Asia and coming from China, "gua," to scrape, "sha" translating as sand or the red raised like millet-sized rash. That's the "sha" that emerges we'll talk about, and then what comes? The scraping action is performed using this smooth-edged tool over lubricated skin, causing that little bit of bruising, that "sha" that's releasing heat, that's releasing stagnation, releasing blood. Beautiful. It's there for you to experience. Oh, is that just because you're damaging the capillaries? No, you go watch what happens, gently running over someone's body. We'll go into the nuance about it and watching that person has such a stagnation of blood or so much heat trapped through their system there, and watch. Just with a light scrape, it brings up a big red... as I said, the sand or that little millet-sized rash. For me, it's like hives. It comes up different for everyone.
Then, the next. You keep on doing that for, say, a week or a couple of months, and you sporadically get in there, and you watch that, that same pressure that it reduces time, and time, and time again. If it was the "You're just damaging the capillaries," you wouldn't see that, and you see this, the improvement of health and the improvement of the skin health. So through Chinese medicine, this is pervasive, especially... Look, as I said, we're eliminating internal heat stagnation from the body. Look, and that's an indication of disease and disharmony within the organ system starting to build up, and it's getting ready to manifest, and endows herbalism, endows medicine. What we're looking to do is prevent disease.
People sneeze at grandma remedies, grandpa remedies, basic little truthisms, wisdom. "Everything in moderation." "Put a scarf on." Having these weird little tools. I've taught you to talk to people who grew up in Hong Kong who, say, right now, they're in their 30s where everyone went to Hong Kong after in the '50s when Mao Zedong came through and was taking away classical Chinese medicine and institutionalising everything. So everyone that had this wisdom saying something like a set of tools like the gua sha stones that could be used to be used within the household that had a preventative aspect to it, all those people that held that wisdom, they were driven out, and so this is... Yeah, this is frowned upon, but people that did grow up in places like Hong Kong, every time there would be a little bit of tension, or respiratory stuff, or whatever it is, bang, stones came out, and you were scraped, and flow was restored.
You can't underestimate just how powerful that is when you don't have to go out of the house and you don't have to go into a practitioner's office and become reliant. The amount of chi that that cultivates in yourself and in your body when you do this is absolutely magical. So the primary reason we're using these stones is to promote circulation, smooth flow achieved through the body. This is foundational to the harmonisation of organ function. We're going to talk about that, and we're looking to cultivate vitality, radiance, longevity.
Now, this is where we start getting into looking at the lymphatic system, and immune function goes along with lymphatic system all along. When we start going into that kind, like looking into that Western way of looking at gua sha, promoting detoxification, so on and so forth, this is where we start engaging. This is probably the first time we've really talked about that meridian system, that invisible yang organ system, the San Jiao. So San Jiao is responsible for the transportation of fluids through the body. It's often talked about as like it's that functional relationship between various organs that are involved with fluid metabolism and metabolism in general. So they're between lungs, spleen, kidneys, small intestine, bladder, and it's paired with the pericardium. So along with San Jiao. it's not a distinct organ, but what we're looking at here is helping the body to transport fluids so they don't build up.
It's also thought to take away the itching and heat, is used to treat... and that's the meridian organ system. It's used when we're treating swelling, chronic constipation, problems with organs in the ribcage and the abdomen. So you can see how important this is as an organ system. When you look at the organ system that we are supporting and working with when we start engaging with this scraping of the gua sha, I can't ever stop relating to the San Jiao because when you look at the organ systems like the lymphatic distribution of fluid and a fluid drainage system that relies on your movement and relies on the body working, physically working on yourself, things like rebounding, jumping up and down, generally walking, staying active so that we have momentum moving through the lymphatic system, that's what gua sha is doing, getting into those little places and literally moving towards those lymph nodes and those draining points. That's where the real gentle scraping comes in.
Even just like watching... That's where facial gua sha is beautiful. You watch what happens when fluids and swelling is accumulating around the face, and you see that gentle, upward, lifting scraping going through the face, real gentle scraping under the eyes, moving that lymphatic fluid, and then taking it up and out to the sides of the face, and then moving that fluid down so it can run back into the lower part of the ears and have that consistent drainage of lymph. That's where you can bring that intention around beauty and that uplifting energy. That's the reason why a lot of people are engaging with facial gua sha, but it's also the reason why I've really wanted to engage with gua sha at this point.
I've got a long history with gua sha in the sense of... It's probably 10 years ago where really, I felt like I threw out that intention that I'd love to know that I have some... I don't know. It's not permission. I was feeling very, very tuned in to the universe, and I could just feel it was something that I wanted to engage down this track and that art, and there was somewhat of a tradition there, and I wanted to feel that I had permission to walk down that route, especially since I was going to be doing it in a way that... I don't have a governing body. I don't want to be a practitioner, so on and so forth, and so I threw that out there.
Then, a year later, I travelled to New Zealand to run a cacao... a tonic bar at a festival in Auckland, and there was a Maori man and his wife. He's had a Scottish wife. I won't say their name's here. I don't know why, but I just feel I shouldn't. He was a stone carver, a Maori stone carver. Beautiful, beautiful man. Fully initiated, and she was a raw food cake genius, and so we shared a stall. We had a great time. They slung lots of medicinal mushroom hot chocolates there at that festival with my friend, Sebastian, who runs Clearlight Saunas in Australia and Europe now, and New Zealand.
Then, after the whole event, we went back to where Sebastian was staying, and we were sitting. I was sitting here with this beautiful man, and I was like, "Oh, I'd love to purchase a stone for a friend of mine," and so he was pulling them out. As he was pulling them out, this stone quickly came out, and he kind of... In the split second, he brought it out, and he didn't take it out onto the mat in front of him like he was with all the others. He quickly stashed it away underneath his leg, but it shone. Bang, it was shone at me, and I was like, "Ooh, what was that?" Then, I was like, "Okay," and he... I didn't question it. I wen and picked the stone for my friend, and then he said, "Oh, and this one is for you."
It was a perfect three-sided gua sha. The exact shape with a very blunt edge, a very sharp edge, a very... Well, not very, quite sharp edge, and very sharp point, and two other dull points. I was like, "Wow." He goes, "What's this" He goes, "You tell me. I just got the download to carve this and knew it was somebody's. I know it's a tool to be used on the body, but I don't really know why this shape." I was like, "Wow, this is... That's a gua sha. That's a gua sha stone, and you can see why." I showed him. "This is why it's shaped that way. I can get this pointy edge, and I can get into particular points, and I can scrape along the body." He was like, "Oh, great. I knew it was a body work tool," and he goes, "But that's yours. The stone has jumped out and told me that you're its owner."
So I took that as my sign. I was ready, and I went and studied gua sha from a practitioner perspective and just wanting to engage in knowing a little bit of the patterns, and the scraping motions, and patterns that I could be taking through, especially through working on someone, a partner, a friend, a colleague down, how to work the neck and how to work the back, and other areas, and respiratory areas, and between the ribs, and getting into particular organ systems. So it sat there for me. It's something as... Obviously, engaged with as she's studying her Tao starts, and especially in the Chi Nei Tsang massage, the abdominal massage. With Chi Nei Tsang Taoist massage, it does go beyond just massaging the organs like I'm sitting here right now with a bit of hangover from last night's abdominal massage that I did with Tanya. It's a real beautiful massage, but very intentionally moving through the organ systems and the ganglia in these areas where chi is built up.
What it represents along with the tonic herbs, this Chi Nei Tsang massage, and this gua sha is you getting engaged with your health, and getting engaged and looking stagnation blatantly in the eye. Tonic herbalism is a little bit of an easier way. You bring in a medicinal mushroom, you feel yourself starting to cultivate that protective force. When you start, say, scraping yourself with a gua sha along your, say, your legs up into your groins or in between the ribs, or if a friend is helping you or you're doing it for yourself, along your neck, or when you are giving yourself an organ massage or having someone who's trained like Tony giving organ massage, the feedback is so direct about where your tension is being held onto, where your fluid is being accumulated and not been moved.
Therefore, where there's stagnation and putrid waters that aren't actually getting up to the lungs and being cleaned, that's... You can see that's that San Jiao organ system, which is highly correlating to the fascia and to the lymph, and so these are the... That's a regulating organ system, physical organ systems, and that San Jiao, that regulatory capacity for the body to move between the lower dantian, the middle dantian, upper dantian, the three burners, the three centres that when they're in sync, you're connecting those treasures, the jing, the chi, your sham. Everything's been regulated, and harmonised, and connected, and the waters are moving on.
That's why in wisdom traditions, a lot of, "Learn from the water. Watch the water." There's a never-ending trickle of water, constantly regulation of the water. Don't let it become stagnant. It's a never-ending intention, and that's an appropriate focus for us when we are looking at disease prevention and the cultivation of our essence so we can become elders, cultivate wisdom, ensure that we're not projecting our asshole ways on people when we get to our elder years and just be someone who's, hopefully, just having an appropriate timing for sharing things so that blockages are removed rather than being created because we're stubborn, and we haven't really been able to get to that point where we are sharing our spontaneous capacity for gratitude, and happiness, and love without pursuing and desiring those things.
That's the whole point of this, herbalism. That is why with our gua sha and say, our Chi Nei Tsang organ massage or our body massage, it's not just organ massage cues. There's jaw, getting into the jaw, getting in and around the orifices and especially the orifices of the genitals, so on and so forth. Wherever there's a tension and stagnation, we get in there. You can get in there and start getting diagnosed. Like Tony, you can actually start feeling different organ systems, physical organs, which have that stagnation, but in a very beginning stage, which is why we need to be gentle in ourselves. Whether we're getting in and massaging ourselves or picking up these beautiful tools and engaging with our own healing art, you stay on the surface, and you're just looking at moving fluid. You could say chi, but you can feel where the tension is.
When you start getting in there, you can get into your neck, and you have a little scrape, or you get your fingers in under your right ribcage, and you have a little feel of your liver, you can feel the tension. Feedback is immediate, and you can't hide from that. So that is a sign that maybe that is something that you want to address, and we are lucky enough to now be living in a time where the ancient wisdom and traditions are starting to engage. If that ancient wisdom and traditions is floaty language, it's just simple ways that we can engage with our own health long-term.
You can see people doing it with diet, weight lifting, all these kinds of things. People have that intention of longevity, but if... and so all of those things are amazing, and they should be engaged with, but getting that direct feedback when you are scraping your body, when you are seeing which tonic herbs are being effective and which aren't being effective. So if you are an excessive cardio lover, and so it's always running, or it's always power lifting, and you're going excessive, and you can see those... what we refer to as those six thieves that come from desires because you're getting excessive in that, but you don't have the feedback.
All you know is your mind is just not still enough to realise that you have a bit of regulation, the partner to the mind, actually realising that, "Hey, you're going a little bit too far because you are needing Jing herbs all the time. Why do you keep on needing Jing herbs? Like you really... Not to put should and shouldn'ts, but you shouldn't ideally really need Jing herbs this long. Why are you in a constant state of stress? You're not recovering. There's not enough yin." So maybe that's a good sign, or when you start actually getting in and physically touching your body, and you're like, "Hey, why is that so painful to touch myself at that point?"
The body can bring that regulation to the mind, and through that pain... Remember, pain is subjective is, and pain isn't something we know. Pain isn't good or bad. Pain is something that you can be leaning into. It's going to be uncomfortable. But through that uncomfortableness, that feedback, hey, you're going to get a little bit of understanding of where maybe you're going a little bit too far into desire, but that's where the seeds of stagnation are going to be coming up. The seeds of accumulating too much heat are going to come up. Deficiency is going to be coming up, but do we need to go to Western... Do we need to go to Western medicine to learn how to prevent all this? Do we need to go to TCM School and learn all the intricacies of all the types of chi, and all the meridian points, and all that kind of stuff? No, it's too much, but you need to be able to start somewhere, and that's what Taoism is about.
Take the pressure off yourself. Get a couple of gua sha tools. Just have a little bit of a... Don't be scared to get in there and have a little bit of a feel of what's going on within the tension of your body, and you'll be surprised what can open up as long as you're just taking it one step at a time within the capacity. What's within your capacity? Do you go and read the same thing over and over again, and get excited about something over and over again, but you don't actually digest it and integrate it into your life? Cool. You don't have capacity right now. So just with these gua sha tools, it's a new thing.
Don't put the pressure on yourself that you've got to become an amazing expert, and know absolutely everything about the art, and become a professional straight away. There might just be something that you take out of this and be like, "Right, neck tension. A couple of scrapes over the neck, starting up higher, and moving down lower. There's 30 little scrapes." Eventually, go and get that PDF from SuperFeast. It's going to map out a little bit of these practises, and once you get that in your hands and you're really precious about your stones, this is Bian stone. The Bian stone is very ancient stone. It's known as the ancestor of gua sha. It's one of the first healing application tools to have ever emerged from China. It's a beautiful stone. It's thought to be made... I think impact of meteorites upon the Earth's surface in Western China in the Shandong region. The Cretaceous Period is when it occurred.
So you look at the Bian stone. What it represents as a stone. It's referenced in the Neijing, in the Canon, the Emperors in a Canon, the Yellow Emperors in a Canon, and it's the evidence that is starting to come around as it's... You put it near the skin, you put it on the skin, and improves micro-circulation, clears the meridians, increases skin flexibility. There's all that kind of... It's been studied. I'm not making those claims, but also, the generation of negative ions as you run it through the body. You give yourself that little easy point. Get your couple of stones, and you have them there. You're precious about them, and then you just slowly use them in any way that inspires you. So it might be a respiratory issue that you've had for a while, and there's stagnation on your respiratory issue, so you start at your chest plate, and you run it. Just the blunt side of a stone over your peck or your breast over towards your underarm where that lymph node is, and see what happens.
See what happens to your breath. See what happens when you start engaging with the physicality of your body. See what happens when someone comes to you, and they say, "I've got a splitting headache. It's hot in my head," and you go, "Okay. Cool." I'm not going to try and go beyond my capacity right now and say what's going on. Just try to fight the need to go in and become like, "Okay. That's going to be heat or rising liver." You don't have to go into that. Just be like, "Hey, do you think it would support you if we just gently just try and move any of the tension. Where is the tension?" "Oh, it's like right in the base of my neck or the base of my scalp." "Maybe we can add a little bit of a lubricant there, a little bit of an oil, and just gently scrape down your neck, and see if that helps, and see if there is any sha that emerges."
it doesn't even need to be in that kind of instance where there is a symptom coming up. It can just be you're in the sauna, and you feel, "You know what? I'm going to oil myself up with something that's got a..." Curry oil. Maybe it's got a little bit of magnesium in there. So two birds, one stone, and you're just going to run your gua sha stones like a 15 to 40, 45-degree angle, so the... You want that acute angle to be what you're scraping towards.
I don't know if that makes sense, but your hand, as you're scraping, your hand is going... You want the gentlest angle possible, and so that... I don't know. I'm saying like where I'm moving the stone towards is where I'm bending the top of the gua sha stone down. So rather than scraping outwards and having that obtuse angle, being what I'm scraping... This is really hard to describe. Actually, I'm going to need some videos, but I guess when you're playing around with it, just feel what creates the most gentle flow, and you'll see when you're brushing, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about where you want that 15 or 45-degree angle.
As you're gently flowing, you're going to feel, "Yeah, that's me moving the lymph." So whether it's a edoema and running over the legs or the buttocks, or whether you're looking at your arms and you're gently... you're just gently running along the meridians of your arm. You don't have to know all the meridians, but you can run along the fingers and just see how it feels. See how it feels to move the chi along all of those various little places of your fingers while you're in... Whether you're in the sauna or maybe you're laying there in bed, it doesn't really matter. Just have a little play of engaging with your body with those gua sha stones. Move them up. Give yourself that little bit of an experience of what's happening. You're going to start familiarising yourself with this tool, and this tool is going to start representing something that decentralises healing and the prevention of disease from... and degeneration from manifesting, and it's going to start bringing it back into your home.
As you go along, SuperFeast is going to share more, and more, and more resources to get you, in a way, more armed and more aware. "Is this something that I can engage with responsibly? Whereas if there's a complaint or a symptom going on within my myself or my family, is it responsible for me to engage in this light, general way?" The distinction there is generally like, "Do we really need..." Is this something that even a practitioner would say, "You can address this in lifestyle?" If you can address it in lifestyle, you can address it in the lifestyle remedies, things like gua sha, a little bit of gentle massage, little bit of gentle abdominal massage, tonic herbalism. You'll know, or when something gets complete, when a symptom starts really raging, that's when you're going to realise, "Hey, this is something that I really shouldn't..." realise it's something you can engage with.
As I was saying before, I feel like I've gone through that point where I feel very comfortable engaging with gua sha. When I saw that, it got to that point where the beauty industry and the desire for external beauty to especially being seen on the face, gua sha was becoming associated with that. Having conversations around gua sha, it's like, "Oh, yeah, like the face gua sha for wrinkles." It just got to the point where I was like, "Cool." Not that I think that's bad. I think that's a good entry, but it got to the point where I was like, "It's now time for SuperFeast to engage in this," and so the team was great. The stones are amazing. We've got two stones, a yin stone and a yang stone, and you'll see that yang stone. It feels yang when it's in your hand. It's thinner. It's got a dagger feel to it. That yin stone, much... little bit more weight to it, little bit more finesse and gentleness, and those rigid... that rigid spine that you can run along points on... especially across the calf.
The thing is about these stones, both of them have a pointy bit, and both of them have a blunt bit. When you're gently running over the body, you're going to feel that that's where the lymph has been worked on. So when you see that you can use these for facial gua sha and you can feel... You're obviously going to be like... especially when you're running under the eye and doing that lymph removal from face and making sure that you're not accumulating breakwaters in the face, and under the eyes, and other parts in the body. So as I run, running under the eye right now, and moving out towards the edge of the face, and then I'm going to be running down along the hairline towards the back of the lower ear. It's where the lymph drainage point is. When I'm doing that, I'm going to be very gentle.
Now, the other aspect. Now, as I meant before, that San Jiao and that distribution of regulation of water was coming from... the regulation of chi is the fascia. So when I'm actually starting getting into, say, the inner thigh or in through my calf, there's going to be adhesions within my fascial system. My fascia isn't just going to be... isn't actually going to be sliding, and so at that point, maybe... Yeah. The gentle scraping is going to be really great for the lymph, but I'm going to be able to maybe start scraping a little bit harder, and with a little bit more force, and slowly working and moving.
This is where you start getting edge. Oh, what's the rules? Three to 30 scrapes in the one place? That's generally really good when you're up the neck, and the back, and the respiratory area, and the face because you're wanting to move tension and lymph as well. But when you start getting down into the other meaty parts of the body, even the back when you... if you're working on someone or even if you're working on yourself in that way, you'll find these little points. It becomes exploratory. It's like your personal practise when you're engaging in your dynamic stretching, which is a huge part.
We all know that the qigong, yin and yang is a part of this protection and this cultivation of the treasures. So when you're doing that, when you find a place that's uncomfortable and locked, and you find tension and adhesions within the fascia system, you stay there, and you work it out. You just explore, and you breathe into it. Same works for the gua sha, and so that's when there can be a little bit more dynamic exploration, especially with... The yang tool is really good for this, but the yin has got a little point as well, but you can really find attention point quite often. it's going to be a meridian point. If you can like, "Ooh, that's really hurting," you can just hold the pressure down there, and you can work intuitively.
Of course, when you're working on yourself, this is the best feedback, and you go very slow. If you feel like, "Ooh, this is making me feel nauseous," or, "This is releasing something I don't like," okay, back off. That's you done for the day. It's like when I was learning barefoot running, and so they're like, "I know you want to go for a 30-minute barefoot run straight away because you're all excited. But if you go five minutes and you feel a little something in your knees, that's done." You're done. Don't rush it. So with gua sha, same thing. Don't let your excitement run away and turn into a desire because that's when you start letting the six thieves in when it comes to this, and that's where I'm feeling really... Again, it's so nice accompanying the herbs with this gua sha technique. You feel connected to an ancient wisdom and an ancient law.
It's so decentralised, and the impact is so huge on what you can achieve when you start engaging with getting in and working on your body. Especially not just getting your massage in and doing a little foot massage. All great. Doing a little shoulder massage. When you get these tools going and you pop a little bit of oil on yourself or someone else, and you start scraping, and someone goes, "Oh my God, I can't believe how much better I feel already," and it won't happen every time, but when you feel that sha start coming up and you say... or you felt it, or someone else says... or you say to someone else like, "Oh, did that hurt?" and they were going, "No, no. It was really nice, and it felt great," because you don't want to go, and you don't want to damage anyone.
You don't want to do too much too fast. I've seen people think that harder is better when it comes to gua sha. Absolutely not, especially you go... You really must err on the side of caution, especially if you are scraping someone else. But when they see like, "Oh my God. No, it didn't hurt," the sha comes up, and you can see, "Oh my God, that's stagnant blood," or that's heat being released out of that person's system, and that's the same thing that happens when, say, like my liver is getting a massage.
So, for me, last night, Tanya was up just around my lower abdomen, especially around my belly button and the ganglia there. That's where my ring attention was, but in the past, when she's gone past that surface and she's right into the liver, all of a sudden, all these hives, sha, would come up. For me, perhaps it's dampness that's emerging. Perhaps it's heat that's emerging. No matter what, it's constant chop wood, carry water tending to the system, and you're tending to and supporting that organ system, which is an invisible organ system, which is very real, that San Jiao that connects the three... so many ways to put it. The three centres of the body. The three dantians of the body supporting the fascia.
So that's why so much of physical practise is supporting your fascia, making sure that you're not getting too tight, making sure you're not getting too flabby, making sure that the fluid isn't stagnating, and the transformation of fluid. It does take all of the organs. Your organs need to be rocking, and healthy, and have the herbs, and they're living appropriate to the season. You get all the other here, your physical practise, your weight trading, your yin yoga, your work with movement monk and releasing tension in that way is absolutely essential, and then you get a couple of little tools in there to help you.
Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes there's a knot that's so hard, and a week of getting your little stone, and just holding it in that tension point. For me, it's my elbows. I can feel it every now and then. When I'm lifting and throwing kettle bells, it's just something there, and I'm like going, "Oh, what do I do?" I think, "Oh, I've got my mate that's..." my osteo mate that's a... He's out there and woo-woo. I can go and see him, and he's often pretty good at understanding it. I give it a little massage every now and then. But when I sit in the sauna, I get my... especially my yang tool, and I really go and have a dig. I don't go too hard because I do not want to cause any more damage, but it doesn't take long. I can feel the tension points, and I just get... and I have a little dig around. I could do it with my thumb, but that's going to fatigue my thumb pretty quick. That's the beauty of this. I give it a little... I can feel where it's clicking, and I just give it a little workaround, and I just move things around.
If you want to heal, get in and don't be scared of your body. But the thing is you might need to digest all the things that are going on in your life first because if you are at capacity, if you start adding in, you feeling and getting direct feedback of particular things that are going on in your body that seemed out of your control because you don't have time for more personal practise, you don't have time to engage with it, then it can become potentially more stressful. So that's why we start with ensuring that you go and ground your life first.
If it's too intense and there's too much in the bottleneck for you that you're not dealing with life from the organ system and from the seasons, you go back to the spleen earth. Go back to the spleen soil. Don't start anymore projects. The spirit there is the intellect where you go back and you reflect. "Am I on track to my destiny? Am I on track to a life that I think is going to be really... it's mine and I'm contributing?" If not, then you just analyse and backtrack to when the last time you thought you were there, or you just pause. You go boring three square meals, very predictable lifestyle, very predictable lifestyle, so that you can start to digest everything through your spleen, and then you start digesting everything. You release the bottleneck, and the bottleneck of chi to get distributed through the body is then the gallbladder, and to support the gallbladder, the San Jiao meridian system is all energetic, and its connection is majority energetic.
Its connection to the physical is the gallbladder, and so little things where you are supporting the body just in its flow. So gentle, moderate exercise. Gentle, moderate stretching. Gentle, moderate gua sha. Gentle, moderate tonic herbalism. Just the basics, medicinal mushrooms. You start to digest things, and then help with the distribution of chi through that gallbladder. "Okay, so I'm back to the point." Then, you can start going a little bit deeper with your gua sha stone or with your exploration of yourself, and you can like, "What's going on there? Well, you got the capacity. What?" For me, I'm like, "What's going on in that elbow? Where does that come from? What happens when I get under... get in here under my underarms? Is there a tension there? What happens when I go into here?" It goes on and goes on. That's really where you get some self-knowing.
Likewise, if you are engaging with those physical healing modalities with your family, with yourself, you start to become that flame keeper, and you are the healer within your family. Then, there's generally one person that really holds the torch for that and tends to the half. Always nice if everyone else is actually willing and able to engage, but sometimes that's just your role, and you do whatever is in your capacity. So perhaps you've gotten to this point. You've gotten to this point of the podcast. Are you the one that holds these tools, these wisdom tools, the physical gua sha tools? I've got a little pouch eventually will come out with SuperFeast. A little pouch for little talismans, and precious things, and gua sha stones. So I pop them when I travel, and I have them with me with a couple of other things that I like going on my travelling altar. What a beautiful thing to have in our lives.
So to finish this up, let's just really acknowledge and recognise the tradition of this, which transcends cultures. We don't know what cultures. This is all over the world, taking a stone and... There's a part of the body that won't heal. So you get in there and help it move and to help it heal because if you've got a blockage in movement, you have a blockage in chi, all healers know that you've got to get that moving, and that physical touch often comes along with a tool. So don't get too washed away in it being a practitioner's tool. Even the words "gua sha." That's the first time where it takes formation especially. I think it goes a little bit before the Neijing. It's acknowledged before the Neijing, but I'm pretty sure that's the first place it's formally acknowledged, especially with that Bian stone, so you get in those.
When you've got one already, start engaging, or if you want to go ahead and get the SuperFeast ones, get one stone, two stones. Have a look at the shape. Most people are gravitating towards the yin. They're just getting one. But then, everyone who gets both are like, "Whoa, so glad I got both of them because of that yang one." It's just there are some places where you need to just reach around to your back and give it a nice little scrape, and just have that leverage because it's more of a knife. It's, yeah, beautiful. I'd probably go with the yin if you're just going to get one.
So let's honour this tradition and honour that, which is... It's such a human tradition and something so primordial and deep. Yeah, it's profound. Take that healing back. Tend to that flame. I'm so, so grateful for you coming along on this podcast and this chat today, and I wish you nothing but infinite radiance and health as you go forward in the decades, taking on, tending to the flames within your half, and within your desire, and beyond desire, your intention to cultivate a health culture and longevity in your lives.