We love to hear about celebrity workout tips so we took note when Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco revealed that she is a big fan of a Chinese practice called Gua Sha, which she uses to recover from her exercise routine, especially when she feels a bit run down. The actress is also a fan of cupping, a practice embraced by stars from Busy Philips to Gwyneth Paltrow.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha, in which an expert therapist vigorously scrapes the body's surface (there is also a facial version!), means "to scrape" and "sand".
The Gua Sha tool, which has been used for more than 2,000 years and comes from East Asia, is made of jade or rose quartz and is used to release energy, reduce muscle tension, and improve circulation.
In one social media post giving insight into Gua Sha, Kaley, who works out very intensely under the guidance of her trainer George C. King, explained that her "hips and legs hurt 24/7" so she turned to a session to help. Sharing a clip of her therapist treating the actress' legs with a jade tool, she noted: "My angel Flory literally scraping my legs and hips. I’m so tight I can barely bend or turn. I haven’t been able to actually move in weeks."
"Your fascia is intense and tight, and I need to remove it," said Flory, adding: "Your nerves and your ligaments get better."
After Gua Sha, the therapist gave Kaley another intensive treatment: cupping, an ancient Chinese therapy that aims to prevent health problems caused by stagnant blood and poor energy flow through the body. To do this, cups – typically made from glass or silicone – are applied to the skin to create a pressure that sucks the skin inward.
Chiti Parikh, integrative medicine practitioner at the Weill Cornell Medicine Integrative Health and Wellbeing Center in New York City, told Women's Health that the increased blood flow from cupping can "relieve muscle tension, improve circulation and reduce inflammation." He continued: “It’s all about getting rid of musculoskeletal pain, which is often a physical manifestation of chronic stress."
Now that you know how to complement a tough workout, are you ready to try cupping and Gua Sha after your next trip to the gym?