How to relieve migraine headaches naturally with Gua Sha

How does Migraine differ from a headache?

Migraine is increasingly classed as a neurological disorder. There are several different types of migraine and each may involve different symptoms. The most common symptoms of a migraine attack include a throbbing headache, sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, vomiting and a lack of energy.

How Chinese Medicine views Migraine

In Chinese Medicine, migraine relates to an unhappy liver. Look after the liver and the migraine can be prevented or reduced more quickly. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and blood around the body. If not balanced, this doesn’t happen and it starts to cause blockages (stagnate) and you feel pain. This stagnation will often build up in places such as the muscles, as the energetic pathways circulate within them.

Firstly, address why the liver is being disturbed. The usual culprits are heat (inflammation in Western terms) and too much toxicity, which the liver has to endlessly clean out. Also, the liver is put under strain during chronic stress – as it responds to stress hormones by releasing glucose into the system. Looking after your liver is key to overall good health and will help prevent migraines.

Be aware of visual stimuli – the Liver opens into the eyes and that’s why migraine sufferers benefit from lying down in a dark room. According to Chinese Medicine, the liver controls the amount of blood in circulation to engender a harmonious, unrestricted flow of Qi throughout the system. It acts as the planner for all the functions of the body and, when healthy, regulates sleeping rhythms, ensures proper vision and allows the emotions to be in proper balance. Symptoms related to the liver are usually closely related to the emotions. A weak liver can make someone more easily stressed, angry or depressed. Liver-related symptoms are often worsened by emotional stress.

How to relieve migraine headaches naturally with Gu Sha article image

The Hayo’u Method for Migraine 

As the liver is connected to the eyes in Chinese Medicine, let’s start by supporting the liver there.

Retreat to a dark room, and then place the jade Beauty Restorer™ over each eye in turn. Ideally, place one over each eye and relax completely by practising our Rescue Breath Ritual.

Then use the tip of the Beauty Restorer™ to rake over your head to clear excess heat. If that is too much stimulation just holding the jade on your head will be beneficial. Jade is a naturally cooling material.

Rescue Breath Ritual

The single most effective way to reduce your stress levels is to take conscious, deep, abdominal breaths. By moving your awareness out of your head and into your breath, your heart rate slows, your mind is calmed, and your blood oxygenated.

Deep breathing engages your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your bodies ‘rest’ mode. Practice this throughout the day to calm yourself (including your liver!). Proper breathing is one of the best ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, which triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. Studies have shown that you can improve your vagal tone with practice – meaning the more often you trigger your rest phase, the easier it becomes.

Next, concentrate on directing a smiling breath into the liver area during our Rescue Breath Ritual.

To learn more about this, click here.

Body Restorer Ritual 

Historically, the Chinese have relied on Gua Sha for any kind of pain in the body. Gua Sha is used in Chinese Medicine to clear toxicity and heat (inflammation). Inflammation and Migraine have been directly linked in several major scientific studies.

Daily practice of the Body Restorer Ritual may help prevent the recurrence of migraine by lowering inflammation. There is a close relationship between Liver and Lung, so Gua Sha on the chest will help to support your liver.

Learn the Body Restorer Ritual here.

Reset Ritual 

Pay specific attention to drumming your liver area when practising our Reset Ritual. This will help unblock any stagnation and ensure good flow of Qi and blood drumming all over body and shaking assists the liver in clearing any blockages. The twist is also great for increasing blood flow into the area, which is said to improve liver function. Exercise forcibly moves the Qi, while deep relaxation causes Qi to flow freely and easily.

Learn the Reset Ritual.

Mineral Bathing

Our Mineral Bath is ideal to assist with thinning the lymph, a natural detoxification process which aids the liver. So, run a cool bath and soak for at least twenty minutes. Practising an extended version of the Rescue Breath Ritual will lower your stress levels and therefore help further reduce inflammation.

Find out more about mineral bathing here.

Disclaimer: Gua Sha is a treatment designed to relieve muscular pain and tension and improve circulation. Results vary according to age, strength of body, skin type and medical conditions. If you are under the age of 16 and over the age of 60 or suffering specific medical conditions we do not recommend using the Body Restorer™. At no point should treatment feel painful. Always start gently, observing the reaction to your skin and proceed with caution. If in any doubt, contact us at or seek medical advice. This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.

Supporting studies:

Breathing, inflammation and the vagus nerve

Assessment of the Effects of Pranayama/Alternate Nostril Breathing on the Parasympathetic Nervous System in Young Adults.

Anant Narayan Sinha – Published 2013 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research

Gua Sha and microcirculation

Gua Sha and Weight Loss

Effects of Gua Sha on Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Male Volunteers under Normal Condition and Weightlifters after Weightlifting Training Sessions

Gua Sha therapy could facilitate the parasympathetic nervous activity and modulate the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic activities

Real People. Real Results