Gua Sha 101: How To Get You Started On This Ancient TLC

Updated: May 19

Gua sha has been gaining a lot of popularity in social media recently, however its roots date back to traditional Eastern Asian and Chinese medicine. Experts believe it may have originated in China as early as the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), and has also been used by Traditional Tibetan Medicine practitioners and Tai Chi Chuan teachers.


The literal translation of Gua sha being "to scrape sand" refers to a type of bruising left on the skin which is said to encourage the skin to heal itself. When practiced correctly on someone's body, it feels like deep tissue massage while simultaneously opening up lymph channels and redistributing fluids around in their system. For beauty purposes, facial gua sha implements the same methods used on the body but on the face and with lesser intensity.


Treats:

  1. Cystic acne and acne scars: by clearing out congested lymph nodes and improving blood circulation, Gua sha brings fresh oxygenated blood to surface of the skin and thus stimulates cell renewal.

  2. Reduces wrinkles and fine lines: while not equivalent to the effects and time to value that botox provides, there has been various claims to reduction of noticeable wrinkles for those who prefer the more natural route or are just looking to prevent wrinkles in the future.

  3. Puffiness: the procedure reduces superficial inflammation by breaking up adhesions between tissues while also stimulating blood flow and lymph drainage, thereby reducing puffiness and sculpting your face for a natural contour look.

  4. Facial tension: our face and neck hold so much tension throughout the day, gua sha can help loosen those “knotted” areas of your face in order to release long held muscular tension.


Tools:

There are many different types of gua sha tools, but the most common is a flat semi precious stone with an edge that curves inward at an angle similar to the side of one’s face. There is stone that is necessarily better than the other when it comes to gua sha, however following may help you decide which one is the right fit for you:

  1. Jade has a long history in China as it was often more valuable than gold. In fact, the people of ancient times believed that jade had magical healing powers and even thought they could live forever by drinking from cups carved out of this precious stone! Jade was believed to have the ability to help clear out your skin and generate a more youthful appearance. This is because wrinkles were seen as blockages in natural qi flow, meaning that when you restored this energy with jade it would not only reduce these unsightly blemishes but also improve overall body health by ensuring harmonious qi flow.

  2. Rose Quartz is known as the crystal of unconditional love and compassion, which can help when dealing with sensitive skin. It has a calming effect that will cool down your body while reducing inflammation in problem areas. Ancient Egyptians believed rose quartz could even reverse signs of aging by softening fine lines and wrinkles! If you’re looking for a little extra TLC, the rose quartz crystal is for you. It has been said by many ancient cultures that this stone can be used as an emotional healer because it soothes any negative feelings with its pink hues of love which also symbolize peace and calmness.

  3. Black Obsidian is associated with the root chakra and is a strong stone that absorbs negativity and toxins. It emits the energy of grounding, which helps draw out toxins from your skin while tightening pores for clear healthy-looking skin! Black obsidian also provides amazing detoxifying properties so it's great if you need help refreshing or cleaning up your complexion.

  4. Amethyst is a spiritual crystal associated with the third-eye and crown chakras. The rich purple color has been used in jewelry for years, but it's not just a pretty stone: Amethysts can improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety levels, and induce a meditative state when worn on your body or placed near you during meditation. This calming gemstone also features negative ions that neutralize free radicals to prevent them from damaging skin cells!


Time:

In order to achieve desired results, Gua sha should be done on a regular basis. It can be done daily or a few times a week for at least 15-20 minutes per session.


Technique:

  1. Clean your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry

  2. Apply gua sha oil or moisturizer of your choice to face and neck, which should be on top of any other oils you may have applied

  3. Glide the tool gently up and out, starting at the neck. Work your way through to the jawline, chin and mouth area before heading around between three to five times per area in a single direction only.

  4. Next, press the tool flat to your skin under your eyes very gently as this are is very sensitive.

  5. Afterwards, make small horizontal strokes over your brow bone.

  6. Finally, stroke own the neck to drain the fluids.


If you notice your skin looks really pink or red after use, there is no need to worry. This is completely normal as the massage techniques help bring new blood to the surface which helps with cell renewal! However, it’s important not to get carried away and remember to stroke gently as opposed to pressing and pushing the skin. Avoid practicing gua sha if your skin is sun burnt, has rashes or if you suffer from any blood clotting disorders.



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