As more people are investing more time and resources in skin care, an increasingly popular practice in the last few years is using the Gua Sha as a masterfully crafted tool. With a vast history dating back to the Ming Dynasty, its perseverance throughout the ages can be attributed to its multifaceted and unique benefits to brighten the complexion, manage diseases, and ease pain. Another factor that makes this practice highly accessible is that while you can receive a Gua Sha massage from a licensed practitioner, you can also perform it yourself.
Interested in learning how to use Gua Sha? Follow along as we give you all the necessary Gua Sha instructions and answer some of the most common questions regarding it, such as:
— “What is Gua Sha?”
— “How to use Gua Sha?”
— “What are some of the benefits of using Gua Sha?”
What is Gua Sha?
Contrary to popular belief, Gua Sha doesn’t only refer to the flat tool made of semi-precious stones (quartz or jade); it encompasses the practice of scraping the skin to promote healing, recovery, and drainage of toxins and negative energy. Thus fully embracing Traditional Chinese Medicine principles. The technique involves using a smooth-edged tool to gently scrape different parts of the face and body, aiming to expand or burst blood vessels, causing red dots called petechiae to appear, which, according to TCM, increase energy flow. While the benefits of Gua Sha extend to the whole body, facial Gua Sha has received traction for its effectiveness on lymphatic drainage, decreasing inflammation, brightening complexion, and contouring of face muscles.
Gua Sha isn’t limited to the popular tool commonly used nowadays. It’s a budget-friendly practice that you can use metallic spoons or even your fingers to perform it.
How to Use Gua Sha
While starting a new routine in your skin care regimen may be intimidating, Gua Sha is an easy process to implement. Follow our instructions to get the most out of your Gua Sha massage.
1.Clean your face
Gua Sha helps increase the absorption of skincare products into the skin. However, if your skin is dirty, there’s a risk that impurities like dirt and excess oil could be pushed into the skin along with the beneficial products, which makes cleaning the face an essential first step. You should also ensure your hands and Gua Sha stone are also clean.
2.Prep your skin
Next, you must apply a generous amount of facial oil in your face, neck, and chest to help your preferred tool to glide more easily. If you have an acne-prone skin type or don’t prefer oil-based products, use a hydrating serum, lotion, cream, or sheet mask. Keep in mind to reapply the product as needed during the massage.
3.Hold your tool correctly
A common mistake people make when performing Gua Sha is holding the tool or stone at the wrong angle. For the best results, we recommend holding it at a 30 to 45-degree angle connected to the skin with light to medium pressure. Use lighter pressure to address puffiness, whereas you should apply firmer pressure to relax your muscles.
4.Perform Gua Sha
When performing Gua Sha, you should start gently scraping from your neck and work your way up. This way, you’ll prevent fluids from getting trapped in your skin. Apply even strokes against your skin, with upward movements following the lymphatic flow. Make sure to repeat each movement three to five times before moving on to the next part. The whole process takes about three to five minutes.
Place the long edge of the tool on the skin and make upward movements. Apply medium pressure, moving from your collarbone to your earlobe. Repeat on the other side.
If you’re using a Gua Sha stone, place the double-notched edge of the tool between your collarbones and apply light pressure up to your chin.
Using the double-notched edge of the tool, start at the center of your chin, move along the jawline until the base of your ear, and repeat on the opposite side.
Next, place the long edge of the tool and drag slowly upward past your cheekbone to right before reaching your ear. Repeat on the opposite side.
Use the long curve of the double-notched edge of the tool, place it flat against the inner corner of the eye, and lightly sweep outwards to the hairline. Repeat on the other side.
Place the tool on the double-notched edge side on the middle of your eyebrows and move along your eyebrow until you reach your hairline. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lastly, drag the long edge of the tool up from the top of your eyebrow towards the top of the forehead. Repeat on the other side.
How Often Should You Use Gua Sha?
We recommend using your Gua Sha two to three times a week to see substantial results. Additionally, it’s important to consider the time of day to address different concerns. A morning Gua Sha routine can help treat puffiness and energize the skin, whereas a night routine will help relax the muscles and release tight connective tissue in the face.
Remember that the key to getting the desired results is consistently doing the Gua Sha facial massage.
Benefits of Gua Sha
When done correctly, Gua Sha can provide incredible results. Some of the benefits of incorporating this practice as part of your self-care regimen include:
— Stimulating circulation in targeted areas.
— Helping produce collagen—thereby improving the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
— Diminishing dark circles by temporarily tightening the skin.
— Decreasing inflammation and relieving pain.
— Sculpting facial muscles on the jawline and cheekbone area.
Furthermore, the benefits of jade scraping go beyond aesthetics and can be helpful for conditions like:
— Hepatitis B: Gua Sha might help reduce liver inflammation caused by Hepatitis B.
— Tourette’s Syndrome: Combining Gua Sha with acupuncture and herbs may help minimize symptoms caused by this syndrome.
— Migraines: This practice might be an alternative to medication as it can help ease chronic headaches.
When to Avoid Gua Sha
Despite being a safe practice, it would be best to avoid Gua Sha if you have:
— Had facial botox or injectables within the past three or four weeks.
— Thin skin and are underage or on the mature side.
— Chronic skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
If you’re pregnant, take blood thinners, or have a blood clotting disorder, discussing with your primary care provider before trying Gua Sha is recommended.
As a time-honored practice, Gua Sha is a compelling blend of ancient wisdom and modern skincare, which, by following instructions, can yield incredible results such as a brightened complexion, improved circulation, and reduced pain. Therefore, it’s a versatile and holistic self-care practice, promoting overall well-being and skincare goals. If you want to consult highly skilled professionals, we invite you to visit our Holistic Wellness Center in Columbus, OH, for a tailored treatment for your concerns.