What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha (pronounced “Gwah-Shah”) is a natural, alternative therapy that is performed by essentially scraping or rolling the skin with a tool. It loosely translates into “scraping, rubbing, or pushing”. The tool is traditionally a smooth-edged tool or roller. Gua Sha can be performed on most parts of the body, but for our purposes today, we will be focusing specifically on gua sha for the face.
The Origin of Gua Sha:
The practice of Gua Sha comes from traditional Chinese medicine as an ancient Chinese healing technique. Dating back to the Paleolithic Age with the use of stone tools, the practice was recorded in medical records in the Ming Dynasty dating back 700 years. In the Chinese culture, our bodies are made up of energy called “chi”. If this energy is left stagnant, then it leads to inflammation. Gua Sha breaks up this energy and allows it to flow freely.
What are the Benefits?
- Migraine relief
- Relieves puffiness
- Reduces inflammation
- Relieves tension in the face and jaw
- Reduces sinus pressure
- Improves lymphatic function and drainage
- Aids in product absorption
- Gives skin a refreshed appearance
- Softens fine lines
- Boosts microcirculation to aid in the production of collagen and elastin
Who Should Not Receive Gua Sha?
While the practice of Gua Sha is generally safe and effective for everyone, there are a few conditions that would contraindicate you from receiving Gua Sha:
- Broken capiliaries
- Prescription blood thinners
- Severe acne breakouts
- Injured or bruised skin
- Bleeding disorders
Gua Sha at Home:
Adding Gua Sha to a facial can maximize the effects of the treatment and products, as well as heighten your sense of well-being. You can also perform this treatment at home between services. While you can safely perform Gua Sha on yourself daily, you should start out 2-3 times a week until you have become accustomed to the practice.
Gua Sha should be performed on clean, exfoliated skin. Apply a light layer of facial oil to aid in gliding the tool over the skin. You can use your moisturizer as well to aid in slip, you just want to avoid performing Gua Sha without product as the tool will pull and tug at the skin. Be sure to hold the tool at a 15-degree angle, use light pressure, and bring all the way down the throat and neck to help the lymph along its way.