How to use the Gua Sha
What is gua sha?
It's an ancient Chinese technique that's traditionally used to release muscle tension and pain using a tool (jade is traditional). It's seen a recent resurgence in popularity as a beauty trend with gua sha tools in all shapes, sizes and even in different materials such as rose quartz.
How does it work?
Traditionally, in basic terms it moves qi (energy) around in your body. The tool (usually jade) is scraped along the skin, causing bruising. Sometimes this bruising can be serious. The term gua sha actually means scooping/ scraping and technically not the name of the tool itself. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) one becomes ill, sick or have unbalanced qi in thebody causing pain. The act of gua sha moves the qi around the body so the energy is able to flow freely to reduce aches and pains.
Although gua sha has been used for centuries in Asia, there hasn't been much if any, research into the benefits or side effects of gua sha. Some say it's great for inflammation, others swear by it to help massage scar tissue.
There have been a few studies into the benefits of gua sha. One was on the benefits of gua sha in neck and back pain, the other on weightlifters. Both had very positive outcomes. They are here and here if you'd like to look deeper.
The act of massaging and scraping the skin has shown to not only feel great by releasing tension, but it reduces swelling or puffiness from water retention, helps the lymph nodes drain, increases blood to the skin to promote a natural glow, and boosts the skin's elasticity thus making the skin look and feel firmer.
Below, is a video of my routine that I do every day. There is a right way and wrong way to use the gua sha tool on your face. As you can see from the video, you should use it as flat to the skin as possible, not 90 degrees.
Thanks for reading,