The Joy of Gua Sha
What is it?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the concept that our body is in optimal health when are our meridians or energy channels are clear and balanced. Very simply, Gua Sha works to release energy blockages and clear our meridians. Traditionally Gua Sha is used all over the body but it works very well and is easy to do yourself on your face and neck.
How Does it Work?
We’re always told ‘don’t touch your face’ and yet we hold so much tension in both our face and our neck. We know the benefits of a massage or yoga: stiffness melts away, injuries are soothed and we feel relaxed and calmer. Gua Sha does exactly this but for our face and neck. So much of skincare just touches the surface but doesn’t address what’s going on underneath our skin. Gua Sha is a way to release your inner beauty and glow inside out.
What are the Benefits?
A typical Gua Sha routine gets under the skin and stimulates the connective tissues (fascia) in your face. This improves circulation and helps deliver more oxygen and stimulates the systems that keep your skin healthy (like collagen production and lipids). This is probably the reason why people notice their face looks more toned. It also works to release tension in your face which will allows your muscles to relax leaving your skin smoother and sculpted. The other wonderful benefit is it works to clear toxins in your face and so you’ll notice less puffiness and a clearer complexion.
When Will I See Results?
Everyone is different but I personally saw very good results in about 3-4 days of doing it. I noticed my eyes were less droopy and I felt my whole face looked brighter and more toned. I spend about 15-20 minutes at the end of the day doing a simple routine. I also have used it before going out in the evening for a bit of a ‘pick me up’.
How Can I Learn Gua Sha?
We’ve made two videos: one explains more about Gua Sha and the other is a simple routine. Once you get the basics down, I encourage you to feel your way around your face and neck and spend time working on the areas where you feel need the most attention. It shouldn’t be a strict prescriptive programme so take the time to explore where you will benefit the most.
Neck, Face, Neck (here’s the short version)
Apply oil to your skin because you don’t want to ‘pull your skin’. You want the stone to glide across your skin (think of a spatula spreading icing rather than the stone digging into your skin).
Start on the neck, loosen that by going from your shoulders up to your ears, then work the tool around your face always sweeping up with gentle motions and then finish by sweeping all the toxins down your neck to your lymph nodes. That’s really all you need to know to get started.