How to Use Gua Sha
A little known fact is that gua sha is actually the oldest recorded healing modality in the world!
The earliest computed record of gua sha dates back to the Ming dynasty but in fact there are historical records of gua sha as far back as the Paleolithic age.
Gua sha is a traditional chinese medicine practice (TCM) primarily used to help eliminate excess heat or inflammation from the body and face, based on the premise that inflammation so often can be the root cause of disease and other physical ailments.
Gua sha involves using a tool made from either bone, stone or most commonly crystal to glide over, stroke, or massage the skin and muscles of the face and body.
Gua Sha Facial Massage
Gua sha has gained huge popularity in the last few years due to its famed ability to lift and sculpt the contours of the face, improve lymphatic drainage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Just like traditional facial massage techniques, you should always apply a facial oil across your face and neck before using your gua sha massage tool because the aim is to let your tool glide across your skin rather than dragging or pulling the skin.
Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua sha is famous for its ability to improve the texture and tone of the skin, leaving it glowing and youthful; you only need to take a look at instagram or tik tok to see many influencers extolling its virtues and praising it for their amazing skin transformations.
Recent studies have shown that regular gua sha use can improve microcirculation by up to 400%; which is no mean feat – after all, who doesn’t want to have bright beautiful skin all year round?
As we age naturally everything starts to slow down and that unfortunately can affect the appearance of our skin; lymphatic drainage, blood flow and even collagen and elastin production all start to taper off and without our interjection this can result in internal stagnation which can show up externally on our face in multiple less desirable ways;
- puffy eyes on waking
- dark circles under your eyes
- water retention
- dull,dry, dehydrated skin
- age spots
By starting a daily gua sha practice you can start to reverse all of these natural side effects of aging and also even start to improve the contours of your face and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles according to dedicated fans of the practice.
Famous gua sha fanatics include; Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, Kendall Jenner and Jennifer Aniston.
How Often Should You Use Gua Sha
Ideally Gua Sha is done every day; morning and night alongside your regular skincare routine. It’s a bit like brushing your teeth, it’s best done daily; so that toxins, dead skin cells and other byproducts of stagnation don’t build up and cause unsightly side effects.
The good news is that your daily gua sha practice shouldn’t take you longer than 2-5 minutes, so it’s pretty easy to slot into your daily routine, and what’s more it feels so good that you will find yourself looking forward to bookending your day with those beautiful moments of self care.
One of our top tips is to choose an oil or serum made with natural essential oils like rose, lavender, rosemary or geranium that are known for their ability to enrich your skin, to elevate your gua sha practice and make it feel more like an indulgent ritual than the valuable healthcare practice that it is.
How Quickly Does Gua Sha Work
Like with all natural health care treatments; you’re not looking for a quick fix; this is a long term health strategy that will keep you looking and feeling beautiful at all ages. However, people who give gua sha treatments always parade the amazing immediate before and after success stories of their clients, and in fact you can find many of these pictures online.
Gua Sha Therapist Lydia Sasse says ‘i can see a difference straight away with my clients; their skin appears rejuvenated, refreshed and glowing as if they have just come back from holiday after just one session, and this benefit just keeps on growing if they start to use their gua sha daily. Within a month of regular use you should see a significant difference in the appearance of your skin and more definition in the contours of your face. Like with all things the more work you put in the more you get out!’
Best Gua Sha Stone
Each gua sha stone has a different quality and application so it is important to choose one that is right for your skin type;
as a general rule ;
rose quartz is great for sensitive skin types
purple amethyst is particularly indicated for people with eczema, psoriasis and aging skin
jade is the most common stone and is best for people with a regular skin type.
clear quartz is very cooling and calming and most often used to reduce the effects of stress
black onyx is good for people who are suffering from a lot of environmental stressors both physical and emotional
There are also many different shapes of gua sha tool ;
Ones with a smooth heart shaped edge are very good for sculpting and contouring, tools with a wavy edge are used for lymphatic drainage and breaking down fascial trains that lead to wrinkles, and the mushroom compresses are good for clearing deep impurities and improving circulation and are also much easier to handle as a beginner user.
- rose quartz
- smooth edged
How to Clean Gua Sha Tools
Just like any massage tool it’s important to keep your gua sha clean or you risk build up of dirt and impurities.
Some crystals are porous so it is important to only use the most gentle natural soap when cleaning your tool and very sparsely even then; wash them in warm water with a little soap 2 times per week if you are using them daily otherwise just rinse and dry after each use.
Crystals are said to store energy and in order to keep them charged and working their best, practitioners advise cleansing your tools by leaving them out in your garden over night under the full moon, bringing them to the sea and bathing them in salt water or placing them amongst the leaves of a healthy house plant for 24 hours.