The increasing number of people practicing self-care is a beautiful sight to see. It has paved the way not only for the discovery of new tools and techniques in improving health but also, the rediscovery of an old yet effective method and instrument that everybody is raving about - the Gua Sha.
If you are into trending beauty and wellness products, you may have heard about it.
The Gua Sha tool is crafted from divinely beautiful gemstones used to produce a healthy, contour, and tone skin. But before we learn about Gua Sha stones' impressive benefits, let us take a little detour and uncover a bit of history about Gua Sha.
What is Gua Sha treatment before it became a trending beauty cult today? Keep reading to find out.
What is Gua Sha Treatment?
Gua means to scrape, and Sha means sand.
This technique involves a tool to rub the skin in short or long strokes, scraping the skin until it produces a light bruising known as petechiae or Sha. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate body pain. Often referred to as scraping, spooning, or coining, this treatment has been around for centuries to treat chronic pain and symptoms caused by inflammation.
It uses a massage apparatus called the Gua Sha tool. Traditionally, it could have been any material found at home, like a spoon, a coin, a tin lid with a smooth edge, honed animal horn, stones. It has since developed using jade, and now a variety of beautiful crystals, to help the practitioner to apply pressure. Applying massage oil, body lotion, or water is essential before doing the procedure.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, its purpose is to keep the chi (a person's energy) from flowing freely to achieve balance and guarantee health and well-being. A blocked chi causes pain or tension in the muscles and joints. This treatment aims to break the stagnant energy and keep it flowing - reducing soreness, stiffness, and therefore promote healing (blood circulation).
Gua Sha is traditionally done on the body - back, legs, buttocks, arms, and neck, areas where you customarily get tightness and pain. The popular Gua Sha facial therapy that we know today is the lighter version of it.
What is the difference between a Jade Roller and a Gua Sha tool?
The Jade Roller provides a lymphatic drainage massage, a form of massage that aims to eradicate excess fluids and toxins that are stored in the tissues. It delivers depuffing and fights skin dullness. The Gua Sha, on the other hand, is a fascial release massage. It aims to properly release tension and tightness on the fibrous tissues, which is multidirectional. Hence, the different forms and edges of Gua Sha tools available in the market, as it is used differently from Jade Rollers to create blood flow and break up fascial tension to bring relief.
How to Use the Gua Sha Stone tool?
It is crucial to use the Gua Sha stone properly to achieve best results. Like any other skin-care routines or rituals, you should focus your attention and be clear on your intentions while performing the procedure to to enjoy the many advantages it offers.
- First of all, never use Gua Sha on bare skin. That's a big NO-NO! Hydrate your skin, then apply your favorite oil, body lotion, or water beforehand, so the stone effortlessly glides over the skin.
- Start with your neck as it is the bridge that brings all the circulation to your face. Gently slide the Gua Sha stone with upwards and out strokes as you hold the curved side of the stone to your face. Then scrape your way to your jawline, chin, around the mouth, nose, and cheeks to the forehead. Do this 3-4 times per area with light, short strokes, and in just one direction. For best results, avoid doing it in a back and forth motion.
- To soothe and reduce puffiness or inflammation, hold it flat to the skin, under the eyes, or over any redness. Work lightly then, gradually more firmly, to relax muscles.
- When working on your brow area, create small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift. Or hold and apply a light pressure upwards between the brows to loosen tension.
- Lastly, stroke downwards against the neck to depuff and promote elasticity.
Cleaning and Caring for Your Gua Sha Stone
You may feel intimidated when it comes to handling your fragile gemstones facial tools, but cleaning and caring for it is simple and easy. It is best to clean it before and after usage to avoid any contamination on your skin.
Follow these easy steps to get your tools squeaky clean in an instant!
- We can't emphasize this more. Please, please hold your Gua Sha tool with extra caution because it is made from 100% natural stone, meaning it is delicate and could easily damage when dropped. So handle it with care.
- Before and after every use, spray it with a mild disinfectant, then wipe the tool with a microfiber cloth. You can also moisten the cloth with water and gentle soap, then proceed to wipe the tools.
- Wash the tool with warm water and a mild soapy liquid. Avoid washing it under running water as this may cause damage.
- Pat it dry with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. For best results, allow it to air dry.
After every use and cleaning of the tool, we recommend keeping it in a dry place. It may come as a surprise, but unlike your Jade Roller, the Gua Sha tool should not be cold as it leads to contracting and tightening of blood vessels, which will make it less effective. So let's avoid the fridge, ladies!
5 Benefits of Using Gua Sha Stones on Your Skin
As Gua Sha is known to decrease inflammation, it helps relieve symptoms of illnesses that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as musculoskeletal disorders.
On the other hand, when you experience a Gua Sha facial treatment as part of your skin-care regimen, it has far reaching benefits. The friction that it creates loosens facial muscle tension and promotes lymph drainage. The result is extraordinary:
1. Cleanses and Contours
The Gua Sha improves lymphatic drainage, leaving you with clear and glowing skin without puffiness.
2. Fights Breakouts
Regularly doing Gua Sha helps to eliminate waste from your skin, enhancing the skin's ability to prevent dirt, sebum, and clogged pores and helping to clear out things like acne breakouts or blackheads.
3. Natural Skin Lifter and Anti-aging
The Gua Sha is a natural anti-aging treatment that stimulates collagen production, which reduces sagging, loose skin and fine lines, leading to more tight, contoured, and toned skin.
4. Alleviates Anxiety and Stress
Using the Gua Sha relieves tightness in the jaw and face, soothes your nerves, providing the feeling of calmness and relaxation.
5. Promotes quick healing and fight inflammation
Including the Gua Sha treatment into your regular self care routine, enhances blood circulation and boosts your immune system to help your skin heal quickly and fight inflammation
The Gua Sha has a lot to offer - it both boosts your health and enhances your skin by making it radiant and toned. It not only nourishes your body but also lets you live your life to the fullest. Like any other treatment, Gua Sha may not be for everyone.
If you are an acne-prone, have an active breakout, or someone with a medical condition that affects the skin or veins, bleeds easily, or uses cosmetic injectables like Botox or filler, you should be cautious and seek medical advice as the Gua Sha as it may aggravate existing problems.
If you are looking for a natural, less invasive self-care tool and that is perfect for use as an at home treatment, providing speedy, noticeable results, you can’t go past the Gua Sha. Give your skin some love and up your skincare routine with nourishing all-natural products.
Try Gua Sha today and see for yourself!