Everybody Stop and Go Get a Gua Sha Facial
At my last acupuncture appointment, where I have been doing some facial cupping, my acupuncturist asked if I would like to try Gua Sha. Erm…what? She whipped out a beautiful piece of jade and before getting started, gave me a mini lesson on what it is and why it is so awesome.
What is Gua Sha?
It is an ancient Chinese Medicine technique that involves the scraping of the Gua Sha tool over the skin to relieve stiffness and pain and to get your lymphatic fluids flowing freely. Typically, this is done on your body and is a much deeper massage which leaves reddish, bruise-like marks on the skin. When done on the face, it is much gentler, leaving no bruises, only beautifully refreshed skin.
Why do I want to have it done?
Most of us sit behind a computer all day – can you say stagnation? Along with that comes fluid retention and as a result, puffiness. Getting the lymph fluid flowing helps release muscle tightness in the face (goodbye wrinkles) and increases blood circulation (hello rosy glow). It also helps release toxins in the skin so you will see clearer skin and less dryness. Sounds like a mini facelift and Botox without the needles and price tag!
What are those pretty tools made of and where can I get one?
Gua Sha tools (or boards) are often made from Jade, Rose Quartz. Who doesn’t love to rub a beautiful crystal on your face? Jade is a cleansing stone that has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries. Rose Quartz aids in circulation and is associated with love. They come in many shapes and sizes, you can also get a crystal roller. You can easily find them on Amazon, Etsy or if you have a local crystal shop, you can find them there. For a special gift, you can also purchase one online from Ceclia Wong.
How it is done?
You can have facial Gua Sha done at a spa by an esthetician or you can do it at home on yourself. It can be a very relaxing part of your bedtime routine and a great way to take a few minutes for yourself each night to practice some self-love and care. Daily practice gives you the best results and results are cumulative over time so make it a habit! Just a tip before we get started, remember to use a gentle stroke. If your skin begins getting red or if this is uncomfortable, lighten up and be gentle with yourself.
- Apply a few drops of facial oil to your face and neck.
- Use 4-5 strokes for each step. Begin at the neck, using upward strokes from the collarbone up to your jaw (by starting at the neck, you are clearing the path for all of the lymph fluid to drain).
- You are going to do one side of the face at a time, so pick your side. Starting at the center of your chin, scrape along the jawline up towards the ear.
- Moving up to the cheek, begin at the corner of the mouth and scrape outwards towards ear. Do this again starting beside your nose and scraping outwards. Continue up the cheek in the same outward motion until you have reached the under eye area.
- For the eye area, begin at the inner corner of eye and gently sweep under the eye towards the temple.
- At the brow bone, start in the middle and move outward towards the temple.
- For the forehead, scrape upwards starting from the brow towards your hairline.
- Repeat the same steps on the other side of your face.
- If you are inspired, you can repeat the whole process again.