Used in traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha involves scraping a flat, rounded tool, usually made of Rose Quartz, jade or black obsidian, over the skin.
Gua sha treatment relaxes the muscles, helps with TMJ and sinus issues, gets the energy and blood moving and shifts any puffiness. It boosts the circulation – which takes away toxins and brings in oxygen and nutrients. It helps release tension (I find it amazing for headaches and tight jaws) and leaves skin instantly more supple, glowing and healthy-looking.
If you're looking for simple upkeep, you can perform gua sha anywhere from once a week to seven days a week. If you're looking to seriously relieve muscle tension in the face, jaw or neck or diminish wrinkles, nearly every day is ideal.
In the morning, it's about treating puffiness and energizing the skin, while at night you work more on relaxing the muscles and releasing tight connective tissue.
How to use a gua sha
1. You can use a gua sha on the face, body and scalp, and it’s best to use with water or an oil – but never on bare skin.
2. Start with clean skin.
3. Hold the gua sha tool with the curved side to your face and glide it gently up and out, starting with the neck, jawline, chin and around the mouth, between three and five times per area. Always take short strokes in just one direction, not back and forth. (Light to med pressure) if under eyes (feather light pressure)
3. Next, press the tool flat to the skin, under the eyes or over any redness, to soothe and de-puff.
4. Work the tool in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift, or hold and press upwards between the brows to release tension.
5. Stroke down the neck, never upwards, to drain fluid.
6. If you want to reduce puffiness, work lightly, then more firmly, to relax muscles.