Fun Fact: the term “gua sha” is translated to “scraping” in English. This ancient Chinese practice has kind of gotten a rebrand through the magic of social media and in the land of influencers. To many of Chinese descent, the practice of gua sha was mainly used to treat two conditions: heatstroke and seasonal ailments like a cold or the flu. It is also not traditionally performed with the pristine curved stones we are used to seeing today, but with whatever was around the house like a soup spoon, coin, or animal bone. Definitely does not sound like the relaxing experience we have seen our favorite beauty influencers rave about.
Fast forward to today, facial gua sha is a gentle, self-massage technique that entails using a flat stone with specific strokes to help the skin with its natural healing processes. Ideally, the gua sha tool is a stone that’s been designed to suit the contours of the face. According to many holistic estheticians, the benefits of using gua sha on the face were discovered by mistake with the help of facial acupuncturists. As they used facial pressure points to treat ailments in other parts of the body, they stumbled upon their facial rejuvenation effects as well as the reduced look of wrinkles (literally a win-win-win).
Implementing the practice of gua sha into your skincare routine will create the appearance of a lift, tone, clarity, and brightness in the face immediately, with enhanced results over time. You will also notice a decrease in face puffiness and the appearance of wrinkles, a youthful glow, and an increase in physical and emotional well-being. However with most beauty treatments please be aware of a few things. Don’t gua sha over broken skin, raised blemishes, and moles, don’t use it if you are on blood thinners, and don’t use it if you have a cold sore, or other viral infection on the nose, face, or mouth. Due to how hard most gua sha tools are it can cause bruising to the face and neck, so try to manage your pressure as best as possible.
All of my facial acupuncture sessions come complete with a gua sha facial if you need a little help getting started.
Before I let you go on your new beauty adventure, remember that the practice of gua sha is not just limited to your face. The main benefit involves improving health through lymphatic drainage. It can be used on the arms, legs, chest, and neck to relieve pain or tension and increase circulation to reduce inflammation. It works to improve and heal the inside just as much as the outside.