What Exactly is Gua Sha?
Gua sha, also referred to as “coining” emerged from traditional Chinese medicine and involves scraping a smooth, flat jade or rose quartz stone to relax muscles, melt away stiffness, and promote circulation and tissue drainage in the skin. ‘Gua’ translates into scrape and ‘sha’ means ‘sand’ and you’ll come to know that incorporating gua sha into your daily or nightly routine has tremendous benefits for you!
What’s the Difference Between a Gua Sha and a Jade Roller?
You might have heard of “jade rollers” more, as this beauty trend surged in popularity not too long ago. The difference? The jade roller allows for gentle rolling on the surface of the skin, while holding it with a handle, whereas the gua sha is designed to be held while massaging the surface of the skin. It’s convenient to use a jade roller when you’re short of time as it’ll help quickly stimulate blood flow and drain puffiness, while a gua sha is a very good option if you can spare ten minutes or more to go deeper and incorporate some more flow and indulge in your ritual of skincare.
What are the Benefits?
Among the benefits already mentioned, the gua sha has been claimed to help in healing migraines and neck pains, among other symptoms including sinus relief. How cool is that? Similar to the way our bodies hold in stress when we hunch over a computer, or the way we get headaches from tension, our faces also experience stress when we furrow our brows or clench our jaws, for example. Our face muscles are really just begging for a massage! Massage techniques using the gua sha tool are made to ease tension in the face muscles, while boosting blood circulation, and keep bloating at bay as it encourages lymphatic drainage.
Perhaps some of our favorite benefits of using the gua sha tool, are the anti-aging effects. Repeating gua sha sessions and consistently doing so can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, clears blemishes and age spots, firm up sagging on your face and neck, and combats dark circles and eyebags. Crazy how this technique that doesn’t use any needles is being called “The Botox of the East” After just one session, people have remarked that their skin looks smoother, more radiant, as well as lifted.
Where Can it be Done?
Now, the gua sha massage can be performed by a professional, who treats muscle pain and tight muscles by applying pressure using the tool. Some people are familiar with it, however, have experienced bruising and redness as they heal, but nonetheless reporting drastic results and calling it “the best massage of their life”.
Still, gua sha massages, especially facial ones, are not difficult to do at home, with a little attentiveness and patience. What a better time to do it at home, as well! For your first time, we’d recommend going easy on the surface of your skin. Once you get the hang of it, you can gradually increase the pressure. Remember, it is never supposed to be painful though, just a slight amount of pressure will do.
We’ve linked some of our favorite gua sha and jade roller sets at affordable prices for you to enjoy. They’re made of real rose quartz or jade stone, which are cool to the touch and stay cool even when coming into contact with the skin! Perfect for relaxation!
How Do I Use It?
Now let’s talk about how we can actually use these tools to reap the benefits. The jade roller is a handy tool that you simply roll on the surface of your skin with a little bit of pressure to help boost circulation. What about incorporating a gua sha massage into your routine? Although it is also quite straightforward, there are some things to keep in mind. Let’s fill you in on the basics!
Start by cleansing your face, and then applying a generous amount of an oil-based skincare serum all over your face and neck. If you don’t have one at hand, even olive oil will work wonders. These oils give the tool maximum slip to be able to glide smoothly over the skin. They’re also absorbed better once you start working it into the skin with the gua sha tool. Now you’ll want to start the massage by holding the tool with the curved side to your face and start gliding it with gentle sweeps, up and out. Remember to always use a light touch, the aim is to promote blood circulation. Start with your neck, moving upwards always, then make small upwards glides on your jawline, chin, and around your mouth (where a lot of sagging and wrinkling tends to form with age).
Continue this motion about three to five times in each area. Then, make glides across your cheeks and gently glide around the eyes. It’s also good to glide the tool across your eyebrows and then from your forehead, moving up to your hairline. These areas hold in a lot of tension and stress and regular massage can smoothen out and reduce frown lines. Remember, you are always in control of how much pressure of how much pressure you apply on your face, so don’t be nervous!
Once you pick the tool up, you may not be able to put it down! It feels so relaxing. Once you get into a habit of using it, you’ll notice just how much muscle relief you’ve been missing and how your face, which is often neglected, needs massage just as much as the rest of your body craves it.