Gua sha is an ancient practice that originated in China. It involves using a tool called a gua sha stick to massage areas of the body where there is pain or discomfort. The technique has been shown to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve stress. Gua Sha, which literally translates to scraping the skin in Chinese, has been used as both a therapeutic and medicinal technique since ancient times to treat pain and other health ailments. Despite its immense popularity throughout Asia and the world, it’s not yet widely used in the west. This article explains what Gua Sha is, how it works, and how you can use it to your advantage at home in an effort to boost your facial health today!

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is a form of Chinese traditional medicine that involves using smooth, gliding strokes to stimulate pressure points. Also known as coining, it’s most commonly used to treat pain by reducing swelling and bruising, similar to how cupping works. A tool called a sha scraper is applied with pressure on targeted areas of your body and left in place for several minutes; typically gua sha is done over clothes to protect your skin from being damaged or irritated by direct contact with a hard object. Gua sha itself doesn’t cure illness, but can ease symptoms of conditions like arthritis and chronic back pain, as well as anxiety, eczema and psoriasis. How does it work?: The exact mechanism behind gua sha isn’t completely understood, but one common theory is that applying steady pressure to certain points releases endorphins and stimulates blood flow. Since endorphins are often referred to as happy chemicals, you might feel better after treatment—though experts caution against getting too excited about any potential mood-boosting effects. That said, when you’re experiencing acute pain or discomfort, relief can be just around the corner if you give gua sha a try!

Why Should I do Gua Sha?

Gua sha has been practiced for thousands of years and is still widely used today. In fact, there are even gua sha machines available at some spas and salons. Gua sha is also commonly used by athletes to help them recover faster after intense workouts and now the beauty industry is embracing it’s benefits for healthier and more radiant skin. This Gua sha 101 guide walks you through what gua shing is and why it’s beneficial to both your mind and body. You’ll also learn when to do it and what tools are best. Read on!

When Should I Use It?

Gua sha is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that has been used for centuries. Commonly referred to as ‘scraping’, Gua sha works by using a firm or back-and-forth scraping motion on one’s body, resulting in skin redness and increased blood flow to treated areas of your body.  This can be performed with almost any smooth hard object or tool. When you’re starting out, we recommend trying out finger gua sha with quartz tools because they are very effective at delivering results while also being gentle enough to use daily. Just remember: start slow and always listen to your body! 

To get the best results you should aim to use Gua Sha with a quartz tool in the morning to reduce swollen water retention and puffiness, whilst it energises the skin and again at night to relax relieving tight connective tissue in the facial muscles before you go to bed.

How to Do Gua Sha

Once you have cleaned both your face and your Gua Sha tool, make sure that you moisten your skin and then begin to follow the flow on the diagram below.

– Always ensure that your strokes are in one direction and in general towards the heart to help lymphatic drainage. Repeat the strokes between 3-5 times per area and apply the appropriate pressure to the zone, for example go very gently around your eyes or any soreness.

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