How to use a Gua Sha

gua sha facial and gua sha massage instructions


Follow the steps below for a relaxing gua sha facial and body massage.

The Body Shaper is suitable to use on face, body and scalp. Always prep the skin by cleansing before using a Gua Sha. Follow up with your usual skincare products but ensure to use a good serum, oil, moisturiser or even water as this is essential for creating a nice slip and avoiding tissue damage.  


Using the curved edge to your face, glide it gently up and out starting with the neck, jaw, chin and around the mouth working towards your hairline. Use short strokes in the same direction, going over each area 3-5 times with a pause at the end of each stroke. Using the same technique, swipe across cheekbones to your ear. For the brows, apply the smaller corner at the inner corner of your eye and sweep along the eyebrow line towards the temple. Follow with using the Body Shaper just above the eyebrows working the upwards tool towards the hairline. Finish with a big sweep, from the centre of your forehead, under your hairline, down and over your temple to your ear and then down the side of the neck to the terminus area. Note: Remember the eyes are a delicate area, so do not pull or drag around the eye, simply glide slowly or simply soothe and de-puff. 


When treating the neck, or finishing your Gua Sha facial, always end by stroking downwards starting at the hairline and working towards the shoulders.  This is the 'Big Sweep’, dumping all of the lymph collected.  


Working in a downward motion from shoulder to elbow, using 3-5 strokes in a straight line. Move from the middle of the arm to the outside in. 


Working the forearm muscles from elbow to wrist, again use up to 5 strokes in a straight line. Use gentle to medium pressure. 


Use medium pressure from the thigh/hip joint towards the knee in quick 3-5 strokes.  Move from the middle of the thigh to the outside (ITB Band).


Start at the knee work in a downward motion ending at the ankle. Use gentle to medium pressure for 3-5 strokes always in straight lines.  Focus on the outside of the shin bone (Note: no need to Gua Sha over bones). Work around to the calf muscle.  


Simply press the Body Shaper flat to the skin under the eyes for a few seconds. Better yet, freeze your Gua Sha for 30 minutes prior as the cold will quickly tighten the skin.  


To relieve tension headaches, work the tool in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift, or hold and press upwards between the brows. Repeat each stroke 3-5 times per area. Then move to the neck, shoulders and back, working in a downwards motion to release tight muscles and drain the stagnation out of the head. 


Use firm strokes with the mouth slightly open, from top of ear to mandibula then towards chin. Include downwards stokes of the neck, shoulders and back. Bonus to add is the outside of the leg below the knee. This will reflect the head and reduce TMJ pain and tightness. 


Work forearms as listed above, include neck and back to help release the tight muscles. This will reduce wrist and hand pains from typing all day.


Gua sha lower back, sacrum area (looking for any tight or painful spots), back of calves and around the ankle in a downward motion 3-5 times over the same area. 

 Use light pressure to reduce puffiness and more firmly to relax muscles and relieve tension. Always use light pressure in delicate areas ensuring not to pull or drag the skin. 


Simply clean with soap and water before and after use. 

There are many tutorials and talk about rules when it comes to using Gua Sha tools for the optimal results, however please don’t over think it. There’s no necessarily wrong way of doing it. Do what feels good for you. 


Guidelines from Dr Mark Horsfield. BHSc Acupuncturist. Specialising in pain management, sporting injuries, fatigue/exhaustion. 

You can find Dr Mark at: