What is it?
A Gua Sha a traditional Chinese method to relieve tension and muscle pain. The process usually involves a smooth tool being scraped across the skin to promote blood circulation, break up fascia and relieve tension. Today, the Gua Sha is a popular beauty tool as well not just providing a full body detox but used to encourage lymphatic flow and circulation and smoothing & lifting the skin.
Gua Sha is suitable to all over the body. Before you begin any Gua Sha treatment, always ensure:
- skin is clean.
- skin is lubricated with a quality moisturiser, oil or serum.
- holding Gua Sha ask close to parallel to the skin as possible.
- use light to medium pressure, always more gentle around sensitive areas such as the eyes.
- perform each stroke 3-5 times over each area.
FACIAL GUA SHA
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 with the long edge in a straight line. Work 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 again using the long edge as close to parallel to skin as possible. 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.
TO SOOTH AND DE-PUFF EYES
Simply press the Gua Sha 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.
You can also use on top of closed eyes or just above, below the eyebrow bone.
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.
To find out more about the benefits of a Gua Sha visit this page.