Thinking about trying Gua Sha and want to know more about Gua Sha facial benefits? Keep reading to find out and how to get started.
If you pay close attention to wellness trends on social media, you’ll no doubt already have heard of, or more likely seen gua sha. The ancient Chinese technique is currently in the spotlight and associated with benefits such as reduced puffiness, better circulation, and more youthful-looking skin. But what are the true benefits of this practice?
Gua sha involves massaging or scrapping a small, sculpted stone over the face (or body). This painless technique is said to have many health benefits and fans of the practice have already incorporated it into their skincare routine, myself included.
Keep reading to find out more about gua sha, what it is, and the gua sha facial benefits you might be able to get from it on your skincare journey.
Before we continue, it’s worth mentioning that gua sha is a fairly new practice in the world of Western skincare and not much research has been done to date about its benefits. There are very few, limited studies that show gua sha to have benefits but nothing has been proven on a large scale.
Gua sha does have many fans, however, myself included, and I’ve personally noticed a decrease in puffiness, inflammation, and overall muscle tone. Implementing this technique into your morning routine may offer a handful of potential benefits.
While we can’t make any promises about its benefits, there certainly isn’t much to lose when giving this safe practice a go.
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Gua Sha Facial Benefits: What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese Healing technique and is a traditional massage technique used to distribute ‘qi’ around the body. Chinese medicine is heavily focused on qi, or energy flow through the body. A healthy flow of qi is usually linked to good health but sometimes this energy can become sluggish and problems may arise.
While gua sha is certainly not an all-encompassing ‘health problem fixer’, it can be used to help the body get its energy going again.
Gua Sha involves a practitioner who uses a special, dull-edged tool and scrapes the affected area of the body or face in long strokes and a scraping motion. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and gua sha facial specialists also tackle the eye area to smooth out fine lines as well as use upward strokes on the forehead, face, and neck to stimulate lymphatic flow. This not only helps stagnant energy to start flowing again but also has quite a few other health benefits.
More recently, gua sha has become more and more popular as part of an at-home facial skincare routine. Many believe in the practice of gua sha and it has been linked to a variety of different health benefits such as increased circulation, decreased puffiness, and reduced muscle pain.
As part of a morning skincare routine, what are the gua sha facial benefits exactly? Keep reading to find out more.
Gua Sha Facial Benefits
There are many health benefits associated with the gua sha facial which include healthy-looking skin, better circulation, and healing. Here are some of the top gua sha facial benefits and what you too might expect when giving it a go.
Increased Blood flow and Circulation
By applying long, firm strokes to the skin using a gua sha tool we are applying much pressure to the skin to stimulate it. The gua sha movements promote microcirculation, or simply put, blood flow to the small blood vessels under the skin.
In turn, this increase in blood flow to the skin in the face essentially encourages a healthy movement of qi. With better blood flow and circulation to the face, we might also expect less puffiness and dull-looking skin.
Reduced Facial Tension
Facial tension can creep up on us during the day. An uncomfortable meeting with a sour colleague or perhaps a long and hard study session can cause us to frown or clench our jaw for hours without even realizing it. These daily stresses can cause the facial muscles to feel tight and tense.
Gua Sha might be able to help with the relaxation of the facial muscles and to get rid of this accumulated facial tension in our jaw, eyebrows, and forehead.
The gua sha technique is essentially a firm massage that helps to relax the muscles in the face. As you glide the gua sha tool over your skin, it can help to break up any knots or tension between the connective tissue of the muscle and the skin, therefore relieving tension, says dermatologist Rina Allawh, M.D.
The whole process of slowing down, taking the time for a gua sha facial massage, and some self-care time can also help you to relax and alleviate some tension.
Gua Sha Facial Benefits: Reduced Inflammation
Through increased blood flow and circulation, gua sha might also carry some benefits when it comes to reducing inflammation.
When using the gua sha tool across the skin and tissue in the face you’re promoting microcirculation and blood flow to the smaller blood vessels. This motion can contribute to better lymphatic drainage which often translates to less puffiness and inflamed-looking skin.
The scraping actions of a gua sha facial massage can also help to soothe the facial tissue, promote relaxation and encourage smoother-looking skin.
Life has a tendency to throw obstacles at us. They can include random aches, pains, tightness, muscle knots, etc as well as daily stressors, anxiety, and headaches. Gua sha in particular can help with these as the practice is designed to heal the body so energy flows freely.
After incorporating gua sha facials into your daily skincare routine, you might feel more relaxed and find that tightness in problem areas in the face to be gone. Using gua sha as part of a morning skincare routine can also help our skin become smoother, clearer, more contoured, and free from puffiness.
Gua sha facial benefits also extend to health on the surface of the skin. By stimulating the small blood vessels under the skin, the skin can look healthier and more radiant.
Gua Sha Facial Benefits: Improved Muscle Tone
A secondary effect of improved circulation and blood flow in the face could be more closely related to beauty benefits.
A youthful appearance through the improvement of muscle tone could be one such benefit. While there really isn’t much evidence to suggest this to be true, some gua sha fans have reported improved muscle tone due to the stimulation of facial muscles during a gua sha massage.
Gets Energy Moving around the Body
Even with its recent popularity, many forget that gua sha is an ancient practice which dates back hundreds of years to promote well-flowing qi or energy around the body.
By using the small massage tool, skilled practitioners can use gua sha to resolve issues like soreness, weakness, and even pain which can sometimes become present when blood flow or energy isn’t moving around the body the way it should.
Gua Sha can therefore promote better circulation and better flowing energy which results in better overall health and fewer trips to the doctor.
The lymphatic system helps to remove toxins and waste that build up in the body. Lymphatic drainage is important because it’s the flow of the lymph fluid that helps toxins escape the body faster as well as a reduction in build-up and swelling.
Gua sha massage helps to increase blood circulation and speed up lymph drainage. By scraping, pushing, and massaging the skin, you’re increasing circulation and encouraging drainage and faster movement of toxins and waste through the body.
Possible Improvement of Headache and Migraine Symptoms
While there is nothing to suggest long-term relief from chronic pain due to headaches and migraines, it is true that gua sha can help to temporarily relieve headaches and migraines.
It does really depend on the cause of the headache, however- for example, a tension headache might be relieved through the relaxing massage of a gua sha.
As someone who personally suffers from migraines, however, I always find that putting a small amount of pressure on the head can give respite for a while. Through the relaxing strokes and applied pressure of the gua sha, I’ve personally found to get brief migraine and headache relief from gua sha. I have to say, however, that sadly it doesn’t last as long as I’d hope.
Which Gua Sha Tool is Right for Me?
Search ‘gua sha’ or ‘gua shua stone’ on Amazon or Google and you’ll get a few different stone tools that come in various shapes and sizes. You’ll generally find the gua sha stone to have one long, straight side, a long curved side, and a side with shorter curves and a groove. It’s generally a flat tool.
There are also many different types of stone when it comes to gua sha. The rose quartz stone and the jade stone seem to be the most popular but there’s also clear quartz, bian, and even stainless steel. There really isn’t any scientific evidence regarding which stone might be best for gua sha.
Often gua sha tools also come with a Jade roller, I personally have never used one but they do seem to be popular.
A gua sha stone like this one is perfect as it has all the curves and contours you’ll need to cover the whole face.
Other gua sha tools like this might have a facial comb which offer a little extra pressure to encourage lymphatic drainage and detoxification.
It’s a great idea to use your favorite facial oil or mist for the best results and to make sure the facial gua sha glides across the skin easily. I love this Prima Night Magic CBC Facial Oil and this Mario Badescu Aloe and Rosewater Facial Mist.
Top Tip: Make sure to wash your gua sha tool in warm water before each gua sha treatment. The tool can easily collect bacteria that you’re pushing into your pores if it’s not clean which might cause breakouts.
Shop below for some of the most popular gua sha stones:
Jade Gua Sha Facial Tool
Empress Stone Facial Gua Sha
Night Magic, Intensive Facial Oil
Will you be trying out the gua sha facial benefits for yourself? Let me know how it goes for you in the comments and questions below, I’d love to hear from you.
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