Gua sha has formed part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. This ancient remedy is great for myalgia (pains and aches) in the body, decrease inflammation in major muscles and helps with oxidative stress all over.
But its ability to improve the look and feel of our skin has brought its popularity into 2020.
Gua means to rub or scrape, sha refers to the redness or small spots that appear on the skin from scraping. There are many tools on the market, sold by big cosmetic brands with expensive creams and serums.
Gua sha does not need expensive creams and pricey tools. Tools like horn, stone, and jade have been used throughout history to scrape the skin, the most adaptable being the simple Chinese spoon.
For facial rejuvenation, Gua sha lifts and sculpts to:
- increases the skin’s surface micro-circulation by up to 400 per cent
- reduce fine lines
- relieve stress-related conditions like TMJ (lockjaw)
- reduce puffiness and bloating by draining fluid (lymph) from the face
- create that healthy, youthful glow. Like any other popular beauty trends, misunderstanding the basics can lead to misuse.
As a doctor of Chinese Medicine, Facial Acupuncturist, and accredited trainer in Oriental Therapies, I understand that incorrect use of any therapy can cause more harm than good.
Here are some COTY tips for effective, and safe gua sha at home:
Use cream or light oil. Never gua sha on dry skin it will pull and tear the skin rather than sliding therapeutically.
Start at the midline and work out and up, holding your tool at a 15-30-degree angle slanted from the skin. Pull up from above, don’t push up from underneath.
Gentle uplifting strokes especially up the neck to the jawline. Don’t press too hard, the skin on our neck is fine which can cause discomfort. Don’t over-do it. 3 – 5 light uplifting movements in each area is more than enough for the face.
Don’t scrape in back and forth. Whether you are moving up the face or out to the ears, make sure the tool is only applied one way
Stress relief bonus! Use the tool on the back of your neck and take it up to your hairline. It feels fab and makes your facial muscles work in your favour.
If you are a body-work specialist wanting to know more about gua sha check out our free webinar for the ATMS Natural Medicine Week REGISTER HERE