Used in Chinese integrative medicine, gently massages your skin and sends signals to cells and cell structures to renew and proliferate (grow). Clinically shown. It also moves lymph fluid to mechanically aid your body's system to remove toxins and stagnant fluid. Gentle, cooling and a must for your daily regimen.
Used in traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha involves scraping a flat, rounded tool, usually made of jade, over the skin. Translated, gua means press or stroke, and sha refers to a rash or redness, but while traditional Chinese therapists work hard and deep – skin can be left bright red – for its beauty benefits, you need a lighter touch on the face. Gua sha treatment relaxes the muscles, gets the energy and blood moving and shifts any puffiness. It boosts the circulation – studies show by up to 400 percent – which takes away toxins and brings in oxygen and nutrients.” Best described as a hands-on mix of a massage and a workout, it helps release tension (I find it amazing for headaches and tight jaws) and leaves skin instantly more supple, glowing and healthy-looking. You are also creating a controlled trauma, which the skin then starts to repair by making new collagen through the mechanical signaling of natural cell response.
How to use a gua sha
1. You can use a gua sha on the face, body and scalp, and it’s best to use with water or an oil – but never on bare skin.
2. Hold the gua sha tool with the curved side to your face and glide it gently up and out, starting with the neck, jawline, chin and around the mouth, between three and five times per area. Always take short strokes in just one direction, not back and forth.
3. Next, press the tool flat to the skin, under the eyes or over any redness, to soothe and de-puff.
4. Work the tool in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift, or hold and press upwards between the brows to release tension.
5. Stroke down the neck, never upwards, to drain fluid.
6. If you want to reduce puffiness, work lightly, then more firmly, to relax muscles
How often should you gua sha?
“We look after our teeth every day, and we need to do the same with our skin,” says Brindle. “In the morning, it’s about treating puffiness and energizing the skin, while at night you work more on relaxing the muscles and releasing tight connective tissue.” Simple to do, this method also passes my personal ‘Netflix test’: I can do it while watching TV.
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