Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique that stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It was a modality used on the body, to break up muscle tension and stimulate the flow of chi through the body. Gua, means to scrape, and sha means rash. The tool, which was made out of bone or stone, was scraped across the affected area until a rash appeared, stimulating blood flow and the release of toxins.
Facial Gua Sha is a more modern way of using this healing technique to stimulate blood and lymph flow resulting in healthier, more radiant skin. When performing Gua Sha on the face and neck, we do not want to create the “sha”, using gentler pressure and sweeping movements to help create flow, and reduce puffiness and stagnation in the face.
There was a study conducted in Germany that concluded, “ Gua Sha caused a fourfold increase in microcirculation PUs at the treated area for the first 7.5 minutes following treatment and a significant increase in surface microcirculation during the entire 25 minutes of the study period following treatment (P < .001). Females showed significantly higher rates of response than males (P = .003). Each subject experienced immediate decrease in myalgia in both the site treated, in the related distal control site, and in some cases, other distal sites. Pain relief persisted to some extent up to the follow-up visit. There were no adverse reactions.” Read more here.
Gua Sha is the ultimate “pro-aging” tool. By lifting and toning muscles, it reduces premature aging and laxity in the skin, and smooths fine lines, expression lines, and wrinkles. The gentle, stroking movements stimulate flow in the lymphatic system, flushing away unwanted toxins and pathogens, and delivering nutrients to the underlying tissues of the skin, resulting in optimal skin function, as well as vibrant and glowing skin from the inside out.
Gua Sha is safe for all skin type, from aging to acne. It is also a great tool to release muscle tension in the face, softening facial postures and expressions. Working the jaw area can alleviate pain from TMJ and working temple’s and forehead can reduce headaches.
Gua Sha can be done anywhere, anytime. I often perform Gua Sha massage on myself while I’m laying in bed watching TV at night, or while my kids take a bath. Regular Gua Sha massage is the ultimate anti-aging prevention tool.