To Gua Sha or Not to Gua Sha?

To Gua Sha or Not to Gua Sha?

Recently there has been a lot of buzz about this stone tool that has been known for its enriching skin benefits. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese treatment that has been around for centuries. It's made from a soft, flexible instrument with rounded ends called a "sha". It involves scraping off the top layer of skin on the person's face to enhance blood circulation and remove toxins. By using moderate to light pressure to stroke, the skin releases endorphins and activates the immune system. Treatments such as these are often given in a spa environment and take about 40 minutes depending on how much skin needs to be taken off. 

Although the gua sha treatment has been practised for centuries in Asia, it's still not well-known in the West. This article will introduce the readers to what a gua sha is, how it can be used for different purposes, and the skin benefits you can get from using it. 

What is Gua Sha? 

A Gua Sha is a type of scraping that originated from China. It is traditionally done by using bamboo shoots, an animal horn, or a seashell to scrape the skin. This treatment is supposed to help with blood circulation and muscle relaxation. The Gua Sha is used for many different purposes such as healing injuries, treating inflammation, and improving immune system function.

What are Gua Sha tools made up of? 

Gua sha tools are typically composed of stone, wood, or metal. The most common type of gua sha tool is made out of stone. It has a flat surface with rough edges to create friction when rubbing the skin to promote blood flow and remove dead skin cells. In more recent years, metal tools have been created specifically for this technique by some manufacturers. Metal tools are more expensive but they are designed to provide a finer and deeper tissue scratch than the traditional stone tool. The Gua sha tool feels like a large spoon with a rough edge and it is used to scrape the surface of the skin in order to improve blood flow and promote healing.

Benefits of using Gua Sha? 

  • Reduces puffiness -  Gua sha is all about the act of scraping off, which when done in consistent sweeping movements, helps to reduce fluffiness. The body’s lymphatic system depends upon muscle movement to transfer fluids from one part to another. Regular Gua sha helps to eliminate this fluid and helps in improving lymphatic drainage. 
  • Promotes blood circulation - The consistent scraping off of the dead skin helps to stimulate microcirculation in the soft tissues. According to Chinese medicine, using a gua sha tool stimulates the Yang Meridians (composed of large intestines and the stomach). This means you are indirectly sending a signal to your body that these areas need more blood circulation.    
  • Reduces soft lines and wrinkles - Gua sha is also known to provide excellent facial massages. In gua sha, you scrape off the old layers of skin that clog your pores. Thus, this temporarily improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Is a great stress buster - For ages this tool has been used as a way of relieving stress and relaxing the tense muscles of the body. Using the Gua Sha involves using a metal scraper to scrape down the skin on one side of your body. This causes blood to flow towards the surface of your skin. The scraping action will stimulate your nerves and muscles, which can release toxins from deep within your body.
  • Treats cystic acne- Gua sha when used on flare-ups, redness or acne, can actually help to reduce them by improving the blood circulation and moving the congestion. Experts often use roller stones on such affected areas. However, Gua sha must be avoided on broken skin or pustules.
  • Helps in detoxifying - Since Gua sha helps in promoting blood circulation and eliminating the lymphatic fluid, it has a very therapeutic effect on your body. 
  • Adds a glow to your face - The consistent scraping off action leads to the sculpting of the face and removal of the dead skin cells. Thus, not only do you have defined jawlines, but also a natural glow to your face. 

How to use a Gua sha?

Gua sha comes in different shapes and sizes. Different stones are known to have different effects on your aura. However, the most commonly used stones are the polished stones or rollers made out of jade or quartz. Rollerblades, flat heart-shaped stones, or tools with varying contours on each edge are some of the most recommended tools by practitioners.

It is important to know how to use the gua sha correctly in order to unlock its benefits. Here’s how you can do it - 

  • Step 1- Wash your face and use a clean cotton cloth to wipe it clean. Then, cleanse your gua sha tool with water or alcohol. 
  • Step 2- Apply generous amounts of serum on the parts of the body you wish to use the tool. 
  • Step 3- Hold the tool at 30 or 45 degrees and gently press it against the skin. Move the Gua sha in an upward direction and scrape off the dirt and grim skin cells. Repeat the same step three to five times in the affected area. 

If you are someone who follows all the recent trends, then you should definitely give gua sha a try. The benefits of Gua sha are innumerable. When conventional facial treatments fail, one should try Gua sha. You may also seek the help and guidance of a professional to get the best results for yourself . 

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