Gua Sha is a truly luxurious, effective beauty practice that encourages movement and stimulation of facial tissues resulting in visibly plump and tone facial skin, along with delivering a much needed relaxed, zen vibe during and after. I practice facial Gua Sha every morning and it's a very important part of my self-care ritual. After Gua Sha I notice the immediate results that include increased blood flow, relaxed facial lines, and a smooth appearance. After 30 consecutive days of practice, I noticed overall a more voluminous complexion with increased firming and brightening. The most important takeaway for me is that my Gua Sha practice makes me feel really, really good.
A practice that goes back 2,000 years, Gua Sha (pronounced GWA-SA, meaning “scraping sha-bruises”) is an ancient East Asian facial and body rejuvenation technique that restores circulation. In Chinese medicine, stagnant energy slows the body’s healthy function and creates sickness and disease. By keeping the facial fascia activated, supple and circulating, our intercellular fluid is invigorated and our lymph system’s drainage is encouraged, and unwanted fluids and impurities can pass through - causing the face to appear fresh, plump, glowing, and restored to healthier function.
From a skin health perspective, Gua Sha is not just a skin-deep treatment. It’s a destressing practice that promotes energetic balance from within. Stress management is key to aging well offsetting natural decline of the skin over time. A Gua Sha practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion, slows the heart rate, and helps us relax.
Studies have shown that Gua Sha can also treat headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, as well as acute conditions such as sinus infections, earaches, and asthma. Body Gua Sha is also effective in improving chronic diseases of the liver, like hepatitis.
Though Gua Sha is usually done by a Chinese medicine doctor or acupuncturist, it does not include needles, but the use of a small medicinal tool that gently scrapes, massages and stimulates certain energy points along the face and body to promote Qi (energy) flow.
A Gua Sha facial, originally invented by Dr. Ping Zhang, activates the inner vitality (Qi) in the face in multiple levels: the facial fascia, the facial muscle, the different skin levels - all stimulated to create the youthful appearance of facial contours, smooth out wrinkles and lift sagging from neck and jawline.
The results are extraordinary when learned correctly and practiced. Gua Sha instruction should be learned from a Chinese medicine practitioner. There are many nuances to appropriately treating the skin with this technique - it takes practice, but it's an invaluable, healing, skin rejuvenating and mind balancing practice that always delivers.
Facial manipulation, brushing, and massage, in general, is extremely important. Like all organs, the skin needs to be stimulated. Squeezing or gently pinching skin can help thicken the skin and cause it to form more essential structure. A regular practice of brushing and skin stimulation may help keep the skin from becoming thinner with age.
Real beauty connects the mind and the body. Our cells listen and react to our state of mind, our thoughts, and our intentions. Never before has a community begun to understand and experience the true power of mind-body-beauty, than with facial tissue massage and manipulation through practicing Gua Sha.