Health and Beauty Benefits of Gua Sha
by Jessica Grey Ourisman
The beauty industry has been abuzz over the myriad benefits of gua sha facial massage and other ancient Chinese skincare techniques. In fact, beauty industry experts are adamant that these self-nurturing practices are what truly make skincare a self-care practice.
Whether you reach for a jade roller, a gua sha tool, or head to a practitioner's office for a treatment such as acupuncture or cupping, the bottom line is these alternative modalities, rooted in ancient Eastern wisdom, boast evidence-based benefits on multiple levels. Designed to work by stimulating the body's stagnant energy flow, visible results include everything from firmer skin and reduced puffiness to the coveted glow of healthy skin.
Keep reading to learn more about the health and beauty benefits of gua sha facial massage and other ancient Chinese skincare techniques.
Health Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua sha facial massage is fundamentally a detoxifying practice. It works by stimulating the body's lymph nodes, our natural means of eliminating toxins, with improved micro-circulation.
Begin by applying a facial oil to your freshly cleansed face. Then, using a specially designed, ergonomic beauty tool—often made of polished jade or crystal—you can apply pressure along the contours of the face.
Starting with the chin, moving along the jawline, and gradually making your way towards the forehead, the soothing facial massage is like jump-starting your skin's subdermal circulation. Learn more with this video tutorial.
Beauty Benefits of Gua Sha
Gua sha also boasts visibly beautifying benefits. First, lymphatic drainage makes the anti-inflammatory technique ace at reducing puffiness. Meanwhile, boosted circulation is known to impart a healthy-looking glow. Over time and with regular practice, you may begin to notice improved firmness and elasticity of the complexion, smoothed fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improved skin-tone and a more even complexion. When done before completing the final steps of your skincare regimen, it primes the skin to receive the benefits of the serum and/or moisturizer you apply next.
Other Ancient Chinese Techniques
Gua sha is just one ancient Chinese technique that promotes health and beauty simultaneously, but others—including acupuncture, ear candling, and face-and-body cupping—all boast pro-health benefits that can absolutely show on the skin.
Ear candling and acupuncture are in-office treatments; however, like gua sha, it is now possible to practice facial cupping at home. Used two-to-three times per week, DIY facial cupping gently suctions the surface of the skin. This immediately plumps the complexion, stimulates circulation and detoxification (as above) and is said to improve the skin's production of collagen over time.
While gua sha and other ancient Chinese techniques are not intended to replace treatment plans established by doctors of Western medicine, there is ample evidence suggesting they can aid in the management of various chronic illnesses. Case studies have linked gua sha to improvements among those suffering from migraines, Tourette's syndrome, neck pain, perimenopausal syndrome, and even hepatitis B.
These are just a few of the Eastern-inspired techniques available to enhance and streamline your beauty and your self-care practices.by Jessica Grey Ourisman