Gua Sha Technique, What Is Gua Sha and How To Do It

Last week we discussed some of the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage. This week, we are going to discuss the ever-trending Gua Sha.

In this blog post, you will find out what Gua Sha is, what tools are used for the Gua Sha technique, and how this type of massage technique can relieve tension and benefit your skin. Let’s get started!

What Is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is a pressure technique derived from traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, performed using a smooth-edged tool of various shapes that is scraped against the skin.

Although an ancient technique, facial Gua Sha has recently been trending across social media for its healing properties and beauty benefits.

Who Can Do Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is often performed by a trained practitioner (such as an acupuncturist) to improve blood flow and promote healing. These facial techniques involve scraping or rubbing a Gua Sha tool along specific lines of the skin, and massaging facial muscles in long strokes.

However, it has recently become popular for people to perform Gua Sha on their at home, and Gua Sha tools are easy to find both in-store and online.

Woman receiving a gua sha treatment

What Are The Benefits of Gua Sha?

Gua Sha techniques have so many beauty benefits. Performing Gua Sha helps to soothe neck and shoulder pain, promotes lymphatic drainage and lymphatic flow, eases chronic low back pain, helps reduce puffiness, and more.

Gua Sha is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and ease pain and stress. Usually, this technique is performed as a facial and neck massage, but it can also be helpful to perform Gua Sha on the lower body and legs.

Whole Body Wellness

This unique treatment also helps with stiffness and pain caused by stagnated energy flow in the body.

Great for both the mind and the body, performing Gua Sha may also improve blood circulation the areas that are treated. This will allow more oxygen and nutrients to reach damaged tissues. That means it’s beneficial for your immune system as well!

Gua Sha As Traditional Chinese Medicine

As mentioned, Gua Sha is actually an ancient healing technique. It is used to treat pain and inflammation, and as a remedial therapy for pain and tension. Another reason this technique has recently gained in popularity outside of Chinese medicine is the beautiful aesthetic of the Gua Sha tools, often made from rose quartz, bian stone, or shiny metals.

As we discussed earlier, this treatment helps to stimulate the flow of blood, energy, and fluids through your body.

Free Person Holding a White Jade Roller Stock Photo

Are There Different Kinds?

If you have researched this technique a bit already, you may have found that Gua Sha uses varying shapes and types of tools.

This can include things like coins, sticks made from bamboo, a rattan cane, or even a little flat pebble. Often, Gua Sha involves placing these tools into boiling water for a few minutes and applying them to the body while hot. Of course, you will want to make sure they are not so hot as to cause any pain or burns.

In some cases, Gua Sha practitioners may apply an oil while performing this technique.

Gua Sha Tools; What Do I Need?

You are probably most familiar with the Gua sha stone, but Gua Sha tools are actually made from stone, wood, or hygienic metals. It is important to make sure you have the right size of tool for the job, since there is such a variety of options.

For example, if you are doing Gua Sha as a facial technique, you probably don’t need the tool to be overly large. The most important thing to remember though, is to make sure you use Gua Sha tools that have a smooth surface and won’t nick or damage your skin.

Seaflora's Zinc Alloy Beauty Tool

We suggest the Seaflora Zinc Alloy Tool for facial Gua Sha!

Use your Gua Sha tool to apply medium or strong pressure, focusing on each spot for about 20-30 seconds each. You can also use a lubricant or barrier cream to help your tool slide more easily. We suggest Seaflora’s award-winning Eye Contour Gel for a soothing and deeply nourishing treat. Extra effective to reduce puffiness and dark circles around the sensitive eye tissues.

In fact, during or after Gua Sha is the perfect time to apply a nourishing and healing lotion. Your skin will soak it up, and the vitamins and minerals will help to soothe your skin post-service.

How To Perform Gua Sha

Gua Sha is performed by applying gentle pressure using your chosen Gua Sha tool. Some tools will have a smooth side and a patterned side for varying amounts of pressure. Both work to stimulate blood circulation in tissues, improving blood flow and functions.

Gua Sha Tips

Gua Sha shouldn’t cause, but rather eliminate stagnation in energy pathways (called meridians), help relax muscles, reduce inflammation and relieve pain by increasing circulation within and between soft tissues.

Due to the resulting increase in blood flow, Gua Sha can also help improve many health conditions including acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Does Gua Sha Hurt?

When performing gua sha you shouldn’t use too much pressure, but it can cause some bruising if capillaries (blood vessels) burst. It’s important to remember that although there are many benefits to gua sha treatments, there are not suggested for everyone.

Who Shouldn’t Get Gua Sha Treatments

For example, if you have a medical or skin condition that causes you to bleed easily or your skin to tear easily, it’s probably not for you. Similarly, anyone with wounds, infections, or implants should be wary. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to talk to your family doctor or a board certified dermatologist.

Free Woman in Wrapped in White Towel Lying on Bed with Eyes Closed Stock Photo

How Often Should I Gua Sha To See Results?

This can vary depending on your skin type. Some say once a week is enough, but others recommend that Gua Sha be performed two to three times a week. For best results, some even say to do this facial massage technique once per day.

See what works for you. If you have sensitive skin, start out easy with once a week and work your way up from there, based on your comfort level. This will also depend on the type of tool and how much pressure you are applying.

Don’t Overdo It Though

According to Lifestyle Asia, “If it is Gua Sha with scraping, it should only be done 1-2 times a week. The micro-stimulation will create a micro superficial trauma that will activate collagen underneath your skin if practiced correctly.”

If you really aren’t sure or you’re feeling nervous, talk to a practitioner and book yourself a service with a professional. A little quality pampering time if always beneficial for your health!

Points and Energy Channels (Meridians)

To understand how Gua Sha works, you need to know that there are many acupuncture points connected by energy channels (meridians) all over your body. When a person presses on a Gua Sha point, he or she is opening up the connection between the meridian and the organ associated with it.

Gua Sha allows for improved circulation to the treated areas. This causes a release of endorphins, which can reduce stress and pain in the body.

Free Woman Doing Skin Care Routine while Sitting on Bed Stock Photo

The Conclusion

Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses friction to help open the flow of energy through your body. This can reduce pain and improve circulation, among other benefits.

When done correctly, it’s safe and effective for most people. It can also be used as part of other therapies like acupuncture or massage therapy because it helps loosen tight muscles and promote relaxation.

However, if you have any health or skin conditions, it is always best to check with practitioner before beginning any new services or treatments.