Everything You Need to Know About Gua Sha

I was first introduced to the unique and amazing practice of gua sha this fall. I had heard of jade rolling and facial stones before, but never really consistently used any of them and just did not know much about it, but I have fallen in love with gua sha. If you’re like most people, you are probably wondering what the heck even is gua sha. 

Gua sha, (pronounced gwah-shaw), is an ancient Chinese alternative therapy healing technique that involves using a flat stone tool, typically made out of jade and oil to massage the face and neck in certain movements. The practice of gua sha has so many benefits and it has been used since the Paleolithic Age. When people became sick, stones were used to rub the body to alleviate symptoms. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) gua sha was even written into major medical records. 

There are multiple methods to gua sha and you should always use it with oil or water. I have read and watched numerous videos about the gua sha technique and I found a routine that I like best. I always start at the back of my neck, applying pressure and dragging the tool upwards. Many people don’t realize, but we hold so much tension in our neck which influences the rest of our bodies. After the front and back of the neck, I do the jawline and chin, then I work my way up my face doing the cheekbones, eyes, and forehead. I also always do about five strokes for each area, on each side of the face, and I try to gua sha almost every night before bed. I finally end with doing strokes on the lips and then I always go back to the neck to relieve any more pressure. 

The practice of gua sha has so many amazing benefits and I have certainly noticed a difference from using it for a few months. Gua sha improves lymphatic drainage and boosts circulation. As I have already mentioned, gua sha relieves the tension built up in your neck and face and leaves you feeling much more relaxed. Along with this, studies have shown that gua sha helps with migraines. Gua sha also firms the skin, depuffs eyes, and can help with acne. Additionally, studies have found that gua sha can relieve symptoms of hepatitis B because it reduces chronic liver inflammation. 

There are so many different gua sha tools out there, but it's important to be sure that the stone you use is quality because the properties of the jade really contribute to the benefits of gua sha. The one I use is the Wildling Empress Stone Gua Sha and I use it with the Empress Tonic and Empress Oil. I really recommend trying gua sha! I have only been doing it for a few months and have been loving it and the results. My face is less puffy, I always feel tension relieved, and it is overall very relaxing and good for your health. It's basically like giving yourself a mini massage with so many added benefits!