What is Gua Sha exactly?
Gua sha is a technique from the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It's a practice that involves gently scraping a stone tool across the skin to move lymph and increase circulation and blood flow. Gua sha can be used to treat a myriad of ailments, from fever to chronic pain to respiratory congestion. It moves heat and clears stagnation from the tissues while helping the skin to lift, tone and heal itself.
Repeated strokes and moderate to firm pressure can create petechiae — small red dots, and bruising on the skin. Using oil with healing properties can help to minimize these side effects while enhancing the benefits of the technique. We have found that Clary Face Serum is a wonderful accompaniment to Gua Sha and we enjoy using it as part of our skincare ritual.
You will need:
- Apply Clary Face Serum generously. The tool should slip and slide effortlessly without friction.
- Using a featherlight pressure, begin scraping the stone in the patterns above. It’s important to remember that harder does not equal better when it comes to facial gua sha — a light touch is what the lymph likes! Be especially delicate and careful around the eyes.
- Anchor the skin. Except for lifting strokes, gently anchor the skin with your opposite hand to create a slight tension to the skin's surface.
- Leave moles, wounds, and breakouts alone. Don’t gua sha over injuries. This could lead to worsening symptoms and it’s best to leave them alone.
- Be sure to hold the stone at a 45-degree angle, close to the skin. With more surface area of the stone on your skin, each stroke accomplishes more.
- Do at least 3 and up to 20 strokes in each area.
- Wiggle wiggle. For a little extra lymph action, you can wiggle at the end of each stroke. This activates and assists in lymph drainage.
- Go slowly. When it comes to facial gua sha, the slower and gentler, the better.