This will be a simplistic view on the Gua Sha and a very basic routine that you can easily implement into your routine. There is however a long history of Gua Sha practice that dates back thousands and thousands of years, and it's important to recognise that it comes with cultural importance. You can read more about this in an article by Jennifer Li for HelloGiggles.
Gua Sha is a tool that has been used within Chinese medicine practice which stimulates the lymphatic system. It is said to sculpt and tone the face, reduce puffiness and inflammation as well as reduce tension within the muscles. The massage motion also helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation, aiding in oxygenation and bringing nutrients to the skin.
I must admit, I don't use my Gua Sha tool anywhere near as often as I should do. But whenever I do, not only does my skin reap the benefits, but it relaxes my mind. I am prone to eye strain/headaches and this tool works a DREAM after a long day to release some of that tension.
So let's get into it! Here's your step by step of a simplistic Gua Sha massage:
Cleanse your skin - This can be done with any cleanser of your choice. We want to make sure that the skin is a nice clean canvas.
Choose your massage medium - There are a few different options here. You can choose to use a facial oil which is most popular as it provides good slip. You could use a facial serum also, as long as it provides enough glide for the tool to not drag on the skin. I've also used my Gua Sha tool with a cleansing oil/balm in the past! I just make sure to do a first cleanse beforehand to remove any makeup/spf as we don't want to smear that all around the face.
Keep it flat - When performing your sweeping motions (which we'll get into on the next step!) be sure to keep the tool relatively flat (about a 45 degree angle) to your skin. Avoid using the side of the Gua Sha, other than when performing deeper massage movements.
Sweep up and out - A basic rule of thumb is t work from the centre of the face out toward your hairline. The diagram below shows you a basic idea
Give the tool a little wiggle as you get to the end of your strokes. This helps to give a little extra push of the lymph into the nodes.
Use light pressure, you shouldn't feel pain or tugging, just night light movements. The lymphatic system is very sensitive.
Perform each movement 3-5x and try and pair it with some nice deep breaths. Add intention to your massage.
I'm also going to link to a brief video HERE that I made to give you some visual inspo for your own Gua Sha massage.
And you're ready to go! Enjoy your pampering Gua Sha massage and reap the benefits of both physical and mental relaxation.