You can achieve a visible improvement with the Gua Sha facial massage which has been a hit on Instagram and among beauty bloggers. But did you know that therapy using nephrite plates, such as the Zoë Ayla Luxurious Jade Gua Sha Therapy Tool, is actually an ancient technique which originated in traditional Chinese medicine? To help you perform this treatment at home, we consulted a massage therapist who specialises in this technique.
What Are the Benefits of Gua Sha Massage?
“The name itself is a combination of two Chinese words – “gua”, meaning “to scratch”, and “sha”, which means “sowing”. This is because the plates are believed to “scratch” illness out of the body. The name originally refers mostly to a whole-body massage, since facial massage tends to be gentler. But a Gua Sha massage is more than just a lovely moment of relaxation with a bonus of reduced wrinkles and glowing skin. If performed on a therapeutic level, it is also a diagnostic and remedial method. Plus, it can reduce muscle tension, improve blood circulation, and eliminate under-eye bags or age spots.
“Your face and your head in general have several acupuncture pathways with very important points which an experienced practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine can use to affect your overall condition. In addition, nephrite is a precious stone with minerals that are important for your body, it provides hydration and glides smoothly across your skin. If you use it with a suitable medium (like a serum or an oil) and with sufficient knowledge of the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, you can solve many health issues not just on your face.
Gua Sha in the Comfort of Your Home
If we think of cosmetic Gua Sha massage only as a beautifying skin care treatment, it is something you can actually enjoy at home, provided you have the right tools and products. “I recommend performing the massage once every 10 days while lying on your back – not standing in front of a mirror as many beauty bloggers tend to do” says the massage therapist.
This is because gravity affects your skin – if you’re pulling your skin up while standing upright, it can actually be harmful. “When it comes to the medium, choose an oil that doesn’t absorb too fast and lets the tool glide smoothly, or a serum with similar properties. This will prevent the skin from getting too stretched during massage” explains the therapist.
How to Perform a Gua Sha Massage
Start by removing your makeup. You can also gently exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells and enhance the effect of the oil. Proceed by applying the medium as needed, so that the stone or roller glides without dragging the skin or pushing it forward. Start the massage on your neck and then continue to your face. All movements should be directed from the centre outwards with three (and not more than 10) repetitions.
Massage your neck from the bottom upwards to your jawline, and never pull the skin down to your collar bones.
Then start between your eyebrows and proceed upwards to your hairline and above your eyebrows towards your temples.
Massage your eye area in a circle – from the bridge of your nose across your browbones, from the inner corners of your eyes outwards and back.
Massage your nose in straight lines across the sides and the top, from the tip towards the bridge.
Massage your cheeks in half-circles under your cheekbones and from your chin to your temples.
Lead the roller from your chin around your mouth to your Cupid’s bow.
These strokes will guarantee your skin will soon be rejuvenated and glowing without any puffiness. You can discover new methods by following experts like massage therapists and doctors – it’s better to stay away from uncertified sources online or on social media which might give the wrong suggestions.
For a home Gua Sha treatment, pick an oil based on its specific benefits and your skin type. For instance, the Saloos castor oil for face and body is perfect for dry, sensitive, or damaged skin, provides hydration and helps reduce wrinkles and age spots.
You can also try one of the amazing light emulsion-like lifting serums, such as the Collistar Pure Actives or Biotherm Aquasource Aura Concentrate. The nephrite will help their active ingredients penetrate the deeper layers of your skin, so that you can benefit from them as much as possible. To make sure that you use the right strokes that benefit your skin, our massage therapist recommends doing at least a basic facial massage course or following online videos made by massage therapists.