Gua Sha: a How-To Guide for Beginners

What is gua sha? 

Have you heard about the ancient practice of gua sha? Gua sha is a tool used commonly in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate the lymphatic system and increase blood flow and is used both for health-related and cosmetic purposes. The word itself literally means “scraping” and to use it properly, one applies varying degrees of pressure with a flat, handheld tool to the face or body with targeted movements.

It’s a gentle and DIY-friendly practice that can help you remove toxins, move stagnant lymphatic drainage, decrease puffiness and restore the firmness and elasticity to your skin. To set the scene, take a look at the lymphatic network’s inner workings present in the human body, particularly in the face and neck regions.

How to perform gua sha

There are several ways to perform gua sha, especially to the face. Gua sha technique varies person to person, with differing angles, pressures and speeds with which the users utilize their tools. Our founder and CEO finds that short, swift movements from the center of the face work best for her. So using our face oil (linked), she performs gua sha daily with the movements she finds feels best on her skin.

You can use Shayna’s video as a starting place to experience gua sha on your own face. But as always, remember to try techniques to see how your skin is affected and find the movements that feel best on your face.

A few reminders 

  • You will need to apply a thin layer of oil or mist on your face to create the “slip”, as to not pull on your delicate facial skin.
  • Go slow. Make sure you’re breathing deeply during your gua sha practice and use it as a meditative experience for best results.
  • Don’t skip your neck. After using your tool of your face, it’s likely that your lymphatic drainage has pooled in your neck. Make sure at the end to drain your neck with the tool.
  • Stay consistent. A nightly or morning routine ensures best results.

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