Gua Sha is an Ancient Chinese healing technique that is a natural form of therapy for chronic pain and inflammation. It is a technique that involves scraping the skin with a tool to stimulate blood flow, drain lymph and relax muscles.

Another form of Traditional Chinese Medicine is Acupressure. Ping Zhang, a doctor specializing in Oriental Medicine, explains that it “uses the same principles of acupuncture, except pressure from the fingers or hands replaces the needles... Like acupuncture, acupressure heals by manipulating the flow of Qi in beneficial ways. It does this by pressing (and therefore activating) certain energy points along the meridians.”

This technique works hand in hand with Gua Sha, as you gain more by scraping over Acupressure points along the energy “channels” on your body. This in turn helps to balance your internal energy and health:

It soothes and vents the channel system
It regulate the free flow of Qi and blood
It harmonizes Yin and Yang
It encourages lymph drainage
It facilitates nutrient absorption
It enhances the skin's ability to 'breathe'
It promotes normal secretion from the sweat and oil glands
It stimulates the skin's own ability for collagen production. Softens the skin and smoothes wrinkles.
It regulates and stimulates internal organ system functioning and promotes muscle contraction
 
Source: Anti-Aging Therapy by Ping Zhang Ph.D, 2006 

The Gua Sha Path

The path of the scraping technique is key. We must always start with opening up the neck so that any blockages in the face can be released. The many diverging energy channels in the neck mean that, rather like the accumulation of leaves on the train track, it is an area that is prone to obstruction. It also means that treatment here to remove the blockage can have a strong effect both physically and emotionally by promoting greater circulation.

The suggested Gua Sha Path begins at the shoulders and neck, goes through the jaw up to the forehead, and ends on the back of the head.

Direction of strokes: Downward strokes are used for drainage at the neck, and Upward strokes are used for lifting of the face.

The Gua Sha Tools

Hand-carved from high grade pure crystal, these tools are designed to glide around the curves of your face and neck. Each Gua Sha tool has varying benefits and purposes: 

WHITE JADE

Benefits: Absorbs heat, calms, helps skin recover, frees the mind, heals negativity and attracts positive energy. 

Uses: This is a cold stone, that's good for the Face. 

 

SMOKEY QUARTZ

Benefits: Decongests, relieves pain, detoxifying, helps let go of troubles, lightens aura and unblocks energy. 

Uses: This is a neutral stone, that’s good for Face and Body. 

 

BIAN STONE

Benefits: Improves circulation, relieves pain, absorbs heat, relieves anxiety, centers energy, and grounds. 

Uses: This is a warm stone, that’s good for the neck and body. 

How To: Gua Sha Technique

Before beginning, make sure to moisturize the skin thoroughly to ease the movement of the crystal. Hold the crystal flat against your skin and move it at a slight angle in upward strokes with light pressure. The more of the crystal surface touches the skin, the better the result. Why? Because the surface offers a micro exfoliation that helps smooth the skin.

Neck Tension

Recommended tool: Bian Stone

Follow a zig zag across the hairline on the back of your head (see GB20 in illustration) to stimulate several points. Use downward strokes from hair line and work your way around all of the neck and shoulders (avoid throat area).

Face Puffiness

Recommended tool: White Jade/ Smoky Quartz 

After opening the neck, cool the crystal in cold water. Dry the crystal and use a light touch with no pressure to help with lymphatic drainage. Because lymph is located close to the surface of the skin, it doesn't need any pressure to move.

Facial Lines

Recommended tool: Each one can be used

After opening the neck, use a greater pressure to soften tissue above the muscles of the face (where the lines are). Using the edge of the tool you can rub away facial lines by releasing tension under the surface.

To sum up, performing Gua Sha on your face with a crystal tool will not only exfoliate and tone your skin but will also stimulate your whole body through the acupressure points on your face. 

This facial ritual is for once a week (or more if you have the time), if you create the routine and habits, you too can have radiant and toned skin. 

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