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For some, gua sha is a total beauty mystery where nobody really knows where to begin. For others, it’s a well-kept family beauty secret passed down for generations. No matter where you sit on the spectrum, you probably know a little bit about just how amazing gua sha can be for so many different skin goals and types. If you’re still a little bit in the dark on just what this technique is, it’s a tool used in traditional Chinese medicine to sculpt and shape the skin of the face — usually, it’s made of a stone, usually jade, though it doesn’t have to be. Beauty tools like face rollers and face lifters are often based on the ideas and principles of gua sha. If you’re ready for the real deal, here are some of the things it can do for you and how you can make these results happen.
Anti-aging properties are some of the primary goals of those looking to use gua sha, and that makes so much sense considering the anti-aging benefits that can come from regular use. Although there are other gua sha techniques that can contribute to the anti-aging effects — like the lymphatic drainage and stress relief techniques you can use alongside these — if you’re looking for the strictly anti-aging benefits, moving in an upward motion, especially along the chin and jawline, can be a great way to get things moving and lifting.
Usually, this isn’t the first thing that comes to mind with gua sha, but there are ways to include your routine in your anti-acne repertoire. Specifically, you can combine your skin clearing goal with another goal but change up one thing about the technique — simply stash your tool in the freezer overnight and use it when you wake up in the morning! The chill can actually help your skin calm down from any bumps and blemishes in order to help them heal faster. This is so much easier and quicker than holding an ice cube to your face.
Speaking of calming your skin down, you can also use your gua sha tool to calm inflammation down in your face and neck — and even other areas of the body if you want to get creative. One of the most important things to remember about anti-inflammatory gua sha is that you don’t need to press too hard. Move in gentle strokes along the area that’s experiencing inflammation, preferably in a downward direction, or side to side if the area calls for it. Repeat this motion in a combination of short and long strokes. This can be a great one to repeat, especially if you tend to get inflammation in the same areas of the body.
This is the big one that everybody talks about with gua sha, and it’s totally clear why. Many people experience fantastic results using gua sha for lymphatic drainage, which is essentially the act of manually draining the lymphatic system, which can help to naturally detox the body and reduce puffiness in the lymph nodes. In order to use this technique, move the gua sha tool in the direction of the lymphatic system, pressing down slightly on the lymph nodes and moving in the direction of the flow of the system. When you do this, the puffiness can reduce, and you may even notice other health benefits like energizing, stress relief and better circulation.
Although this one varies on a case-by-case basis, many people report the ability to experience pain relief with the assistance of a gua sha tool. Whether you are experiencing jaw pain, headaches or muscle tension throughout the body, using the gua sha to press lightly on the inflicted area can help to work out the tension wherever you need. Of course, everybody is different, and pain is a different experience for everyone, so it’s all about finding what works for you.
Using Gua Sha for Your Skin Goals
Whether your skin goals include anti-inflammation, lymphatic drainage or simply clearing a blemish here and there, gua sha can be of assistance in a variety of ways. You may be brand new to gua sha, but there are so many ways to use this tool in order to achieve your very best glow. You may need to try out a few different methods before you find one you love, but there are so many ways you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
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