Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medical technique for the body that is being used to support facial skin health. With great respect for Chinese culture and tradition, it's exciting to share their health modality and how it is an effective beauty practice. The art of Gua Sha focused on facial tissue helps encourage movement and stimulation of facial tissues resulting in improved skin function along with delivering relaxation during and after.
The practice goes back 2,000 years, Gua Sha (pronounced GWA-SA, meaning “scraping sha-bruises”) is an ancient Chinese facial and body rejuvenation technique that restores circulation. In Chinese medicine, stagnant energy slows the body’s healthy function and creates sickness and disease. By keeping the facial fascia activated, supple and circulating, our intercellular fluid is invigorated and our lymph system’s drainage is encouraged, and unwanted fluids and impurities can pass through - causing the face to appear fresh, plump, glowing, and restored to healthier function.
From a skin health perspective, Gua Sha is not just a skin-deep treatment. It’s a de-stressing practice that promotes energetic balance from within. Stress management is key to aging well and offsetting the decline of the skin over time. A Gua Sha practice has shown to help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion, slows the heart rate, and helps us relax.
Studies have shown that Gua Sha can also treat headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, as well as acute conditions such as sinus infections, earaches, and asthma. Body Gua Sha is also effective in improving chronic diseases of the liver, like hepatitis.
Though Gua Sha is usually given by a Chinese Medicine Doctor or Licensed Acupuncturist, it does not include needles, but the use of a small medicinal tool that gently scrapes, massages and stimulates certain energy points along the face and body to promote Qi (energy) flow.
A Gua Sha facial, originally invented by Dr. Ping Zhang, activates the inner vitality (Qi) in the face in multiple levels: the facial fascia, the facial muscle, the different skin levels - all stimulated to create the youthful appearance of facial contours.
Gua Sha instruction should be learned from a Chinese Medicine practitioner. There are many nuances to appropriately treating the skin with this technique - it takes practice, but it's an invaluable, healing, skin rejuvenating and mind balancing practice that always delivers.
Facial manipulation, brushing, and massage, in general, is extremely important. Like all organs, the skin needs to be stimulated. Squeezing or gently pinching skin could possibly help thicken the skin and cause it to form more essential structure. A regular practice of brushing and skin stimulation may help keep the skin from becoming thinner with age.