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With self-care being the biggest buzzword in health and beauty, it’s not surprising that we’re turning back to ancient rituals and therapies to promote well-being. One of the most popular self-care and skincare techniques of the moment, Gua Sha is an Ancient Chinese practice that involves scraping the skin with a tool with the aim of improving blood circulation and encouraging lymphatic drainage – the body’s natural waste disposal unit – to expel toxins. Traditionally, Gua Sha was performed on and by family members and performed with a variety of tools from jade stones and antlers to porcelain soup spoons. The scraping tended to be quite vigorous – and not very relaxing – often leaving skin red and sore. But it was believed that by stimulating the skin’s surface in this way, healing was encouraged. Thankfully, Gua Sha has evolved to be much gentler but still a very effective therapy that can be used to improve skin tone, boost radiance and reduce puffiness just for starters. Gua Sha can be practiced on the face or body, but I’m road-testing the Gua Sha Facial Tool which I’ve found to be a simple and beneficial way to give myself a DIY home facial.
Gua Sha massage tools are usually made from rose quartz, known for its healing properties, or jade, a mineral stone which has been carved into decorative and utilitarian objects such as jewelry and belt buckles in the Far East, particularly in China, for centuries. In Feng Shui, jade is used to encourage prosperity and abundance, and as the ultimate lucky charm. I’m hoping that by giving myself a Gua Sha facial regularly, I’ll be attracting both of those into my life – I will let you know! Jade also has a reputation for being the stone of “eternal youth, making it perfect for a facial.
Any type of facial massage will benefit skin. Whether you’re using your hands or in this case, a Gua Sha jade stone, massage increases blood flow to the skin’s surface, helping to promote a healthier, glowing complexion. Devotees of Gua Sha facials also believe that using tool increases the benefits of facial massage and studies have shown that this daily massage ritual can improve microcirculation by up to 400 per cent, helping to reduce dark circles and puffy eyes and even decongest sinuses. Regular use can also help to smooth fine lines and soften wrinkles and plump-up skin (this might be the result of collagen production) and help to eliminate toxins and blocked energy or ‘chi’ that can cause pain and inflammation if allowed to build up. The massage technique is also deeply relaxing and meditative, mainly as a result of working on the Third Eye Chakra ( known as Ajna in Sanskrit) in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows. The Third Eye is linked with enlightenment, spirituality and intuition which is why stimulating it with yoga or massage is thought to aid relaxation and deepen meditation.
I have to say that I am really impressed with the Gua Sha facial Tool and I really look forward to my sessions which I find very relaxing. It gives me time for myself whilst benefiting my skin. A double-whammy! I do my Gua Sha facial in the evening, as it does cause some redness and flushing of my skin. However, the next morning my skin definitely looks more radiant and glowing. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is in my lips. Rubbing the stone over my lips has, without a doubt, made them plumper – who needs collagen! If you have tried a Gua Sha Tool or you’re going to try one – let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear your experiences of this technique. A big ‘Thank You’ to Marion for recommending this to me. I always love to hear your recommendations.
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Hope you have all had a great weekend!