Gua sha is without a doubt one of the hottest skincare and beauty trends of the year, but are you really making the most out of your gua sha use? This ancient natural therapy boasts a wide range of benefits. But you could be asking yourself questions about your method — could just five minutes a day of gua sha really impact your health in a significant way? How can you get more out of your tool of choice?
As per Net-a-Porter, gua sha is used in traditional Chinese medicine and involves pressing a rounded tool across the skin. The term ‘gua’ means to press or stroke the skin, while ‘sha’ means the blush — or redness — caused by the tool on the skin.
Katie Brindle, Chinese medicine practitioner and founder of the Hayo’u Method, told Net-a-Porter, “Gua sha treatment relaxes the muscles, gets the energy and blood moving and shifts any puffiness. It boosts the circulation — studies show by up to 400% — which takes away toxins and brings in oxygen and nutrients.”
Brindle described gua sha as a combination of massage and a workout that is designed to release tension, leaving skin feeling healthier and more supple. She also explained that by using gua sha, “You are also creating a controlled trauma, which the skin then starts to repair by making new collagen.”
What can gua sha be used for?
According to Face Yoga Expert, Gua sha can be used in a diverse range of ways across the entirety of the body, from your neck and chin area to your shoulders and back.
As per Net-a-Porter, gua sha techniques can be practiced on the face, body, and scalp. Chinese medicine practitioner Katie Brindle explained that gua sha can be used to help a range of ailments, from supporting hair growth and reducing cellulite to making skin healthier and aiding sleep and relaxation.
As reported by Medical News Today, gua sha can also be used to help to relieve pain in muscles or joints, including back pain, strained tendons, and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Many healthcare professionals also claim that gua sha has benefits for the immune system and can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, in addition to being used to treat a cold or fever.
Net-a-Porter noted that to release tension within the body, it’s best to stroke the skin six times in one direction — a process that should help to release tight connective tissues, while also aiding skin health.
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