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Gua Sha: the facial massage technique everyone is talking about

Browse any beauty website or scroll down instagram and chances are you'll come across the latest buzzword, gua sha - discover the wide-reaching benefits of this ancient practice

Q

What is a gua sha?

AGua sha is a self-massage technique that works with the meridian lines, acupressure points, circulatory and lymphatic systems of the body. Gua sha – pronounced ‘gwah shah’ – is a Chinese therapeutic healing technique that has been widely practised in China for thousands of years. It involves using a round-edged tool (traditionally made of materials such as jade, metal or horn) to press-stroke the skin until redness appears, hence the name: ‘gua’ meaning to rub, while ‘sha’ describes the redness that results.

Q

What is it used for in Chinese medicine?

AGua sha originated in the ancient medical traditions of China and South East Asia. Families learned to master gua sha as a way to heal themselves. It was a useful technique in villages for relieving symptoms until a traveling physician came to town. Gua sha was, and still is, used to treat colds, coughs, flu, fevers, migraines, headaches, stress, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, pulled muscles, injuries and numbness.

Q

What are the benefits of facial gua sha?

AWhen it comes to the health and appearance of our skin, facial gua sha really is a game-changer. It has the most incredible effect on microcirculation, the system just underneath the skin that transports oxygen and nutrients to the blood and removes toxins. Studies have shown that facial gua sha increases microcirculation by 400%, flooding the skin with fresh nutrients. Over time, this increases levels of both collagen and elastin. Done regularly, gua sha smooths, lifts, plumps and contours the skin, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Facial gua sha is brilliant for reducing morning puffiness and congestion, by gently encouraging the movements of lymphatic fluid, which can’t flow by itself. Gua sha also releases tension in the facial muscles and soothes sore eyes and skin, making the complexion look brighter and glowing.

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