Over the last year, I have added Gua Sha (pronounced gwa shaw) facials to my spa menu. There has been a lot of interest and of course, a lot of questions about this ancient facial modality that is suddenly new again. I recently attended my second Gua Sha workshop, a three day, hands-on certification class in Oakland. Here I share with you some of the amazing things I learned about this facial modality.
So What is Gua Sha?
Gua Sha is an effective, gentle facial massage modality that utilizes a specially designed jade or gemstone board to clear stagnation and accumulation in the channel system that has a profound effect on the health and/or disfunction of the skin. I like to think of it as the difference between stagnant pond water vs. a crystal clear flowing stream under the surface of our skin. For example, this stagnation can cause brown spots, acne, under-eye puffiness, or just dull, lifeless skin.
Gua Sha facial massage directly affects the connective tissue and muscles to help untangle and iron out the fascia that is bound with tension, creating adhesions in the underlying structures that trap accumulated waste and cut off blood and nerve supply. This "untangling" restores mobility and creates space for the optimal flow of blood, oxygen, lymph & nutrients. This is what gives our skin it's glow! #noflownoglow
Gua Sha helps re-pattern the way our skin ages by softening deep seeded facial expressions and emotions that impede the flow of nutrition and ultimately, the production of collagen & elastin. This treatment can greatly reduce fine lines as well as deep wrinkles that have taken years to develop.
Gua Sha relieves stress and taps into the parasympathetic nervous system that allows the body and skin to repair, rejuvenate and restore vitality. Our skin only actively repairs while we are at rest. That's where the term "beauty sleep" comes from.
Gua Sha aids in the absorption of the active ingredients in topically applied skincare products for enhanced results.
What are the benefits of Gua Sha?
Tones, firms and lifts sagging skin
Reduces inflammation, puffiness and dark circles
Brightens the complexion and imparts a healthy glow
Minimizes fine lines and softens deep wrinkles
Diminishes breakouts, redness & skin sensitivities
Stimulates cellular activity and aids in production of collagen & elastin
Feeds the skin and increases its ability to absorb vital nutrients
Purifies tissue by freeing accumulation of trapped waste
Oxygenates the skin
To get the most out of your Gua Sha facial, be sure you are well hydrated before and after the treatment. Drinking plenty of water and/or non-caffeinated herbal tea assists the lymph system to remove waste, and helps your skin stay plumped and glowing!
*information used with permission from "Gua Sha Facial Fusion" training program manual by Cecily Braden, Gua Sha expert and national trainer beautysecretsus.com