Beliefs are, that we get the faces we deserve by the time we hit middle age. Many women can thank their genes for that youthful glow, but every woman can be made to look gorgeous provided she takes care of her lifestyle routine as well as the beauty routine. We are constantly under siege by the offers of all sorts of treatments, ranging from creams to serums, Botox and variety of filler works.
In today's hectic lifestyle, we are exposed to different amounts of stress and have almost lost the ability to activate our natural relaxation response. It doesn't just make a person feel older, in a very real sense, the worse of it all is that it can actually speed up aging, and it is so powerful, it can age us prematurely. It can make your face age by a DECADE but alternative ancient medicine claims you can repair the damage naturally.
As we know our Western approach to beauty is very much from the inside out. Women try their best to keep up with the currents trends, getting facials and taking supplements which give us all sort of promises. I personally support all that, but while maintaining ourselves as a Western population we keep on missing the biggest and in my opinion the best trick which Chinese medicine and Chinese women have known, and practice for thousands years, and it’s called Gua Sha.
Gua Sha scrapers (also known as Gua Sha boards) come in a wide variety of stones, shapes, and sizes. Some have little ridges and resemble a comb, rounded groves to stimulate pressure points and especially work the jaw, or different curves. When using a Gua Sha scraper, it’s important to hold it at an angle to your skin rather than perpendicular, which might cause irritation. I will share my absolute hype about Gua Sha, because it is easy to perform and it delivers fast results. First thing you need to adjust while doing your facial massage, is the pressure - a gentle but firm pressure is the right dose. No need at all for firm pressure, as it is not necessary to move the lymph, and we want to avoid accidentally bruising or cause inflammation.
So what is it that Gua Sha does? It draws the circulation into the skin by 400%. And why this is so important? When you are stressed, which is most days, the body takes circulation away from the skin to put it into the muscle and this ages you no matter what else you’re doing. The formula is simple, if you’re stressed, you’re going to age so you need to rectify that by drawing the circulation back up into the skin. Gua Sha has been scientifically tested to increase the circulation. Ancient Gua-sha massage is a traditional way of rejuvenating, treating and preventing disease. It is based on the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. Let's start with the name.
"Gua" means scraping in one direction, "Sha" means everything negative, bad, nasty. That is, with the help of very light one-way movement, we release our body from toxins, degradation products, neutralises the effects of stress and negative emotions. The impact of Gua Sha massage on the body paves the way for Chi energy life. The movement of blood and lymph allows cells to live, renew, make your skin capable of not only protecting the body from disease, but also restoring lost beauty and youth, and yes that’s exactly what we women ache for - the fountain of youth!
Gua Sha face massage is all about stimulating lymphatic flow and circulation. Gua Sha facial massage gives excellent results: rejuvenates the face, removes oedema, improves colour and turgor of the epidermis and heals the whole body. It tightens tissue and reduces fat, weather you do it on your face or body. In order to perform the massage, as I already mentioned, you need a special scraper; I personally have 3 of them and 1 facial roller. There are a number of different Gua Sha tools to choose from. The material from which the scrapers are made has a beneficial effect on the person.
As mentioned previously, the tools are usually made of black buffalo, jade horns, rose quartz or Amethyst stone crystal. The power of stone is directed at fighting disease, protecting man from danger, even evil spells, if you believe… Confucius wrote about jade: "Its brilliant soft smoothness is a sign of a pure heart and richness of soul. The stone is righteous, for its edges are not cut and bear no danger. Jade is the stone of eternally peaceful land. It is the music of heaven: the sound of the jewels is gentle and crystalline. "
Jade tile movements contribute to the absorption of blood and lymph stagnation. Substances that are not beneficial to the body come out on the surface of the skin and are gently removed. During the massage, muscles and tendons relax, toxins are released from the cells, and nutrients are inserted inside. So, the best way to do your facial Gua Sha massage is to put your rich cream over your face and glide. Full body massage is done in the same manner just of course performed by the masseur.
During the face massage session, we processes acupuncture points on the face. In this way, we "massages" the heart, kidneys, abdomen, intestines and organs of the small pelvis, contributing to their healing, health and youth. Once you start this routine, you will be amazed by the benefits on overall organism not just the outside beauty results. If we take it to the level of full body massage then be prepared to count your blessings - the nervous system is normalized, anxiety goes away, the soul is filled with peace and quiet. It spasms and muscle tension disappears. That is what Gua Sha technique does.
And in terms of effectiveness, one Gua Sha massage is believed to be equivalent to the effect of 5 conventional massage treatments.
After my home facial Gua Sha procedure, the face looks great. It literally GLOWS. One more very important tip is that you shouldn’t forget to drink an increased amount of fluid so that the whole “Sha” is eliminated from the body. So babes let’s summarised it, Gua Sha is very effective face and body detoxification, deep cosmetic massage, during which not only the surface layers of the skin but also the muscles are treated. One of the best benefits it is a full lymphatic drainage massage, which accelerates the microcirculation of the fluid, eliminates swelling, promotes additional nutrition, respiration, stimulation of the skin cells, blood vessels and capillaries; meaning no more bloated faces in the morning and puffiness! Rash, inflammation, excessive pigmentation and wrinkles will be the past tense as it improves the contours of the face, neck and chin. Gua Sha facial massage stimulates the collagen and elastin production. It’s such a relaxing evening routine, and has helped me become more aware of just how much tension we can hold in the facial muscles! I would recommend using a face oil so the tool glides easily over the skin. Gua Sha facial massage is simple, we want to move in long, single strokes from the middle of the face out towards the ears. As far as the neck goes, we need move in long, single strokes down to the clavicle. That is how we need to drain the lymphatic fluid from the face, but then away from the face and down the neck.
Here is simple yet effective guide of how to Gua Sha face massage:
‘’Start with your neck, moving in downward strokes. Repeat each stroke 3-6 times before moving on (recommended more strokes if only practicing Gua Sha a few times a week, but you can get away with fewer if practicing daily!).
Move all the way around the neck to the sides of your spine, and be sure to get up around your ears where there is a concentration of lymph nodes.
After you’ve massaged your entire neck, it’s time to move on to your face.
Start with your chin, moving from the middle of your face towards your ears. Repeat the process while moving up your face to your forehead.
Finally, repeat the process in reverse: moving back down the face from the forehead to the chin, then down and around the neck again.’’
Have you given facial Gua Sha a try? If two Victoria’s Secret Angels swears on it, well that’s must because based on Karlie and Martha’s skin, they work a treat.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Gua sha should NOT be practiced on those individuals with Botox or fillers, or pregnant women, as it can stimulate certain acupressure points that need to be avoided during pregnancy.