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Everything You Need To Know About Gua Sha

Elise Marquam Jahns July 2023

Beauty Thought Leader: Elise Marquam-Jahns

If you could lift, firm, de-puff and soften the fine lines and wrinkles in your face using a simple tool for three to five minutes three to four times a week, would you be interested?

Gua Sha Technique:

Well, there is such a tool and the technique is called Gua Sha. I haven’t yet tried it, but many people absolutely swear by its effectiveness. So I thought I would invite you to join me on my Gua Sha journey today. So we can test whether this technique works for those of us with mature skin. And in the accompanying video, I’ll demonstrate the technique.

“Gua Sha is one of the oldest recorded forms of traditional Chinese medicine.”

You may have already heard of this technique since it’s been all over the internet for the past several years. But what exactly is it? Gua Sha is one of the oldest recorded forms of traditional Chinese medicine.

This is used to increase energy flow and circulation, release heat toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, activate various acupressure points in the body and stimulate an immune response by bringing beneficial cells to the area.

It helps drain the lymphatic system by stimulating the lymph nodes to help move extra fluid from swollen areas. And it can also reduce sinus pressure. The stimulation of circulation helps decrease inflammation. And boosts detoxification which can lead to a clearer, toned and healthier complexion.

Scrape Away Illnesses:

Gua Sha literally means “to scrape away illnesses” and involves using a credit-card-sized tool to press along the skin of the body or face and neck. Tools are traditionally made with jade, ox horn or rose quartz and are used with a lubricated oil or facial oil to scrape the skin in one direction several times.

The idea is that light pressure releases facial and muscular tension and moves sluggish fluid which tones the face. An organization as respected and renowned as the Cleveland Clinic states in one of its releases: “While it might look like something that you’d see in a late-night infomercial, this time-honored muscular scraping technique boasts many benefits.”

This Gua Sha practice has more recently evolved into a beneficial part of many people’s beauty routine. But if you have problems with circulation or diabetes or use a blood thinner, you should first check with your health practitioner. And if you have rosacea or are having breakouts of any kind, avoid using your Gua Sha tool on that area.

If you decide you want to give Gua Sha a try, the next step is to find the right Gua Sha tool. There are many types of stones and sizes of Gua Sha tools on the market. But no matter what you choose, the most important thing is to keep it clean and in good condition.

“Drink plenty of water before, during and after Gua Sha.”

Important Things To Do Before Starting Gua Sha:

And here are the most important things to do before starting Gua Sha.

  1. Completely cleanse your skin.
  2. Always use some kind of product that helps the tool glide over the face. This can be an oil, balm or lotion. Use what will work best for your face that will not cause a breakout or irritation.
  3. Drink plenty of water before, during and after Gua Sha.
  4. Avoid working on problem areas such as breakouts, raised scars, open wounds or any irritations and avoid working on any areas with fillers. If you’ve recently had Botox injections, wait three to four weeks or talk to your doctor.
  5. Make it a relaxing experience by taking deep breaths, moving slowly with intention and staying hydrated.
  6. For best results, do Gua Sha three to four times a week for three to five minutes each time. It’s recommended to perform the movement five times in each area when first starting.
  7. Hold the tool or stone flat and connected to the skin, not up and down.
  8. Use light to medium pressure and nine, go from the inner part of your face outward and wiggle the tool slightly at the end of the movement.

I have to say up front that although I’m quite good at sticking to my exercise routine and work schedule, I’m not so good at sticking to other self-care routines like relaxation, so I’m making a commitment today to do my Gua Sha routine three to four times a week for four weeks.


How To Do Gua Sha Routine:

To start, I’m going to put four to five drops of facial oil on my hands, rub my hands together and then press the oil into the skin and then use upward massage strokes. I’m using the Pure Radiance Oil from True Botanicals.

It’s important to start with the neck since we want the neck to be open so the lymph fluid from the face can easily drain down into the neck area. And I’ll start using the tool on the back of my neck and work upward and then around to the front of my neck.

To see if we notice any changes, I’m going to first do one side of my face and then do the other side so we can compare the two sides of my face after I finish. I’ll start under my jawline and work from my chin up toward my ear.

In the video, after I’ve finished one side of my face, I’ll stop so we can see if we notice a difference between the two sides. Do you notice any difference between the two sides? Then I’ll do the other side of my face.

I’m looking forward to continuing my Gua Sha practice—both for the relaxation it provides and for the health and beauty benefits. If you decide to give Gua Sha a try, I hope you’ll enjoy the process and experience some very positive results.

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About the Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. And, if you’d like to receive more inspiration each week, check out my weekly newsletter. To get your copy, just drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know you’d like to receive it.