Is your skin looking dull, aged and sapped of energy? The ancient Chinese practice of Gua Sha is here to give your skin a fast-acting uplift and rejuvenation!
On some days you wake up with an enviable glow on your face. On some days your skin, just about manages to look okay. And on some days, you dread looking into the mirror, especially when your skin looks as if you just returned from a battle the previous night. With a number of different treatments, facials and products available across salons and stores, often selecting the right product or treatment for a skin concern becomes quite a daunting task. Should I pick this or that? What if it doesn’t suit my skin? What if my skin condition escalates from bad to worse? ‘Gua Sha’ an old school Chinese healing therapy relies on natural healing rather than relying on medicines and various other unnatural treatments.
Gua which means ‘to scrape’ and Sha which refers to ‘sand’, is an ancient exquisite Chinese healing therapy which can take your skin and self care to the next level.
This technique is intended to activate the body’s natural healing abilities. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to reduce inflammation and ease the muscles. The gua massage is generally done using a bian stone, with alternative materials like rose quartz, jade, or stainless steel, too being used now. In most cases, oil is applied to the skin to make it smooth, post which the tool is used to repeatedly scrape the skin. The generous amount of strokes and pressure applied encourage the release of toxins and greatly stimulate blood circulation in the area. This in turn tones, lifts and smoothens out the skin, bringing it back to its most radiant state. The skin cells get rejuvenated in the process, giving your skin a healthier glow and complexion.
The benefits of this technique are numerous. The massage increases blood flow resulting in firm and hydrated skin. It is known to tone the facial muscles, which slim the face and help get rid of sagging skin and puffiness. The gentle strokes of the massage reduce blemishes, acne scars, appearance of dark circles, under-eye bags and prevent the most visible signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. The increased blood flow instantly makes the skin look plumper, hydrated and refreshed. Apart from your skin getting a quick uplift and looking fresher, the Gua Sha technique is also known to reduce stress and relieve pain. Hence, not only is it good for the body, it is good for the mind as well. Gua Sha is generally performed on different parts of the body with a milder version being performed on the face. The massage is done to speed up the body’s detoxification process improving its overall health.
As Gua Sha facial tools are easily available in the market, it can be done from the confines of your home. Although considered to be a harmless and painful therapy, aggressive scraping of the skin could lead to scars, wounds and permanent damage of the skin. People with injuries, skin diseases or on any kind of medication should avoid this practice as it may lead to complications.
Once you get the basic technique and amount of pressure to be applied right, this therapy can become a part of your daily routine. Five minutes of your morning is all you will need to get a radiant complexion.
The Gua Sha is a technique that has beauty obsessive’s hooked onto it. The therapy’s natural way of dealing with several ailments at once has increased its popularity and doesn’t seem like it will fade away anytime soon.
Text – Nimmi Mathai