For centuries, women in eastern counties have utilised the practice of Gua Sha - meaning 'to scrape or rub' - to release tension in the muscles of the face by promoting the circulation of blood and lymph throughout the tissues.
This ancient Chinese healing technique uses a smooth edged stone to stroke the skin in an upward or downward movement. When performed on the face, Gua Sha can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, restore firmness and elasticity, decrease puffiness and improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Gua Sha can also help to relieve stress and tension by calming the nervous system. It focuses on the Qi, an energy that flows throughout the body. When this energy is balanced, it is said that the body is healthier and in a state of well-being, making this practice a great addition to your natural skincare routine.
Why bian stone is a superior choice for Gua Sha
Bian stone therapy has been recorded in The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor, a pivotal Traditional Chinese Medical text dating back 2,000 years. It is said to be the precursor to acupuncture where the stones were heated and placed along meridians on the body to stimulate Qi.
The stone is thought to have been made by the impact of meteorites upon the earth’s surface in Shandong, approximately 66 million years ago. Chemical analysis shows that there are more than thirty trace elements and over 16 rare elements within the stones which are beneficial for optimal health.
The special magnetic field and the ultrasonic pulsation that constantly emanate from the bian stone when rubbed against the skin, increase and purify the blood circulation and blood vessels, ensuring good oxygen and nutrition supply to various body organs. This also produces negative ions, best known to help with anti-oxidation (anti-aging), boosting and regenerating healthy cells and DNA.
The Gua Sha ritual
Begin by applying a facial mist for maximum hydration. While the skin is still damp, apply a facial oil or serum to help glide the tool.
Hold the tool flat and use light to medium pressure to sweep it across your face and neck area, sweeping each area four to five times.
The speed should be slow and mindful to help relax the nervous system.
Forehead: Gently sweep in an upwards motion towards the hairline.
Browbone: With medium pressure, sweep the guasha along the browbone and then upwards towards the hairline.
Cheeks: Sweep from the centre of the face and work outwards towards the ears, being gentle near the eye area.
Jawline and chin: Glide the stone upwards from the centre of the chin in an upward motion towards the ears.
Under eye area: Gently sweep from the inner corner of the eye outwards to the temple using very light pressure.
Neck: Sweep upwards from the collarbone to the edge of the jawbone.
Incorporating Gua Sha into your beauty ritual is a simple and relaxing way to minimize puffiness, improve elasticity, promote collagen production and improve skin tone. It feels amazing, is a great way to start your day and is such a quick self-care practice that has so many amazing benefits. Or if you’ve had a stressful day, it’s a great way to help yourself wind down. It can be done daily or often as as two to three times a week.