What is a Gua Sha and How Do I Use It?
We believe in the power of natural remedies; harnessing the power of nature and using past and present practices to enhance our overall wellbeing.
Puresport has crafted a Jade Gua Sha - a massage tool to be used with our CBD topicals in order to increase blood flow and circulation, and aid recovery and restoration.
The Jade Gua Sha can be used to massage our CBD, Muscle & Joint Balm into aches and pains as well as the CBD & Vitamin B5 Face Moisturiser on the face to help rejuvenate and plump the skin. For those wanting to learn a bit more about the history and benefits of Gua Sha, as well as how to use a Jade Gua Sha, we’ve put together some more information below.
What Is A Jade Gua Sha Stone?
Gua Sha is an ancient traditional Chinese technique that dates back to over 2000 years ago, long before any western medicines were available – so why only now is it becoming so popular in the west?
Literally translated, ‘Gua’ means scrape and ‘Sha’ means sand (the ‘sand’ idea refers to the little red dots that can appear after a Gua Sha session), this archaic and affordable method that has stood the test of time relaxes stiff muscles like no other.
In ancient Gua Sha, a technician would scrape your skin using a spoon or even a coin varying the length and duration of stroke in order to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, which in turn, increases blood flow. Oil is applied to the skin, followed by the instrument of choice repeatedly scraping the oily skin in a downward motion.
These days however, the preferred instrument is a flat jade or rose quartz, specifically modified and designed to run over your skin in a smooth, flowing motion. In our case we have a Jade Gua Sha Massage Tool available.
Gua Sha is said to focus primarily on aches and pains in the neck, back, knees and joints. We’ve also found it to be really helpful when massaging our balm into sore muscles like calves and quads. It’s best to start off with gentle pressure on the targeted ache or pain and gradually increase the intensity as you go.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the term ‘Chi’ was believed to be the life force that runs through each individual; it is an energy current that runs through both the inside and outside of your body. When one’s Chi is strong, it is understood that this person’s body is filled with life, health and strength. However when one’s Chi is weak, your energy levels are said to be weak and stagnant.
Ultimately, Gua Sha is thought to awaken weak Chi, and re-invigorate the body, break up inflammation and promote both physical healing and mental well-being.
The Benefits Of A Gua Sha Tool
As well as soothing aching joints, Gua Sha is thought to relieve symptoms of countless other ailments ranging from common colds, flus and fevers as well as Hepatitis B, migraines, Tourette Syndrome and Premenopausal Syndrome.
Here are a few of our personal favourite benefits of Gua Sha;
The process of Gua Sha, whether it is self-practice or from a professional is extremely grounding – the slow and gentle touches allow you to slip into a deep state of relaxation. Once we are in a grounded state in our body and mind, emotional obstacles and challenging decisions will seem like less of an obstacle, allowing you to breeze through daily tasks with ease.
Gua Sha is renowned for its ability to promote circulation, which in turn, improves lymphatic function. The act of scraping your chosen product across our skin allows the delightful phytonutrients to penetrate the skin and hydrate further. The result? Decongested skin and a glowing complexion.
Gua Sha can also be applied in the form of gentle facial massages; the motion of scraping your Jade Massage Tool Gua Sha over your face will unclog pores and eradicate any unwanted toxins and impurities. The movement will also stimulate our lymphatic system more so with any Gua Sha movement above shoulder height, helping our organs to perform at maximum efficiency.
The movement of Gua Sha is also thought to help lift, tighten and sculpt the skin and thus regular use can help prevent the ageing of skin. The increased blood flow & oxygenation of the skin as a result of Gua Sha can contribute to a more pumped up, youthful appearance.
How To Use A Gua Sha Stone
While the term ‘scraping’ may sound scary, you aren’t actually scraping any skin you’re simply massaging. Keep in mind that it is a very personal experience and you might experience different benefits to others like better circulation and blood flow, brighter skin, fluid reduction, reduced inflammation, less pain in the jaw from Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), reduced acne or less prominent wrinkles. We have some suggestions, but also suggest that you try out different methods and different sides of the Gua Sha stone to find what works best for you.
Gua Sha For The Face And Neck Using Our CBD & Vitamin B5 Moisturiser
You can use your preferred oil or our CBD & Vitamin B5 Face Moisturiser with the Jade Gua Sha Massage Tool, and we suggest cleansing your face first and then applying your chosen product all over the face and neck before starting your Gua Sha session. It is best to apply a product first and have your skin moist as the Gua Sha Massage Tool won’t work so well on dry skin.
When using the Jade Gua Sha Stone on your face, you always want to be working in an upward direction or towards the Lymph-nodes near the ears. Try each of these exercises ten times on each side. You can start by using the longer concave side of the Gua Sha stone, and make soft upward motions on your neck to get the fluids moving, try doing this ten times in each part of your neck.
Next you can move to your jaw line and we suggest using the shorter edge (that looks almost like the top of a love heart shape), which should fit around the jaw nicely, but feel free to try the other sides if this feels more comfortable. Move the Gua Sha stone from the chin up towards the ear, and try this ten times on each side. This should feel like a massage but shouldn’t be painful.
You can use the concave side of the Gua Sha stone on the larger planes of the face, below the cheek bone, in an upward motion towards the ears or Lymph-nodes. You can also use the short edge again (remember the side that looks like the top of a love heart) and try this around the cheek bone area, moving up/outwards.
If you’re experiencing pain or tension in a particular area, for example around your jaw, you can use the sharper edge (the edge that looks like the bottom of a love heart, don’t worry it’s not actually sharp!), and use gentle and small circular motions on the area. You can also use the stone around the eyes but be extra careful and apply extra product if needed to ensure the area is lubricated and you don’t do any damage.
Finally you can use the longer concave side of the Gua Sha stone and use it to work upwards on the forehead and brow area. You can also try an up and outward technique (diagonal motion) on each side of the forehead if this feels more comfortable for you.
Gua Sha For The Body Using Our CBD, Muscle & Joint Balm
When using the Gua Sha for the body, you can use our CBD, Muscle & Joint Balm or an oil or balm of your choice. Apply the product and rub it in to the skin where you are wanting to use the Jade Gua Sha Stone to relieve pain or tension, or to destress, relax and improve circulation. You may start to see redness during your session, but don’t be alarmed, as this is actually said to be a sign of healing and the Gua Sha doing its job.
There are many different ways you can use the Gua Sha stone on your body. You can use the points of the Gua Sha stone and move in small circular motions while applying pressure, you can do this on muscles or around joints. You can also move in firm even strokes across muscles, for example around the neck (trapezius), arms, chest, legs or back. Keep the strokes light to begin with then increase pressure until its firm, try around ten strokes per area and more if needed. For hard to reach areas like the back, you might like to ask a friend to help you.
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Gua Sha Stone
It’s important to clean your Jade Gua Sha Stone after use so that you don’t spread any bacteria onto your face or body next time you use it. It is especially important if you are switching between products meant for your body and face, as products used on the body might irritate your face or eyes. To wash your Jade Gua Sha Stone you can wipe it down with a wet cloth and for a deeper clean use a soap or cleanser and wipe away any product which should kill any bacteria.
Does Gua Sha Have Any Side Effects?
Gua Sha is a tried and tested method and is completely safe. The only thing worth considering is that the scraping motion on the skin can alter the appearance of your skin. The blood vessels immediately beneath your skin (Capillaries) can become temporarily inflamed following a session of Gua Sha. The capillaries can burst which would cause your skin to appear bruised. Although it may feel tender, it is unlikely to feel painful and the appearance should pass within a couple of days. This redness is a sign that your Gua Sha session is working. It is suggested to wait for the redness to disappear before engaging in another session.
If any external bleeding occurs, the risk of transferring blood borne illnesses increases and thus you must ensure your Jade Massage Tool/Gua Sha is correctly disinfected and sterilised.
People who have recently undergone surgery (up to six weeks), have blood clotting disorders or are taking blood thinners are not considered good candidates for Gua Sha. But it is always worth discussing with your doctor or health care professional to be sure.
Reports of this wonderfully cleansing and relaxing ‘revelation’ for westerners are increasing day by day, and the results have been miraculous. If you are in the market for a cost-effective way of boosting your physical health and appearance and mental well being, why not give Gua Sha a try?