Gua Sha 101 : Everything you need to know about how to use a Gua Sha - Deepstash

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Gua Sha

Gua Sha

Gua sha, or 刮痧, directly translates to “scratch” and “sand” (sand refers to the red bruising resembling sand granules caused by the scraping that eventually subsides after a few days,instead of actual sand). “‘Sha’ is caused by the bacteria or virus toxins, which break the capillaries and form hyperemia areas, or spots in the skin or mucus, and form sand-like scattered or condensed areas,” said Shaobai Wang, MD, a Chinese medicine expert.


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History: GuaSha was used on farmers not princesses

History: GuaSha was used on farmers not princesses

According to Ping Zhang, DOM, L.Ac, a N.York–based traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) guru and a pioneering acupuncturist in the field of facial rejuvenation the udea that facial gua sha part of the beauty routine of ancient Chinese princesses is "...false. It’s marketing,”. “Gua sha was originally used for 2 conditions: the abrupt, immediate, sudden collapse of the body from heatstroke and seasonal diseases, like a cold virus" and that it was used since the Yuan Dynasty to revive farmers who had collapsed with exhaustion from working under the hot sun--NOT princesses!


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The facial benefits of GuaSha discovered by accident

The facial benefits of GuaSha discovered by accident

Cecily Braden, a holistic esthetician and N.York–based spa educator who has spent her career importing traditional Eastern beauty and wellness treatments (including the proliferationb of Balinese massage at luxury resorts in the US) and translating them for a Western audience claims that as acupuncturists used facial pressure points to treat ailments in other parts of the body, they discovered that signs of aging like wrinkles were dimished as well.


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Who needs a jade GuaSha tool?

Who needs a jade GuaSha tool?

Traditionally, gua sha could be performed with whatever tool was on hand—an animal bone or horn, a soup spoon, a coin.


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The characters for “gua sha” provide insight into the practice

“The Chinese character for ‘Gua’ (刮) is composed of the character for ‘tongue’ on the left and ’knife’ on the right. The Chinese character for ‘Sha’ (痧) is composed of ’illness’ or ’disease’ on top and ’sand’ on the bottom,” explained Sonia Lee, DACM, LAc.

Elaine Huntzinger, a Canada-born accupunturist w/ roots in HongKong, Nv in her atelier in Paris looks at patients' tongues to check for other system imbalances; and gives food recommendations to rebalance the qi—energy flow—which also contributes to a radiant complexion.


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GuaSha is not just for the face

Unbeknown to most, gua sha is not just for the face, it can be used on the back and shoulders as well.


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Benefits of GuaSha explained


“From a Chinese medicine perspective, the Tai Yin meridians (composed of the lung and spleen) and Yang Ming meridians (large intestines and the stomach) are responsible for your skin's overall health,” said Lee. “When you gently scrape the skin on your face with your gua sha tool, what you are doing is stimulating your Yang Ming meridians. You are also sending your body a signal that this area needs more blood circulation.” -Sonia Lee, DACM, LAc. 


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Benefits of GuaSha explained..continued


Gua sha “can temporarily improve the appearance for the newly and very gentle ones,” Wang said. However “for long-standing wrinkles, gua sha should not be the first choice.”


Gua sha can eliminate fluid build-up and in turn reduce puffiness.


By regularly applying pressure with a gua sha tool, knotted areas are untangled and built-up muscular tension are released.


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Reality check: GuaSha can't sculpt jawlines

Despite some TikTokers claims that gua sha sculpted their faces, Wang noted that it cant enhance jawlines. Instead, gua sha works by engaging tissue to eliminate fluid build-up in the lymph nodes (which can eliminate the puffiness and give the illusion of a more firm and sculpted face) — IT CAN'T ACTUALLY REMOVE FAT FROM CERTAIN AREAS.


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Benefits of GuaSha..Continued


Lee recommends that people with weak immune systems especially those who struggle with seasonal allergies or tend to catch colds easil try gua sha. As Wang explained, this is especially useful for those people because by repeatedly stimulating certain areas, gua sha helps purge non-circulating blood and toxins from the body. Visual signifiers of this purging can be anything from redness to slight bruising.


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How to use a guasha tool

1. Cleansing to ensure your face is free from any impurities that may get into your skin when scraping.

2. Lather facial oil to protect your top layer of skin from abrasion.

3. Locate and follow the right meridian.

4. Once you have located your meridian, hold the tool flat against the face you can use that to guide where the gua sha should be on your face by drawing an imaginary line up


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How to use a guasha tool

5. Once you've located your meridian, hold the tool flat against the face.Move the guasha from your forehead in an upwards direction,applying gentle pressure as you go; then, to the cheeks, moving the device outwards from the nose to the ear in a “swoop” motion. According to Lee, this suggests moving from the yin side to the yang side.

6. Finally, flip the guasha around to the 2 curved sections. Moving from the chin, scrape along your jawline to your ear. 

For best results, do these for about 10 min,scraping in 1 direction at a time to attract more blood and stimulation to a specific area


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Jack of all people-related trades, master of none. Majored in Psychology, Customer Service Assoc for a few Years, HR Officer for 4, Manager and ESL Teacher for over 11 yrs now, an artist since birth.

I feel that this is one of the most effective, affordable and easy forms of at-home self care

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