Madeleine Taplin

Over the course of the past year, self-care has skyrocketed in popularity. The ‘Gua Sha’ has undeniably made a big appearance recently, picking up traction all over the world, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon! So, what is a Gua Sha, how does it work, and are there any real benefits to the practice?

Gua Sha is a natural Eastern therapy that involves pulling your skin with a massage tool to improve the bodies circulation. This ancient Chinese healing practice works to soften points of tension, stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue and increase blood flow. Technicians utilise a smooth-edged instrument, which is a massage tool, in a combination of short and long strokes (depending on the area of usage) in a motion to help relieve tension. Check out this great YouTube video on how to use a Gua Sha. Originally, the practice was believed to address stagnant energy in the body, known as ‘Chi.’ However, Gua Sha has grown in the Western World over the past 5 years to be recognised as a skill of massage, often in reference to the face where it is used to massage the skin to open pores, help remove dark circles and potentially lessen wrinkling.

So, how does the practice actually work? Gua Sha for the face can be completed by anyone who has the right tools! For the purposes of self-care, an individual need only purchase a Gua Sha roller (often created out of smooth gemstones or cut crystals such as Jade or Rose Quartz) or a singular face-sculpting tool. Massage a face oil of your choice into the skin, and then massage the face accordingly.

Whilst Gua Sha is certainly an act of self-care that was proliferated across social media and picked up by individuals for being ‘trendy’, the practice does actually have significant health benefits for the individual! As mentioned, Gua Sha helps to reduce inflammation, so it is often with high success rates in treating ailments such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as the common joint and muscle pains associated with excessive exercise. Additionally, when utilised on the face, Gua Sha has been proven to help ease migraine headaches, by stretching out the nerves and removing tension. Finally, Gua Sha has been shown to improve skin conditions such as eczema and acne! So, as we in Greater Sydney continue our journey in lockdown, maybe it’s time to rejuvenate your face, and get on the Gua Sha trend.