Introduction to Gua Sha

by Elysian Magazine

Gua Sha pronounced as gwa-shah is a Chinese treatment that uses a tool to apply pressure to the skin for pain relief. Well, it’s not just that. Chinese medicine scraping (Gua Sha) has been a useful treatment for hundreds of years. The practitioner will press a flat stone against the skin and scrape it to relieve muscle pain and tightness. This powerful treatment often leaves bruising and redness but it is seen as very effective and is used as a form of self-care today. There have been studies of the technique and several support the idea that it can be effective for reducing signs of aging, chronic pain, and more.

If you care about your skin- which you should, you know your regimen needs to adapt as you age. The effects of gravity and the passage of time mean that aging is inevitable. We experience deep wrinkles, sunspots, wrinkled texture, and loss of volume. It is a process we can’t stop but we can slow down. Women over 35 experience a wide range of hormonal changes, including menopause, which can affect the appearance of their skin.

Any skin type can benefit from a daily facial massage, but older skin enjoys the greatest benefit. Facial muscles are conditioned, blood flow is increased, and collagen formation is promoted. Each piece of this Gua Sha set is designed for specific skin concerns and will result in conditioned, firm, and relaxed skin. It will help your skin absorb any serum or cream and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.


Benefits of Gua Sha

Gua Sha has been documented since the Ming Dynasty, and is still a popular TCM treatment. It is beneficial for reducing pain and boosting circulation and energy flow, according to practitioners.

Grounding Ritual:

The slow movements and soft touch are very relaxing and immediately activate our parasympathetic nervous system. We feel grounded and level-headed, and are better prepared to deal with emotional issues or obstacles. When we use Gua Sha to engage more fully with ourselves, this beauty treatment becomes a ritual of stress relief and grounding.

Tension Relief:

Stress builds up on our face and neck, muscles become tight and knotted. By applying deep pressure with the scraping stone, you can release the tension that has built up there, and allow the muscles to do their job properly.


Our meridians, or energy pathways, connect and transport blood and qi between our various organs and the rest of our body. For our bodies to be balanced and chi to flow freely, our passages must be unobstructed. A blocked channel may indicate poor organ function and vice versa. We can remove any obstructions by scraping the Gua Sha tool along the canal.

Natural Facelift:

Different scraping stones have different shaped edges, perfect for tightening, shaping, and lifting the skin. Regular use can delay the onset of sagging skin, dullness, and wrinkles that come with aging. Gua Sha oxygenates and provides nutrients to skin cells and helps increase blood circulation. 

Glowing Skin:

 If the energy does not flow, there will be no light. Because scraping stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes blood flow, it can help you achieve a radiant, hydrated complexion. 

How do I use the Gua Sha tool for my skin?

  • First, do not start scraping without oil or serum on your face. This allows the tool to move smoothly along your face and neck, giving you the best results.
  • Once your skin is ready, use upward and outward strokes to massage your face and neck, beginning at the base of your neck and working your way up your chin and cheeks, ending with a touch around your eyes.
  • To avoid scratching sensitive skin around the eyes, use the Gua Sha tool’s smaller end and work on one side of your face at a time.
  • Use the tool for 5-10 minutes a day, three times through each area of your face, to obtain the most perfect, radiant skin. Applying Gua Sha to any self-care routine will increase its efficacy.


Scraping is an ancient custom from East Asia. The practice has shifted from a full-body detox treatment to a relaxing beauty ritual for the face, neck, and chest. Gently stroke the skin with healing crystal stones to increase lymph flow, promote circulation, and smooth and lift the skin.

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