Gua sha is an ancient Chinese healing practice that is used to increase the blood flow, release toxins from the skin and reduce inflammation.
According to Juliette Thornbury, author of The Crystal Fix: Healing Crystals For The Modern Home, it works by releasing tension in the muscles while breaking up any stagnant energy to promote healing and rejuvenation. To further enhance the healing benefits of this technique, the tools used in gua sha are often made from stones that according to Thornbury are believed to contain anti-ageing properties, such as rose quartz or jade.
What you need
Facial oil or moisturiser and rose quartz or jade gua sha facial massage tool. (The Angela Caglia Rose Quartz Roller, pictured above, is available from Mecca Cosmetica, $103.)
Allow yourself ten to 15 minutes for the gua sha massage. You can practise this technique as often as you like, however two to three times a week will be plenty.
- Prepare your face by ensuring the skin is cleansed and free of any make-up or impurities.
- Apply facial oil or moisturiser. This is an important step to ensure the massage tool glides over the skin easily without pulling.
- Taking your massage tool, apply light pressure with the curved part and sweep evenly upwards from your eyebrows to the top of your hairline. Repeat each stroke three to five times, moving all the way along the hairline.
- Now work beneath your eyes, on the left side of your face. Using the tool, start from the middle of your face, sweeping the cheekbone and up to your temple. Always use an upward stroke, as you want to lift the skin. Repeat three to five times.
- Still working on the left side of your face, use this same motion for the cheek area, starting from the inside of your nose, sweeping up to the ear. Repeat three to five times.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the right side of your face.
- For the mouth and chin area, repeat this same sweeping motion, beginning from the centre of your face, up to your left, and then right, earlobe.
- For your neck and under your chin, start under your jaw and work down to your collarbone.
Gua Sha Facial Massage is an extract from The Crystal Fix: Healing Crystals For The Modern Home (Allen & Unwin), $40, by Juliette Thornbury.