Gua sha (pronounced “gwa shah”) is an ancient Chinese practice that traditionally uses a rounded tool to rub or scrape the skin.
The benefits of gua sha are endless, ranging from pain relief to supporting radiant skin, and it’s a completely natural and healthy way to reverse the signs of ageing, naturally.
Ancient Greek and Egyptian civilisations also embraced their own version of Gua sha to cleanse the pores of the skin, boost circulation and restore suppleness and youthfulness.
Keep reading to find out why gua sha is a powerful choice for natural anti-ageing, how it can help, and how to effectively use gua sha on yourself with exceptional results.
Skin is your body’s largest organ, and is thereby intrinsically linked to your body’s entire health.
Treating your skin well doesn’t just keep you looking youthful and radiant, but keeps your entire body in good health.
1. Boosts Circulation
One of the best reasons to try gua sha is because of the skin circulation benefits. The rounded tools gently encourage blood to flow throughout your face, which brings incredible beauty and health benefits.
Not only does increased circulation transport more oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, but it also removes waste from the farthest points of our body, increasing the power of this natural anti-ageing treatment.
Improved circulation means that your body and skin are getting more of what they need, while expelling toxins.
Blood circulation is important for healthy, glowing skin, as well as promoting cell growth to help your skin discard dead cells and produce new, youthful skin.
2. Break Up Scar Tissue
Gua sha is also useful for breaking up fascia and scar tissue that can form on skin.
Scar tissue is thick tissue that replaces healthy tissue, usually following an injury or cut. The action of rubbing gua sha tools can create bruises under the skin, which are also considered micro trauma. These micro traumas can elicit a response from the body that helps clear scar tissue that has built up while the motion of gua sha removes the pieces of scar tissue from the affected area and the improved circulation renews your skin with healthy blood cells.
This removal and clearing of scar tissue can make your skin look revitalised and youthful, less damaged and more radiant, especially because it can change the overall texture of your skin.
3. Increases Relaxation
Gua sha can be painful, but gua sha facials are incredibly relaxing and soothing.
The calming effects of gua sha are particularly important if you’re looking for a natural anti-ageing treatment. Stress can cause wrinkles and fine lines, but relaxation automatically smooths out these lines for younger-looking skin. Gua sha often feels just like a massage or regular facial.
While that may be a temporary fix, regular gua sha treatments can help reduce stress and anxiety, so that smoother, line-free skin is your default.
Gua sha natural anti-ageing treatments overhaul your parasympathetic nervous system, which can have an instant and lasting effect on skin.
Learn more in How to Balance Mood & Reset Your Nervous System.
4. Reduces Pain
Another cause of fine lines and wrinkles is chronic pain, which can be anything from back pain to migraines.
Reducing that pain can help your skin stay smooth and youthful, but figuring out a natural anti-ageing treatment to reduce pain isn’t always easy.
Gua sha provides instant and lasting pain relief. In fact, one of the top reasons gua sha is used on the body is for pain relief.
Whether it’s the removal of toxins and lymph, the relaxing side effects of the massage, or a combination of both, gua sha can help with a reduction in pain without resorting to pills and chemical creams.
Learn more in 7 Secrets to Supple, Youthful, Healthy Skin.
5. Produces a More Natural Glow
Gua sha is often used as a natural alternative to Botox, which has become a popular anti-aging treatment that freezes muscles to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
However, Botox treatments can have serious side effects, and these derma-fillers are chock full of chemicals and fillers.
Gua sha is a natural anti-ageing alternative that can produce exceptional anti-aging results, without any needles or fillers.
Plus, since your muscles are simply relaxed instead of paralysed during treatment, you achieve a more natural radiance. You can still use all of your same expressions without feeling inhibited or having a “frozen” look.
With regular gua sha, you’ll notice reduced fine lines and wrinkles and an enhanced natural glow, without any of the dangers and potentially permanent side effects of Botox.
6. Removes Toxins
With lifestyle factors and the environment, our skin is constantly exposed to toxins and irritants. Your skin has multiple layers of dermis and epidermis which can easily absorb and accumulate fungus, parasites, petrochemicals, yeast etc that can not only rapidly age the skin, but show up on your skin's surface as rashes and infections.
Gua sha natural anti-ageing treatment is particularly good at removing these toxins from our skin through a gentle but firm rubbing technique.
Pollution, refined sugar, alcohol, and more can lead to puffy and inflamed skin, which is why gua sha is so important to rid our largest organ of these impurities regularly so that they don’t prematurely age our skin.
Plus, unlike other popular anti-aging techniques and regimens, there are no new toxins and chemicals introduced to the skin during gua sha. All that’s used is a rounded tool, like a rock or spoon, and a natural oil, so you don’t have to worry about the process negatively affecting your skin.
Instead, you can look forward to clean, pure skin that’s been stripped of impurities and toxins.
Learn more in The Skin: Nourishing Your Largest Organ Naturally.
One of the best reasons to use gua sha for natural anti-ageing is that you can see the benefits right away.
It’s easy to tell if gua sha is helping you, because the transformation can often be so glaring. The first few sessions you’ll notice a new glow in your skin, your face will be smoothed out and fine lines less visible, but with regular and consistent use of gua sha, you’ll notice that you’ve never looked younger or more relaxed.
Gua sha can be done on your own skin, which makes it easy to fit in every day or every few days at home.
There are a range of tools you can use, but special rounded stones are often the most powerful and come with even more health and relaxation benefits.
Some tips for effective gua sha include:
- Always start with clean hands and skin
- Apply 4-10 drops of facial oil to your skin
- Move the tool in upward sweeps
- Cover your entire face and neck surface area with the motions, breaking them into small sections
- Aim to sweep each area between 3-5 times, without overly sweeping an area to avoid overstimulation
- Keep your tool flat to your skin and at a 15-degree angle
- Avoid gua sha if you have any open wounds, have cystic acne, have a skin infection, or have a medical condition that affects your skin or veins
Make sure you choose a quality, organic oil to use on your skin to avoid introducing any irritants or toxins.
For even more potency during this natural anti-ageing treatment, you can mix in an essential oil to the facial oil for a range of benefits like relaxation, invigoration, and calming.
We recommend using the purest essential oil you can find, such as the dōTERRA line of essential oils. They’re natural, pure, and potent, making them the right choice for sensitive facial skin.
Easy "At-Home" Gua Sha Scrub Recipe
The ancient Egyptian version of Gua Sha is easy to prepare and apply at home with your bare hands and a loofah sponge.
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Triple Distilled Vodka
- doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil
Fill a container with Bicarb soda, pour in the vodka and mix to a putty like consistency. Add 5-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.
In the shower, rinse your entire body with warm water, then turn off the tap. Add a handful of the guasha mixture to a loofah or body glove and firmly scrub over your entire body (one limb or section at a time). Allow to rest for a few minutes, then rinse off for an amazing, clean feel and texture.
To find tox-free natural skin care products to support healthy skin, visit our store.
Tolman Self Care.