1. You can use a gua sha on the face, body and scalp, and it’s best to use with water or an oil – but never on bare skin.
2. Hold the gua sha tool with the curved side to your face and glide it gently up and out, starting with the neck, jawline, chin and around the mouth, between three and five times per area. Always take short strokes in just one direction, not back and forth.
3. Next, press the tool flat to the skin, under the eyes or over any redness, to soothe and de-puff.
4. Work the tool in small horizontal strokes over the brow bone to lift, or hold and press upwards between the brows to release tension.
5. Stroke down the neck, never upwards, to drain fluid.
6. If you want to reduce puffiness, work lightly, then more firmly, to relax muscles.
How often should you gua sha?
“We look after our teeth every day, and we need to do the same with our skin,” says Brindle. “In the morning, it’s about treating puffiness and energizing the skin, while at night you work more on relaxing the muscles and releasing tight connective tissue.” Simple to do, this method also passes my personal ‘Netflix test’: I can do it while watching TV.
Can gua sha relieve migraines?
If you suffer with headaches and migraines, you’ll likely already be attuned to the feeling of relief that comes with a simple scalp and forehead massage. Gua sha takes things one step further and has been shown to be a useful tool to add to your pain-relief kit. A study* that’s often referenced by experts when talking about the benefits of using gua sha for pain is that of a 72-year-old woman who saw a reduction in her chronic headaches after 14 days of using gua sha. More research needs to be done, but it looks promising.
The next time you feel a migraine or headache creeping up on you, use your chilled gua sha to massage the tension areas of your face, such as your jaw, and then use the long edge to apply pressure over your forehead, above and below your brow bones and the area between your brows. You can even use it on your scalp to relieve pressure around your temples and down towards the nape of your neck. Gua sha is by no means a replacement for normal migraine therapies, but it is certainly a helpful support act.
Which crystal gua sha to use
As with face rollers, there is a variety of tools to choose from. “Jade is known for its balancing effects and its ability to cool, so it helps de-puff features while clearing inflammation,” says Brindle. “Rose quartz relates to the heart, so it’s especially good to use on the neck and chest, but not at night, as it can be too stimulating. And while amethyst is associated with evenings and winter, citrine is good for summer and mornings.” The true crystal connoisseur knows to first cleanse their crystal of previous negative energies by washing it and then leaving it outside overnight during a full moon. Who knows whether or not this works, but the ritual provides a nice way to clear and cleanse your crystals and make them all your own.