What is Gua Sha?
“Gua Sha, a traditional Chinese practice, means ‘scraping the pain away’ in English. It has been adapted from a full-body vigorously detoxifying treatment to a beautifying relaxing ritual for areas like the face, neck, and décolletage,” says dermatologist Dr B Jangid.
Experts say that traditionally gua sha was meant to relieve pain in different parts of the body rather than face. “This technique was meant for a person’s back, buttocks, neck, arms and legs, but now one’s facial skin is also included in the regimen,” says dermatologist Chandrima Mallik.
Different types of stones and crystals like rose quartz, jade stone, and amethyst, were used in the process, besides jade rollers, facial rollers, and the gua sha facial tool.
The touted benefits of the practice
According to Dr Jangid, “Regular use of the tool encourages lymphatic flow, increases blood circulation, smoothens and lifts skin. It also releases stress from your face, and detoxifies, naturally lifts, and adds a glow to the skin.”
Dr Chandrima adds, “It basically helps in breaking up fascia, which is a connective tissue that hugs the face muscles, which can sometimes interfere with optimal circulation, while smoothening, tightening and plumping up the skin.”
Why is it enjoying more popularity since lockdown?
“During the lockdown, people couldn’t go out for their regular cosmetic treatments and at the same time, there was so much happening at home, from work to child care. Everyone was stressed and they needed something that would make them feel at ease,” says Dr Chandrima.
It’s also endorsed by many actors, beauty bloggers, and influencers. “Skin firming or lifting is something one assumes can only be done at skin clinics, however actresses and beauty bloggers writing about gua sha’s benefits has only helped its popularity,” says make-up artiste Tuhina Saha.
How to gua sha:
Experts say that this practise is not restricted to any age group.
“Gua sha is a natural healing remedy and a painless procedure that can be enjoyed by all,” says Dr Jangid, suggesting one apply facial oil should be applied before using the tool on their face. “You can also apply a moisturizer or sheet mask, before moving the tool in the upward direction at least five times on each part of your face,” says Dr Chandrima.
However, she cautions that if not done properly, it could end up bruising your skin, leading to petechiae or temporary indention. For those trying it for the first time, it’s best to seek professional help. “I believe that the results totally depend upon the person who is treating you. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to get treated by a licensed acupuncturist or practitioner. In this manner, you ensure a safe and proper treatment, eliminating the risks associated with this massage technique,” says Dr Jangid