What is Gua Sha + How Is It Used?

Over the past month, you may have seen my friend Lola @lolitadacheetah and myself share about our collaboration on a ceramics project. We have made a small batch of ceramic stones traditionally referred to as "Gua Sha".

mcf+a Gua Sha Stone

Gua Sha--or scraping as it is often translated to in English--is a practice of massage in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that dates back to the Paleolithic Age. Practitioners use stones to massage or scrape in one direction, activating circulation to dissipate blood stasis and stagnation.

What is "blood stasis and stagnation"?

Blood stasis is a term used by some Eastern medical practitioners meaning that the blood is not flowing or circulating as optimally as it could to all parts of the body. It is considered to be one of the major causes of pain. Blood stasis can refer to a localized area and possibly be caused by overuse or trauma including sprain, broken bones, or bruises, etc. (source)

Now, if you look up photos of Gua Sha massages online, you will see photos from trained professionals that look like serious bruising on the backs and legs of their clients, and you might close out of this post and decide you have no interest in using a stone on your face. After all, some of the photos look seriously concerning. Know, however, that there are professionals trained in this ancient practice if you should find yourself wanting to try a Gua Sha massage, and also that this is not the degree of intensity suggested for your at-home Gua Sha facial massages. To be clear, do not try to give yourself the Gua Sha massage to the intensity that you see in photos online, seek a trained professional. But as you try your facial Gua Sha at home, you will see redness as you repeatedly and consciously scrape your stone across your face with any of our facial serums, but just know that this means your skin and circulation are being activated. 

Gua Sha is used not only to activate circulation and dissipate blood stasis, but also to relieve tension using different pressure points throughout our bodies, as well as improving lymphatic flow. Online, you can find stones in different shapes, with sides curved or pronged for different areas of the body. Take time exploring with your Gua Sha to see what angles work best with your structure. 

 Gua Sha Technique

It is always recommended you use your stone with a moisturizing oil, such as any of our facial serums like our Rosehip Oil, our seaweed serum, or our evening serum. Additionally, angling your stone at a 45 degree or even 25 degree angle as you apply slight pressure and scrape your stone across your skin is optimal as opposed to a 90 degree or perpendicular angle. You can find a great tutorial here: Facial Gua Sha and Acupressure Massage.

Many people store their stones in the fridge so that they are cool on the skin when using, but this is up to your preference. When finished using your stone, wash with warm water and soap, towel dry, and store in a safe place where you will be prompted to use it regularly. 

The reason behind bringing these hand carved Gua Sha stones to bring into my business was that I want to bring you products and tools that improve your skin but are also an enjoyable part of your day and add to your life, influencing you and us to indulge in more self care. This stone does exactly that, and I cannot wait to get back in the studio to make more with my girl Lola so that more of you are pulling this tool into your day and your care. 

A limited supply of our Gua Sha stones are available now in our store. Get yours online!