Originating in China, gua sha is the practice of using a small, hand-held tool with rounded edges made of jade, rose quartz, or metal to scrape the skin with a stroking motion. It’s a simple but rigorous technique that has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments and promote healing within the body.
“Gua sha facials help to release tension from the face and neck, and remove toxin buildup, while increasing lymphatic and blood flow to the area to decrease inflammation,” says Dr. Clara Yu, aesthetic medicine specialist and founder/CEO of Beauty Cult, a medical spa in Redondo Beach. “It is also known to many as ‘coining’ or ‘spooning’ because traditionally, the Chinese used coins or spoons to perform gua sha.”
Gua sha can be performed anywhere on the body to treat issues ranging from scar tissue to chronic pain. The scraping can be intense, causing tissue damage and bruising (similar to cupping) to provoke a local response to help the body heal, release muscle tension, and move stagnant chi or qi—the Chinese word for “life force energy.”
When performed correctly, gua sha is relaxing and therapeutic, and can be repeated every one to two weeks. In addition to the therapeutic benefits it offers, gua sha can also be an effective addition to one’s beauty routine, helping to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, reduce puffiness, and give skin a more youthful glow—promoting health and radiance from the inside out.
Images courtesy of Beauty Cult