Like a rolling stone: The power of gua sha
Feeling like you got a lot going on underneath the surface? We've all been there. The stress of uni assignments and work causing you to tighten up. Wondering if that accidental text you sent is going to blow up your group of friends. And that's not to mention everyday physical issues that we deal with – including nasty headaches, joint pain and general puffiness.
It's about time you had the rub of the green with the soothing, smoothing help of a gua sha jade roller or stone.
What is the history of gua sha?
While gua sha might be new to you, it's actually been around for centuries. The practice dates back to as early as the 1600s in China, where practitioners believed pent-up energy caused inflammation and pain. By taking items with smooth edges and rubbing them over the skin, people thought they could break up or move the energy to alleviate what was happening under the surface.
What's the deal with gua sha today?
In the past people turned to just about anything that was smooth enough to rub over various parts of the body. But these days the gua sha game looks a bit different. Gua sha rollers are becoming a more and more popular skin care tool not only in Australia, but in other parts of the world. Similar to dermarollers (but without the prickly bits), jade rollers are the gua sha tool of choice for many. But you can also opt for gua sha stones made of jade or rose quartz and rollers with a variety of heads that also provide a smooth glide over the skin.
One way to think about gua sha is like when you use a foam roller on your sore leg or glute muscles after getting your butt kicked by the gym. Just replace that dreaded foam roller with a nice, smooth gua sha tool and your leg or glute with your face. (That sounds weird, but you know what we mean).
What are the benefits of gua sha?
While you can target other areas of your body, your moneymaker is as good a place to start as any. Here are a few gua sha benefits for your face:
- Boosted circulation. Like any good massage, gua sha helps improve circulation of precious, oxygen-rich blood to your face. At the same time, it can help flush out yucky toxins lurking beneath your gorgeous outer layer and promote the production of all-important collagen. It can all add up to brighter, more glowing skin.
- Muscle relaxation. Another hallmark of a good massage (and that's largely what jade rollers and other gua sha tools are for) is that it can relax the tense muscles in your face and head. This can come in handy if you've been scrunched over your computer living that WFH life or stressed out from everything going on in the world. Gua sha has been shown to help with headaches, breast engorgement, neck pain and other aches and issues.
- Relative ease. Like the best skincare products and supplements, gua sha is easy to do just about anywhere. All you need is your jade roller or rose quartz stone and some lubricant, like water or an oil, to get rolling.
How to use a jade roller
Having the right gua sha technique can help you get the most out of your great new health helper. Here are a few tips for treating yo'self to the ultimate gua sha facial:
- Upward and outward to victory! In general, you want to keep those two directional directions in mind when using your roller on your face. Start on the inside of your face (aka the middle) and roll up and out.
- One-way traffic. You don't want to slide your tool back and forth across your face. Glide it one way and then lift it up and move it to the next location before starting again.
- Find the right balance. While even perfect gua sha technique can cause some bruising, you don't want to apply so much pressure that you'll be doing more harm than good. You'll be able to feel it doing work – it should feel a little tender the first time and then less so the more you do it. Also, as mentioned, make sure you're using some oil to remove any facial friction.
- Follow the rules. We get it, you like to call the shots and ask for forgiveness instead of permission. That might suit you well in general, but it can get you into trouble with your gua sha routine. If you take one thing from this, it's to follow the directions that come with your tool.
Ready to write the next chapter of your own personal skincare saga? Let jade rollers or other gua sha tools be the heroes that help end your own dermalogical drama. Check them out and other great additions to your routine at Oz Hair & Beauty today.