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Nowadays, most of us spend at least a few hours hunched over our laptops. And the chronic stress we live with in our daily lives settles most times around our faces, shoulders, and neck area.
Gua Sha, which is a traditional Chinese scraping technique, promises to release tension and works as a great pain relief for everyone who experiences a lot of muscle stiffness and pain. Sometimes referred to as ‘ skin spooning’ or ‘skin scraping’, this method of treating chronic or temporary pain can basically help ease and relax anything from a frowned face to a clenched jaw.
In gua sha treatment, a flat hand-held tool, often made of jade or rose quartz, is used to apply pressure while pulling and scraping the skin, thus stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, relieving muscle tension and promoting healing.
Through boosting microcirculation in the skin, Gua Sha also gives the skin color, oxygen and nutrients, and helps it to be able to hydrate itself. The facial treatment improves the health of the skin and the tissue, lifts, tones and helps to make it all firmer, the skin thicker and more uniform, which helps to give a more youthful and healthier look.
The neck, as we all know, is an extremely sensitive and delicate area. It contains the windpipe and carotid artery, among many other structures.
It's highly recommended to equip yourself with a Gua Sha massage tool that are concave and convex-shaped. The rounded edges and curvature allows pressure to be exert accurately and to achieve optimum effect.
Before starting to the actual treatment, use the palm of your hands to administer strolling and soothing movements around the neck and shoulders area. This light massage will help the muscles relax and be ready for more vigorous strokes.
An important step to start off our Guasha treatment is do moisturize the area that you are going to administer the massage to lubricate your skin surface. For best practice, use a silicone brush to apply your serum or lotion to avoid getting your hands all slippery.
1. Your neck should be bent forward and away. As we make another emphasis that our neck is a vital and delicate area, remember that this massage never takes place around the throat area, so the focus should be solely around the neck and back area.
2. In traditional treatments, the skin and the fascia should be warm enough before using the massage tool, so make sure you are warming up this area with repetitive hand strokes. As soon as this happens, start by using the massage tool on the neck.
Interestingly, many videos showing Gua Sha how to use Gua Sha the neck also show it being used in a downward direction. Nonetheless, this is contrary to all traditional principles, as the conventional Asian view is that the strokes should always flow upwards and outwards, lifting and stretching on the skin.
3. Scraping the Gua Sha tool is like a deep tissue massage which breaks up fascial adhesions and reduces the amount of time spent on problem areas.
The purpose of this massage is to separate injured fibers and renew them with fresh blood.
4. Thus, after you're done with the neck area, you can gently stroke behind your ears, and then bring your tool down to the trapeze area and start working them.
By going over this whole area, you will manage to drain the lymph fluid from your back and reduce puffiness and soreness.
Upon completing the round of Gua Sha massage, you may want to apply any other supplement to the treated area such as neck cream as absorption at this point will be maximize! It's all optional and if you don't have such thing, you can just wrap it up and rest your day away!
All in all, Gua sha is more than just a facial. It is a profoundly relaxing treatment for your body, and introducing it to your daily caring routine will make a big difference.