Gua Sha is a time-honored traditional Chinese medicine healing method that helps to relieve pain, reduce tension, and smooth fascia by scraping the skin with a flat, contoured tool. Read on to learn how to use this tool properly and effectively to reap the beauty and health benefits of Gua Sha.


Benefits of Gua Sha  

Here are some key benefits that you will reap with a regular and consistent Gua Sha practice.

Body Wellness

Studies have revealed that this ancient healing technique is effective for easing migraine pain, relieving perimenopausal syndrome and chronic pain.  Today, Gua Sha is commonly used throughout Asia to improve a range of problems related to muscle pain, bodily tension, and stiffness due to bad posture.

Skin Benefits

Women around the world are learning to incorporate the scraping technique in their daily skincare routine because it encourages lymphatic drainage and smooth tense fascia.  Simply put, Gua Sha can reduce puffiness, improve blood circulation for a youthful, lifted look and radiant, healthy complexion.

Gua Sha Techniques for the Face and Body  

You can reap the goodness of this ancient Chinese healing method at home with a quick 5 to 10 minute Gua Sha ritual on your face and body. We recommend doing this after you get out of the shower after you've applied your body balm or cream.  

Body Gua Sha

Gua Sha is used along the meridians of the body to release blocked energies (Qi), promote blood circulation and relieve bodily tension.  It is commonly practiced on the shoulders, back, buttocks, arms, and legs. 

Always apply a body balm or massage oil before any Gua Sha practice.

Shoulder blades (to reduce inflammation)
  • Press Gua Sha stone firmly at the base of the skull, then sweep the stone outwardly across the shoulder to the tip of the shoulder
  • Repeat several times until you feel a relief of the muscle knots

Back (to relieve pain and tension)

  • Firmly place the Gua Sha stone at the base of the skull, then apply a long stroke downwards along the back muscles near the spine.  Stroke in one direction and avoid grating on the spine and the vertebrae.
  • Repeat several times until you feel a relief of the muscle knots

    *Note - Gua Sha on hard-to-reach areas such as  the back and shoulders is best done by someone else.


Thighs and legs (to break down fascia adhesion and reduce swelling)

  • Place the Gua Sha stone above the ankle and firmly sweep in one direction several times along the entire calf
  • Apply the same technique on all sides of the calf   
  • We generally recommend to scrape downwards on the outer sides and inwards on the inner sides of the legs.
  • Apply the same unidirectiional strokes when working on the thighs and glutes


Arms (to release tension and reduce swelling)

  • For the outer arm area, place the Gua Sha stone at the tip of the shoulder, then apply downward strokes along the upper arm, then the forearm
  • For the inner arm, apply unidirectional strokes along the forearm, then up to the upper arm. 

Note:  It is common for tiny purple or red spots called petechiae to appear on the body after a Gua Sha session.  These are signs of dispelled toxins from the body and they tend to go away in a few days.  Always allow the petechiae to heal completely before attempting another round of Gua Sha on the same spot.  


Facial Gua Sha 

Gua Sha can be used on the under-eye area, jawline, chin, around the mouth and the neck.  Facial Gua Sha, unlike body Gua Sha, when done correctly should not leave marks.

To do this, you can use the technique below after applying a face oil or serum to your face:


Forehead (to relieve tension)

  • Start in the middle of your forehead and work your way towards the temples using upward sweeping movement
  • Repeat 5-7 times 

Cheeks and eyes (to reduce puffiness)

  • Firmly sweep the Gua Sha stone across the cheek and eye area towards the temple, then to the hairline
  • Repeat 5-7 times on each side of the face

Chin and jawline (to promote lymphatic drainage)

  • From the chin, gently sweep the Gua Sha stone along your jawline, up to the ear, then behind the earlobe, and down the neck in one stroke
  • Repeat five times for each side of the face

Gua Sha Contraindications

Gua Sha is a natural healing technique and it is a safe practice for most people.  However,  if you are experiencing the following issues, you should abstain from using Gua Sha until you consult a doctor: 

  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Sunburn
  • Broken skin or open wound
  • Dermatitis or hyper-sensitive skin
  • People who recently had filler or Botox injection 


How To Take Care of Your Gua Sha Stone   

It is perfectly fine to use one Gua Sha stone for both your face and body.  All you need to take note of is to keep it clean with a rinse of water or gentle soap after every use. 

Allow your stone to dry completely before storing it in a cool, dry place.