What is GUA SHA & why is everyone talking about it?
In the beginning of 2019 I set off on a 3 day intense crash course on GUA SHA Facial fusion. It was a cold & rainy day in Burbank Ca, but I was beaming with excitement to be trained by Cecily Braden, whom many would consider one of the leaders in the modern facial GUA SHA movement. It was myself & 30 other women who traveled from all around LA, the US and even Europe to learn GUA SHA & well of course, to also experience the treatment for ourselves! Here is what I learned!
GUA SHA Facial Massage- what's below the surface.
GUA SHA is an ancient Chinese modality that is typically preformed all over the body. GUA- meaning to scrape & SHA- meaning circulation. The fusion I offer is preformed just on the head neck and shoulders, incorporating Thai poultice, manual lymphatic drainage & the best local organic skin care.
GUA SHA Facial Massage produces noticeable results in the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, dark circles, puffy eyes & sagging skin by combining a unique blend of facial massage therapies that clear noxious accumulations, release deep seeded tension & promote the free flow of vital nutrients to feed the skin & re-pattern the way it ages.
By increasing movement through massage and restoring inner mobility, the skin is able to naturally clear obstructions that can lead to acne, puffiness & dark circles. Igniting this natural healing power allows the skin flourishes develop a fresh glow that radiates within.
-Renew facial contour; tone, firm & lift sagging skin
-Reduce inflammation, puffiness & dark circles
-Brighten the complexion & create healthy radiant skin
-Minimize fine line and soften deep wrinkles
-Diminish blemishes & redness
-Stimulate cell activity; production of collagen
-Regenerates facial tissue; restores vitality
-Relieves tension, reduces pain
-Enhances the skins ability to "breath"
-Feeds skin and increases ability to absorb vital nutrients
-Purify tissue, free accumulation of waste
-Promotes muscle contraction, oxygenates the skin
-Releases tension with TMJ
-Soothes & vents the channel system
-Regulated the free flow of qi & blood
-Harmonizes yin & yang
What is a GSFM treatment like?
This treatment is 90 minutes. Yes, 90 glorious minutes of healing organic skin care that will revitalize your skin & spirit. Balancing the facial meridian points, opening up the channels to allow qi to flow & to assist in healing the skin. I also incorporate herbal Thai poultice & manual lymphatic drainage and of course lots of GUA SHA tools made from precious gemstones.
What's going on underneath the skin? Lymphatic drainage! For more info about lymphatic drainage see my MLD blog. We start each session by clearing/opening the neck & shoulders. Here are two analogies on why we start on the neck & shoulders first. One: imagine your head is a sink & your neck is the drain. If the sink is backed up with stagnant water, you first have to unclog the drain (your neck & shoulders) to allow that stagnant water to drain out of the sink before turning the water back on. Analogy two: Imagine now that your neck is the stem of a flower & your face is the flower bud. You have to first "open up" the steam to allow nutrients to flow up to the flower so it is able to bloom to its fullest potential.
After we open up the channels for the stagnation & accumulations to drain we can then start our manual lymphatic drainage, working our way up to the forehead & scalp. The beautiful thing about this treatment is there is immediate results. Your skin is literally changing throughout the session. I watch the skin & adjust my approach as needed. loosening up the tight muscles that restrict blood flow, ironing out expression lines, creating lots of circulation, then coming back and lifting and contouring the entire face.
GUA SHA at home- the ultimate self care routine
Learning simple techniques that you can do at home can be the ultimate self care routine. Having access to this can improve skin appearance, reduce pain in the neck, jaw & face. There are a ton of GUA SHA tools out there, you probably own one, they are BEAUTIFUL! To be honest it's more about the technique than it is about the tool. I recommend the next time you book your GSFM that we go over the basic movements so you can incorporate them at home in your self care routine.