Gua Sha 101
Facial gua sha is a much more gentle version of the technique that is typically used on the body in Traditional Chinese Medicine. On the body, the aim is to break down tissue blockages and stagnation and release toxins. The way we are using this technique here on the face (specifically to drain puffiness) is extremely light in comparison.
What we see as puffiness in the face is fluid retention, specifically lymphatic fluid. For optimal health of the skin, the immune system, and the entire body, we want lymph to be circulating freely. When lymph is draining and refreshing optimally, puffiness goes down. In addition, the proper circulation removes toxins from the skin, which helps to clarify the complexion, and rejuvenates skin cells for a healthy glow.
The main causes of fluid retention are inflammation in the body, lack of movement, or too much salt. Inflammation can have so many causes, but some common ones are poor diet; foods such as sugar, gluten or dairy; too much alcohol; illness; and chronic illness. The lymph system relies on external movement for its circulation, so exercise or massage help to move the fluid, and being sedentary, or being stationed behind a computer all day, contribute to stagnation—this is why we're usually puffiest in the morning, after we've been lying in bed all night.
This is where facial gua sha comes in. With gentle pressure, in the correct directions, we encourage the lymphatic fluid to move along its pathways and drain into the body. A guan sha made of pure Jade, is a cooling and cleansing stone used in Chinese medicine for centuries to aid the body's filtration organs and lymph system to expel toxins. We recommend keeping these in the refrigerator or on ice for extra cooling and depuffing.