Our editors independently selected these items because we think you will enjoy them and might like them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. price and handiness are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY. If you ’ ve been on TikTok in the past calendar month, you may have come across gua sha tutorials — or videos in which users apply a smooth, angled stone on their face. Gua sha has recently surged in popularity — so much then, in fact, that at the clock time of publication, the hashtag # guasha has accumulated more than 432 million views on TikTok, with users claiming the appliance has cleared their skin, reduced wrinkles and provided a more sculpt appearance. however, while the facial instrument has recently exploded in popularity on social media platforms, the commit is nothing modern. It actually predates modern medicate and originated in China, where the stones were once used to treat versatile illnesses. But what precisely is a gua sha and how can a stone offer sol many beauty benefits ? To answer these questions, we consulted two traditional chinese medicine practitioners : board-certified acupuncturists and traditional chinese medicate experts Shaobai Wang, MD, and Sonia Lee, DACM, LAc. They shared the cultural significance of gua sha, the best gua sha techniques and some products to consider if you ’ re looking to try out this centuries-old practice. SKIP AHEAD Best gua sha tools

What is a gua sha?

Gua sha, or 刮痧, immediately translates to “ scratch ” and “ sandpaper ” ( hera, the sand refers to the raised red on the skin alternatively of actual backbone ). “ ‘ Sha ’ is caused by the bacteria or virus toxins, which break the capillaries and form hyperemia areas, or spots in the hide or mucus, and form sand-like scattered or condense areas, ” said Wang. The backbone analogy stemmed from the act of performing gua sha, where technicians gently scrape the bark and see bantam dots under the bark emerge ; these little granules resemble pieces of backbone, which led to their identify, Wang elaborated. After applying gua sha, it is park for users to experience inflammation or tenderness ( a signboard of lineage refilling ), but those effects will subside within a few days. And like many words in the taiwanese linguistic process, the characters that make up “ gua sha ” provide penetration into what the exercise is, as Lee shared. “ The chinese quality for ‘ Gua ’ ( 刮 ) is composed of the character for ‘ tongue ’ on the entrust and ’ knife ’ on the mighty. The chinese quality for ‘ Sha ’ ( 痧 ) is composed of ’ illness ’ or ’ disease ’ on circus tent and ’ sand ’ on the bottom, ” she explained. As a discussion in traditional taiwanese medicine ( TCM ), gua sha utilizes a solution ( face oil, vaseline or water ) and a legato material ( adulteress plates, metal plates and evening spoons ) to stimulate a specific sphere of the body. Unlike what ’ s popularized on TikTok, gua sha is not limited to fair the font, but can be used on the back and shoulders arsenic well, experts told us .

What are the benefits of gua sha?

While records of gua sha custom started emerging in the Ming Dynasty, it is hush a normally used TCM technique today. Practitioners have found it helpful for alleviating pain ampere well as increasing circulation and energy flow. And while there have been many taiwanese studies regarding the efficacy of gua sha, it is only recently that american researchers have begun publishing their own findings. Among those listed above, gua sha besides helps :

  • Promote blood circulation. “From a Chinese medicine perspective, the Tai Yin meridians (composed of the lung and spleen) and Yang Ming meridians (composed of the large intestines and the stomach) are responsible for your skin’s overall health,” said Lee. “When you gently scrape the skin on your face with your gua sha tool, what you are doing is stimulating your Yang Ming meridians. You are also sending your body a signal that this area needs more blood circulation.”
  • Improve fine lines and wrinkles. Gua sha “can temporarily improve the appearance for the newly and very gentle ones,” Wang said. However, she noted that “for long-standing wrinkles, gua sha should not be the first choice.”
  • Promotes lymphatic drainage. Gua sha can eliminate fluid build-up, which can in turn reduce puffiness, experts said.
  • Relieves tension from muscles. Experts noted that by applying pressure with a gua sha tool regularly, users can untangle knotted areas and release built-up muscular tension.

Though some TikTokers have claimed that they have used gua sha to sculpt their faces, Wang noted that the gua sha can not enhance a exploiter ‘s jawline. alternatively, gua sha works by engaging weave to eliminate fluid build-up in the lymph nodes ( which can give the delusion of a more contour face ) — it can ’ t actually remove fat from sealed areas. Lee besides recommended that people with weak immune systems ( those who struggle with seasonal worker allergies or tend to catch colds well ) try gua sha. As Wang explained, this is particularly useful for those people because by repeatedly stimulating certain areas, gua sha helps purge non-circulating blood and toxins from the body. ocular signifiers of this purge can be anything from inflammation to slender bruising. When considering a gua sha tool, experts recommend looking for something that fits well in your hand — something that is comfortable and not besides overpowering. Regarding the material the tool is made from, experts say it is wholly up to you. In TCM, certain stones are related to particular goals. For exercise, Lee shared that quartz benefits the immune system while strengthening your cardiovascular organization. On the other hand, she shared that adulteress, which has a long history in chinese culture, is used to cool and purge the torso from toxins. Mount Lai ’ s gua sha is one Lee ’ randomness favorites because it is a decent size and fits nicely in her hand. “ They besides have different edges for scraping larger and smaller areas, ” she elaborated. “ Mount Lai besides has gua sha tools that look like a smooch, and you can use this as ancient people had done hanker ago. ” This adaptation, made of quartz glass amethyst, relieves stress, cleanses minus energies and promotes easiness, according to the trade name. The brand besides offers a tire and rose quartz adaptation for pre-order.

Wang prefers gua sha tools made of buffalo horn, which is an animal-derived product wide used in TCM. Known for dispelling heat and cooling blood, this one by SUPVOX has garnered a 4.4-star average denounce from 10 Amazon shoppers. Buffalo horn “ hardness is precisely in the range of need, ” he said. “ additionally, it is a TCM herb with the routine of clearing inflame and detoxify. ” If you ’ re precisely getting into gua sha, consider this set by Pink Moon. not only does the bent arrive with a gua sha tool and facial oil, but for another $ 20, you can attend a gua sha workshop led by a traditional taiwanese medicine practitioner. Made from sunflower and moringa oils, the non-comedogenic vegetable oil works to hydrate and protect the skin against environmental stressors, according to the brand. Founder Lin Chen included gua sha in her AAPI-owned smasher and health brand out of an initial interest in celebrating traditional chinese medicine and her inheritance. “ I want to contribute to the divers voices in this industry and push for more inclusivity and positive deepen, ” she told us. Sacheu Beauty is another AAPI-owned brand that carries gua sha tools. Unlike the Pink Moon version, however, this one is made of stainless steel steel. According to Sacheu, the tool has “ self-cooling ” capabilities, meaning it is naturally cold to the touch and users don ’ t have to put it in the electric refrigerator before each practice. The tool has garnered a 4.9-star evaluation from over 350 Sacheu Beauty shoppers. For those searching for a gua sha that works on both the face and body, consider this one by YINA that has a larger surface area. Dr. Ervina Wu ’ s gua sha is made of bian stone, which the brand says can cleanse the drug user ‘s aura and balance the body ’ s energy. additionally, it besides features four different edges — Notch, Point, Ripple and Curve — to pinpoint a wide assortment of pressure options. Designed by acupuncturist Sandra Lanshin Chiu, this gua sha tool is uniquely shaped — featuring a cordate and pointed side. Made of Nephrite Jade, the multiple shapes allow users to target different parts of their face. In China, Nephrite Jade is known as “ He Tian ” jade green and is credited with several healing properties, according to the brand .

How to use a gua sha

If you ’ re looking to start practicing gua sha on your face, the first step experts recommend is cleansing. By starting with a clean confront, you can ensure your expression is complimentary from any impurities that may get into your clamber when scraping. From there, lather facial anoint to protect your top level of skin from abrasion. “ From a taiwanese music perspective, when performing gua sha, you should follow the meridians, ” said Lee. For gua sha on the side, the acme to follow is the Stomach prime. Once you locate your body ’ sulfur Stomach meridian, you can use that to guide where the gua sha should be on your face by drawing an fanciful line up. then “ sour upwards and outwards, which means you are moving from the Yin side to the Yang side, ” Lee advised. once you locate your meridian, hold the creature flat against the face. Move the gua sha from your frontal bone and motion in an up direction, applying a gentle coerce as you go. then, move the tool to your cheeks, moving the device outwards from the nose to the ear in a “ swoop ” motion. finally, flip the gua sha around to the two curved sections. Moving from the chin, scrap along your jawline until you reach your auricle. For best results, experts suggest engaging in these movements for about 10 minutes. Another important thing to remember is to scrape in one focus : By channeling the gesture in one direction, you will attract more lineage and stimulation to a specific area.

If you ’ re looking to enhance blood circulation to your back or shoulders, Lee recommended the following :

  • Back: If you are focusing on your back, you should follow the Urinary Bladder meridian located near your spine. Follow this meridian by starting from the upper part of your spine and moving to the lower part. Focus on one side of the spine first, and then you can move onto the other side.
  • Shoulders: If you are focusing on your shoulders, you should follow the Small Intestine meridian by moving your gua sha tool from the middle of your upper back, where you find your spine, outward to the end of the shoulder.

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