This week is all about the frequently asked gua sha questions we hear from you. We know it can be a little difficult to get started on a gua sha practise in the beginning because we are scared to do it wrong. Our goal this week is to put any gua sha fears to rest, so you can have the best possible start to your gua sha journey.
If you have any gua sha questions you would like answered, ask them on our insta account HERE
Q: Can gua sha massage cause breakouts?
If you are not used to facial massage and/or using face oils or facebalms, you can experience a few breakouts for the first 2-3 weeks of doing gua sha. It’s perfectly normal and it will subside again as long as you continue the gua sha massage at least 3-4 times a week. If your skin continues to breakout after 3 weeks have passed, it might be because your chosen face oil or facebalm is not the right match for your skin type. In that case, turn to pure squalane as this neutral oil-like moisture magnet won't clog your pores but still give your gua sha massage the perfect amount of “slip and glide.”
When we do gua sha massage, or any facial massage, we move the fluid within the skin - the blood and the lymphatic fluid. This increases both nutrients and oxygen to the skin and removes impurities stored in the connective tissue through the lymphatic fluid. This movement of fluids caused by the extra circulation boost made by the gua sha massage, can cause pending build-up of “junk” to surface (better out than in - right?). Facial massage also activates the sebaceous glands (the skin’s oil producers) which release more sebum along with stem cells (partly responsible for the skin rejuvenating effect of the massage)*. These two skin cleansing and skin rejuvenating effects together can cause temporary breakouts until your skin has adjusted.
Source: Shiseido Reveals Pressure Awakens Skin Regeneration Ability: Link HERE
Q: How often and for how long should I do gua sha?
Ideally you should do facial gua sha 4 times a week for approximately 15-20 mins, but please remember a little is so much better than nothing at all. Start slowly and make it as pleasurable as possible. Gua sha massage is supposed to be a treat and something to look forward to.
Why not try gua sha in bed before falling asleep to gently melt off the tension of the day from your face? Or grab your gua sha while Netflexing on the sofa. There is no right or wrong - the only thing that matters is your wellbeing about the process. .
Q: Is the gua sha angle and direction important?
The angle + pressure + direction + pace decide the effect of your gua sha massage.
To relax facial muscles:
90° angle with medium/firm pressure and imagine that the gua sha is melting into the muscles.
The movements are small scrapes back and forth or up and down over the tense area. Pace is medium.
For face-lifting effect:
20-45° angle with light/medium pressure in upwards direction. Pace is slow to medium.
90° angle with light pressure using the textured side of the gua sha. The movement is back and forth, up and down and zigzag. Pace is fast. You need to create a light friction massage on the skin surface.
For lymphatic drainage:
0-15° angle with a feather-light pressure in the direction of the lymph, meaning from the center of the face out towards the ears and down the neck. Pace is very slow. Imagine you are pulling a small water balloon under your skin.
Q: Can you do gua sha on broken capillaries?
Generally we do not recommend gua sha massage on broken capillaries and spider veins on the face as it is typically a sign that the skin is severely sensitive. Instead we would advise to find a good holistic skin therapist, who can help strengthen the skin both from the inside and outside.
If you have broken capillaries on your body, you must also be cautious. If you tend to get broken capillaries and bruises from deep tissue massage, you can also risk getting it from the gua sha massage.
Q: How do I clean my gua sha?
It is always important to keep your gua sha clean from oil and bacterias, therefore you should wash your gua sha with soap and water after each use.
However, the crystals tend to hold on to the energy they're exposed to, so we also like to clean our gua sha crystal energetically with sea salt baths.
- Fill a bowl with 3 dl of water and 1 tsp. of sea salt.
- Place the gua sha in the bowl and let it rest there for up to 24 hours.
If you have more than one gua sha crystal to clean, clean them separately, not in the same salt bath. If you're near the ocean, consider collecting a bowl of fresh salt water
Some crystals don't tolerate water, however all crystals from our selection do.
TIP:The metal on our glow rollers don't tolerate salt water, so to clean them energetically you can just place them on dry salt for up to 24 hours.
Recharging your crystals
A crystal needs to be refueled as well as humans get new energy by sleeping. There are many ways to fill your crystal back up. All you need is grounding energy that comes from places in nature: the moon, the soil and water. One of the easiest ways is to place your crystal Gua Sha tools in the window sill during full moon to charge them.
Remember energy flows where intention goes.
You can also hold your gua sha in your left hand and place your right hand above the crystal and set a healing intention from your hand to the crystal, mentally reciting the properties you would like from it.