How to Gua Sha: Techniques That Will De-Stress Your Face, Neck and Shoulders

The Magazine: How to Gua Sha: Techniques That Will De-Stress Your Face, Neck and Shoulders

You know that calming sensation you get when you take a deep breath - from your belly - and fully exhale? The way it makes everything feel a little bit lighter? Imagine doing that for your face, your neck and your shoulders - instantly. A giant gulp of fresh air that allows them to fully relax and restore. Well, that’s essentially what Gua Sha is.

Some skincare sources/experts are even going so far as to call Gua Sha a form of non-invasive facelifting: working the connective tissues underneath your skin - the bones, muscles, ligaments, subcutaneous fat layer. Those internal benefits translate into some pretty amazing external benefits too: Gua Sha can help minimize age-related issues such as sagging jawline, marionette lines, forehead wrinkles, under eye puffiness, swelling of the face - and lead to an all-over glow as you get rid of those toxins lurking under the surface for good.

It’s all about creating a regular practice –– an at-home ritual. Which is something we probably all have a little more time for these days (especially since we can’t get those much-needed facials and massages anymore.) The key is making sure you’re using the Gua Sha stone the right way. Here’s how to do some of the most soothing moves to relieve tension in your face, neck and shoulders.

How to use the Renewal Stone on your face:

It’s important to start with a clean face and to wash the stone in between every use (using warm water and soap will do the trick.) The stone is made of white Jade, which has natural calming and soothing properties. We recommend applying a face oil like Night Magic before massaging, using more than you usually would, to ensure that it glides smoothly across your skin. The blend of whole plant hemp extract and radiance-boosting botanicals enhances the overall calming effect of the massage. Always hold the stone at an angle - not perpendicular to your face - and never harshly drag your skin. Apply pressure according to your comfort level and needs.

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Massage technique 1: Using the long side of the stone, begin at the brow bone on one side of your face, moving up your forehead to your hairline. Pause there to apply pressure, then repeat as you move from left to right across your forehead. This motion can help relieve head tension and soften fine lines.

Massage technique 2: Using the notched side of the stone, begin at the part of the brow bone closest to your nose, sliding the stone outward towards your temple. Pause there to apply pressure - called the temporal muscle, this area can be the source of tension headaches. Repeat the motion several times on each side.

Massage technique 3: Using the long side of the stone, start at the side of your nose and glide it along your cheekbone out to wear your ear is, angling it outward. Don’t use too much pressure near the ear because that area can be sensitive. Sometimes you can feel the knots under your cheeks being released. Repeat this motion several times on each side of your face.

Massage technique 4: Using the notched side of the stone, start at the center of your chin, gliding up the side of your face along your jawbone to the end and pause. Underneath that spot is the masseter muscle, which gets very tight for people who clench their jaw and have TMJ. This technique can help loosen some of that tension.

How to use the Renewal Stone on your upper body:

Again, always start with a clean stone and washed body. For neck and shoulder work, we recommend applying a cream like R&R, our soothing recovery rub that contains whole hemp plant extract and other relaxing botanicals like lavender –– plus menthol which complements the cooling Jade stone. Use a gentle ‘scraping’ technique, always moving upwards and pausing to massage tender spots you find along the way. You can also add oil into the mix for extra glide.

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Massage technique 1: Using the notched side of the stone, start at the back of your neck near the top of your spine, working your way up to the base of your skull. Pause there to apply pressure and wiggle the stone - it’s an area that carries a lot of tension and may be tender. Repeat this motion five times.

Massage technique 2: Using either the long or notched side of the stone, start at the end of your shoulder muscle, gliding the stone up to your ear and pausing to massage. There’s another pressure point there that’s often the source of ‘tech neck’ and can get very tight when we spend too much time on our devices. Tenseness in that spot can also draw the skin in that area down, causing sagging. Repeat several times, then on the other side.

Massage technique 3: Using the flat side of the stone, begin at your collar bone, gliding the stone up the skin on your neck to the underside of your chin, pausing to massage. When you get to the center, start at your clavicle bone moving in the same upwards direction. This motion can help minimize the appearance of folds that develop in this area as our skin ages.

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