Why Your Face Needs a Massage – Gua Sha & Jade Rollers

Apr. 29, 2019If you’ve ever lived with a post-exercise knot in your back, sore muscle, or issue with your skin, you know what a relief getting a treatment from an expert can be.



Whether it’s a massage or a facial, those indulgent treatments support wellbeing like no other, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed – ready to take on another day. But the thing is, those treatments can be expensive, which is why so many of us are looking for at-home ways to support our bodies. Whether dry brushing or creating an at-home scrub, more and more of us are turning to our own two hands to create the healing vibes our bodies crave.

The latest wellness tools getting the in-home treatment?

Gua sha and jade rollers. If the names don’t immediately ring any bells, don’t worry. If you have Instagram, you’ve definitely seen these tools modeled by influencers and gracing light-infused flat lays, even if you don’t know what they are. Used in Chinese medicine for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years, these treatments were once relegated to specialty practices, along the lines of acupuncture and cupping, but as our collective attention has turned towards healing ourselves and bringing beauty naturally, they’ve seen new light.

So… just what are these treatments and how do you do them? First, let’s talk about jade rolling.

WHAT IS JADE ROLLING?

Once relegated to Chinese high society, jade rolling has been around for centuries, despite the recent surge in popularity. Jade rollers are those pretty tools you’ve likely spotted online or in the wellness section of your local beauty store. Traditionally crafted from jade but also available in rose quartz and amethyst (as long as the roller is sturdy, the color of stone is simply a matter of preference), these rollers are used on the face and feature a larger roller on one end – for cheeks, chin, and forehead – and a smaller roller on the opposite end – for around the eyes. Jade rollers can be used to distribute products, like serums and oils, and help them better penetrate the skin, massage the lymphatic system and support circulation to reveal glowing skin, regular use can even help reduce redness over time. Using a jade roller is simple and meditative and the perfect way to wake up tired skin first thing in the morning.

 

HOW TO JADE ROLL:

1. Always start with a clean face and a clean roller. For an extra de-puffing and soothing effect, keep your jade roller in the freezer and take out right before using.

2. Apply your toner, serum and moisturizer as you normally would, but before you go about your day, move on to the next step.

3. Begin rolling using upward and outward movements, starting at your neck and moving your way up to your face and forehead. Use the larger roller on your neck, cheeks and forehead, and focus the smaller roller around your eyes and lips. Keep rolling for 2-5 minutes. If your face gets red, don’t worry, jade rolling supports circulation so this is totally normal.

4. After you’ve finished rolling, apply a second layer of serum and moisturizer, if desired. You can use your jade roller as much as you’d like, and can even use it to depuff eyes first thing in the morning or to roll over forehead and temples in times of stress.

WHAT IS GUA SHA?

Another jade tool with origins in Chinese medicine is gua sha. Shaped a bit like a shell, gua sha boards are made from similar stones to a jade roller and come in a variety of shapes. Until recently, gua sha was most commonly known as a body treatment used to release tension and support chronic pain management, image search the term “gua sha” and you’ll likely find some very intense images of the bruises left behind from traditional gua sha treatments – don’t worry, facial gua sha is much less intense and won’t leave you looking like that! Facial gua sha helps relieve tension in the muscles and helps move lymph, which sits just below the skin. Gua sha is simple to do on your own and can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, relieve stress and some believe it can even help contour the face.

 

HOW TO GUA SHA:

1. Start with a clean face and a clean gua sha board. Apply a few drops of your favorite oil to your face and press it into skin (you could even use your face roller to do this).

2. Holding your gua sha board at approximately a 15 degree angle, use the board to swipe along your cheeks while you use your opposite hand to hold your skin in place (you should experience a gentle tugging sensation). When you reach your hairline, wiggle the board just a bit. Repeat these strokes 5-10 times (max).

3. Repeat across the remainder of your face, using your free hand to hold skin in place while you swipe, avoiding the delicate under eye area (we’ll get there but that delicate skin requires extra care).

4. Finally, use the rounded corner of the gua sha board to very gently swipe across your under eye area, again using your free hand to hold skin in place. Repeat 5-10 times being sure to keep your strokes very light so as not to damage the skin. Gua sha is best performed regularly, try it right before bed to release tension and prep your skin and mind for rest!

 

Do you gua sha or jade roll? Let us know your tips by tagging us on social at @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine!

Julie O'Boyle

By Julie O'Boyle

 —  Julie O'Boyle is a freelance writer and content strategist with a background in fashion and DIY and a devotion to the outdoors and functional nutrition. Currently residing in the woods of Maine, when she's not writing you can find her at the beach or on a mountain, or otherwise getting her hands dirty.

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