The application of smooth stones to the skin, when used in various rhythmic patterns – and incremental amounts of pressure – has been used by Eastern practitioners for relief of pain and to stimulate healthy blood flow to the skin. These techniques have been proven effective for palliative care as well as for beauty treatments for centuries.
Face massage tools have become a common sight in drug stores and behind beauty counters throughout the United States in the recent past. These smooth, stone rollers are useful in the care of delicate facial skin. Often made of jade, fans of these rollers say that regular use can decrease the appearance of fine lines and improve healthy blood flow to cheeks, minimizing puffy eyes and improving lymphatic drainage from the face after nights of hard-partying. Die-hard fans even say they believe the rollers somehow decrease the symptoms of sinusitis and seasonal allergy symptoms.
Gua Sha is another ancient Chinese treatment that is essentially the practice of rhythmically scraping at the skin with a rounded off, stone massage instrument that stimulates circulation. It is useful for treating those with chronic inflammatory issues. A bonus effect of Gua Sha therapy is that the skin seems to maintain some qualities of youthful skin when Gua Sha is included as a regular part of skin and muscle care. It is credited with an increase of circulation, boosting collagen production, and relaxing any tight muscle groups that may be causing cramping or pain.
In Gua Sha, a technician (or the client him/herself) applies even pressure while drawing the edge of the stone along the muscles with quick, sweeping strokes that have been shown to stimulate microcirculation of soft tissues. This technique has been found to increase the flow of blood to affected tissues. Sweeping strokes are applied with a smooth-edged piece of Rose Quartz that is known as a “Gua” tool. After an oil based massage product is copiously applied to the skin, to further allow the Gua to slide unimpeded, the Gua stone is drawn repeatedly downward in a therapeutic pattern.
The traditional reason to perform Gua Sha is to reverse the effects of Chi, or what is thought by traditional Eastern practitioners to be a stagnating energy flow. An overabundance of Chi is said to be the root cause of ailments such as inflamed tissues. This inflammation is responsible for any number of chronic pain-related problems. Gua Sha therapy is traditionally used to break the cycle of inflammation, swelling, and pain that plague so many.
Gua sha can safely be performed on the back, the buttocks, the abdomen, and the extremities (given that there is no broken skin or any issues that have caused the skin. A softer technique of Gua Sha can be applied to the face for problems with the head, face, and jaw. Your technician will begin the session with moderate pressure and increase the force in increments, so as to keep the therapy within comfortable amounts of pressure for the client.
Cupping has its roots in Chinese medicine. When most people think of cupping, they think of the kind of cupping that involves putting heated glass spheres on the back, which results in discolored welts. It is performed with the intention of drawing toxins and impurities from the body and out through the welts.
With facial cupping, similar glass and rubber spheres are used, but the procedure is done in such a way as to prevent any bruising or swelling. The heated spheres are applied to the skin in such a way as to produce a mild suction. The practitioner at this point takes measures to avoid the ears. Unlike body cupping, the cups do not rest, stationary, on the exposed skin to produce a strong vacuum-like seal that draws blood and lymph into a small pocket of edema on the surface of the skin. Instead, they are kept in a constant, gliding motion.
The aesthetician (or other practitioner) swipes the spheres inward and upward, focusing on particular regions of the skin in a rhythmic pattern that facilitates the stimulation of circulation and healthy flow of blood and lymph in and out of the delicate facial tissues. When performed correctly, facial cupping should not result in any bruising but should leave the facial skin smooth, supple, and with decreased appearance of deep lines or wrinkles for a period of time.
Our combination Rose Quartz Eye Mask and Rosewater Spray are perfect for taking on flights, or just a nice way to perk up tired skin at home. The mask stimulates the delicate skin around the eyes, to reduce puffiness and decrease the appearance of eye bags. Rosewater facial spray has a multitude of beneficial qualities. It balances the pH of the skin, helps to control excess oil, reduces the appearance of redness caused by acne or skin inflammation, improves skin hydration, and has antibacterial properties to aid in healing minor scrapes and blemishes.