Does Gua Sha help reduce wrinkles?

Wayne BloemhofGua Sha, Muscle Scraping8 Comments

Gua sha has remained popular in the East over many centuries – and for very good reasons.

Besides the benefits to the body, which include relieving congestion, reducing pain, and getting rid of toxins, the technique is also often used as a “natural face-lift.” Since ancient times Asian women have used it to effectively fight the signs of ageing.

Dr. Ping Zhang is a leading authority in the field of holistic beauty and wellness care in the US, and a researcher and practitioner in the field of anti-aging TCM. She is the author of Facial Gua Sha, and she describes it this way:

“Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese treatment that has been touted for its incredible beauty and healing effects, namely in preventing and treating the signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging, dark circles, and for promoting overall skin rejuvenation from the inside out.”

It’s a safe and natural alternative.

Many women are discovering that there are real dangers involved with the more common clinical anti-ageing treatments.  With the popular Botox injection, for example, you’re actually injecting a highly dangerous toxin into your body.

The NIH explains: “Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.”

Still, millions of women would rather risk that than deal with those dreaded wrinkles!

Then of course there is cosmetic surgery, and as with any surgery, it always comes with an element of risk.

That’s why many women turn to natural, holistic beauty therapies instead. Treatments like gua sha help to unlock the natural beauty from within, stimulating circulation, clearing away impurities and toning the neck and face. It uses no chemicals or invasive procedures, and therefore it is far safer than the clinical methods.

Besides that, it’s also far easier on the wallet. The costs of a professional gua sha treatment will compare very well to the alternatives, and you can easily learn to perform the technique on yourself virtually free of charge. All you need is the proper tool and the appropriate lubricating oils, or moisturizer, plus a little know-how.

The effectiveness of gua sha comes from the way it stimulates the deeper layers of skin, as well as the energetic components in the body.

Actually wrinkling does not start in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. Below the epidermis a thick skin layer called the dermis which contains different types of proteins that strengthen the skin and maintain elasticity (elastin and collagen).

With aging our skin produces less collagen. After the age of 20, women produce about 1% less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with aging.

As you gently scrape the skin during a gua sha session, the layers under the outer skin are stimulated, and micro-circulation is improved. Toxins are released and cleared away, and the overall effect is a clearer complexion, better skin tone and a radiant glow.

Although scientific research has concentrated more on the benefits of gua sha to the body, there is much evidence that proper treatment can reduce the signs of ageing.

Results will be encouraging from the very first treatment. Gua sha helps in the following ways:

  • It reduces acne, rosacea and blemishes on the skin,
  • With repeated treatments it can significantly reduce wrinkles,
  • Gua sha Firms up sagging of the face and neck
  • It combats the formation of bags and dark circles under the eyes,
  • Promotes a more radiant complexion
  • Diminishes age spots and skin discoloration
  • Gua sha facilitates the drainage of lymphatic fluid from face and neck.

How to Perform Gua Sha on Your Face

Applying Gua Sha on your face.

Applying Gua Sha on your face. Image credit:

Use a gua sha scraping instrument designed for use on the face for the best results. This is sometimes also called a “gua sha board.”

While you can use any suitably shaped object, you will want to avoid anything that is too sharp or that can cause damage to the delicate tissues of the face and neck.

Apply a suitable moisturizer or product to lubricate the scraping action. You don’t want to break the skin. Also, because the skin is thin and delicate here, you don’t need to apply too much pressure.

Always scrape upwards, and away from the center line of the face. Only scrape in one direction. This promotes a good lifting action on the fine muscles of the face.

The diagram on the left shows you the proper direction for the scraping motion. Always aim upwards and away from the center line.

Use your free hand to hold your face steady, and to help guide you.

The following instructional video clip from Dr. Ping Zhang explains the procedure and shows you how it’s performed.


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Wayne Bloemhof lives in a cabin in the woods in Knysna, South Africa, where he enjoys practicing Tai Chi and studying the human condition. He has written numerous eBooks and articles on personal growth, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, the martial arts, TCM as well as the mind-body connection. His personal aim is to improve people’s lives through sharing knowledge and insight – while doing what he loves – putting pen to paper.

8 Comments on “Does Gua Sha help reduce wrinkles?”

  1. Thank you, have just started Gua sha after reading the above. I have face, mainly cheek wrinkles and sagging skin. I am a 64 year female and am just a little worried that it is much too late for me to regain any firmness. ( I so hope not)

  2. Hi i m quite confused about GuaSha… few massage starts from tje neck and others like in this case starts from the forehead… some hold face acupuncture points other are just free…other scraping strongly even on face other do it gently that i think is more suitable for delicate face’s skin that can easily breaks and get a lot of wrinkles …can u please show me a good book and give some explanation about all this differences …thank u a lot Daniela

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