You may have heard about using a gua sha tool to contour and sculpt the face. But have you heard about using gua sha for the body? This smooth stone tool can reduce the appearance of cellulite on your thighs, legs and buttocks, as well as relieve muscle pain and tension. Keep reading for the benefits of gua sha for the body and a step-by-step demonstration from an esthetician.
Gua sha tools are smooth flat stones that can be crafted from a variety of semiprecious minerals like rose quartz, jade, quartz and crystalline, amongst others. The tool has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years because ancient practitioners believed that blood stagnation could cause pain or illness. To this day, the gua sha tool is used to increase blood circulation as well as improve other conditions like joint and muscle pain, the appearance of cellulite, fluid retention and tension in the body.
Our Lead Skin Care Trainer, Natalie Pergar, explains that the gua sha tool breaks up facia adhesions (a type of scar tissue) which, in turn, releases tension and increases blood flow to the skin. Increased blood flow can also improve collagen and elasticity in the skin, which firms and tightens its appearance.
By incorporating a regular gua sha body massage, you encourage many skin benefits such as:
- Improved appearance of cellulite
- Break down of fascia adhesions that restrict blood flow to the muscles
- Improved skin softness
- Reduced pain and tension
- Increased flow and energy in the body
Despite these benefits, there are some people who should not use gua sha in general, even on their face or neck. This includes people who:
- Have medical conditions impacting their skin or veins
- Have deep vein thrombosis
- Have an implant like a pacemaker
- Have an infection or wound
- Are on blood thinning medication
If you're clear about the above conditions and you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite, keep reading to learn how to use the gua sha tool on your body. And, as always, consult a health professional before introducing a new type of therapy to your usual routine.
Although a gua sha tool cannot completely eliminate cellulite, it can reduce its appearance so that you see fewer dimples and lumps. Cellulite is caused when fat cells protrude into the layer of the skin. You might find it on the buttocks, thighs, hips and abdomen. Gua sha minimizes the appearance of cellulite by gently scraping the skin’s surface and breaking up the bands of connective tissue underneath. You can use the gua sha tool on any part of the body where cellulite is visible. Combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, gua sha will give you that extra boost needed to see results.
Step 1: Shower Using A Body Scrub
Natalie recommends showering and exfoliating using the Stone Crop Revitalizing Body Scrub. This scrub provides manual exfoliation to give your skin a smoother base. It is formulated with a Biocomplex2™ to provide strength and vitality to the skin’s appearance.
Step 2: Choose A Massage Product
Choose a body oil or rich body lotion appropriate for massage. Natalie recommends the Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream, Monoi Age Corrective Night Body Cream and Stone Crop Body Oil. The Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream reduces the look of cellulite thanks to ingredients like microalgae extract, shea butter and stone crop. The Monoi Age Corrective Night Body Cream also contains shea butter which replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier and revitalizes dry skin.
The Stone Crop Body Oil is the most ideal for massage or daily moisturizing. Avocado oil, rosehip oil and stone crop are very hydrating and moisturizing ingredients that improve skin tone and texture. If you’re using body oil, you only need around ½ a teaspoon or ¼ teaspoon for the targeted area.
Step 3: Massage The Right Leg And Thigh Area
Massage your chosen oil or cream to your right leg and thigh. Balance your leg up on a stool or a chair so you can access easily the thigh area. Apply firm, yet gentle pressure to your thigh using long, upward strokes. Pull rather than push. You risk bruising if you push the tool too hard into your skin. Repeat the motion about five times per area. Then you can either rinse the oil or cream off or keep it on to moisturize your skin.
Step 4: Massage The Left Leg And Thigh Area
Reapply the product onto the left leg and thigh area. Repeat the previous steps found in Step 3 over your target areas on the left leg and thigh.
Are you also concerned with contouring your face and neck? More blood flow and lymphatic drainage can lead to a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion and a smoother-looking neck. Read our gua sha guide for the face and neck to sculpt and lift the skin.
Have you tried using a gua sha tool for your body? Leave a comment telling us about your experience or learn about your skin concerns by visiting a licensed esthetician at an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you.