Luxury Massages and puffy white towels
"Nice to meet you Gua Sha, my name is Genevieve."
So, I'm new
All my life, I really thought massage was a luxury thing. I thought it was some purely relaxing expensive thing that I didn't get to partake in. I also thought you had to get a massage from a masseuse in a spa. The very idea of getting a massage made me anxious. Why? I was thinking about it all wrong, and I didn't know anyone who had ever gotten a massage. I was only looking at the practice from the narrow lens of what I had seen on TV, and ads with oily couples wrapped up in puffy white towels.
I saw my first Gua Sha tool when I started at Porcelain and Stone; at the time I was thinking it was a candle rest, or maybe an incense burner? You see, I was clueless. Kimberly explained what Gua Sha does and how it works, she demonstrated how the curves of the comb can contour to the curves of the body and face. The tool was beautiful, it sounded relaxing, and there's so much history to backup Gua Sha’s efficacy - I couldn't help but change my tune.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Influence
I may be new, Gua Sha isn't
Gua Sha massage has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has just taken the West (and me) a thousand years to catch up. Gua Sha stimulates your body's natural inflammatory responses to improve your skin. Rather than relying on cosmetic procedures and harsh products, facial massage boosts healthy circulation, which can help reduce puffiness and wrinkles. Gua Sha helps drain your lymphatic system as well. Lymphatic fluid moves toxins out of your body, (it's the body's trash disposal system!) and a poorly moving lymphatic system can possibly lead to acne! Traditional Gua Sha was often done with a porcelain soup spoon, which inspired our porcelain Gua Sha Comb. Porcelain makes for a water tight, non-porous tool that will keep your massages bacteria free and your skin clear. For more of an introduction to Gua Sha, Kimberly’s blog Gua Sha Introduction - Why People use Gua Sha for Health and Beauty is a great place to start!
Self Care in the age of Healthy Living
My needs, and I'm sure yours as well, have shifted a little because of quarantine and social distancing. The biggest note of change obviously - I barely leave the house. I'm not sure about you, but my apartment wasn't really equipped to be my whole world, so adjustments needed to be made. Our bathroom is now called Jennifer's Salon, where I offer any haircut/color combo you can dream up. The nail salon is the living room - we offer waxing, brow tint and acrylic nails. My housemates and I started exercising together to stay active while at home. Those self care activities really keep me going, and I have a renewed energy to pursue more things like... massage? Now that I'm revisiting the idea of Gua Sha through my new August 2020 glasses, at home massage that can promote better circulation for clearer skin, muscle relaxation and lymphatic drainage sounds like exactly what I need.
Gua Sha Facial Massage as a beauty routine
I want to take you with me as I learn more about Gua Sha and dermatology, and incorporate massage into my existing self care and beauty routine. If you want to come along with me, I'll be using our Gua Sha Tool - Porcelain Comb here. I’ll also be experimenting with different plant oils, starting with one of Kimberly’s favorites, rice bran oil. Using oils along with your massage helps the comb glide over the skin, and will hopefully add yummy vitamins, antioxidants, and moisture to my combo, acne prone, 23 yr old face :) Between now and my next blog, I'll be Gua Sha’ing and reading a lot about dermatology!
Do you have experiences with facial Gua Sha massage, or Gua Sha for the body (both very different practices) that you would like to share? Or share your thoughts on massage if you're starting this little journey with me! Let us know in the comments, we're a small but supportive community!