Reviewed by: Britta Plug
Let’s talk about pressure.
No, not the kind you may feel from your daily to-do list, job, or the stressful week ahead. (Buuuut… if you’re looking for resources on this type of pressure, we’ve got you covered, too! Check out some of our posts on de-stressing & calming with gua sha here, here and here).
In this blog, however, we’re reviewing appropriate pressure when it comes to body gua sha vs. facial gua sha. What’s correct here can get a little confusing, because the shorthand ‘gua sha’ is used to describe both these practices interchangeably. While they are similar in many ways -- such as being rooted in ancient TCM, utilizing stone on skin medicine for healing, increasing circulation, promoting lymphatic drainage, and encouraging sculpting/smoothing benefits -- the ways in which we employ facial & body gua sha are quite different. One of the most major differences? The amount of pressure.
For instance, while bruising during body gua sha is a sign that you’ve moved stagnant energy, improved circulation, and created a revitalizing flow of fresh qi and energy, you’d never want to create bruising on your face. Conversely, while a light touch goes a long way when it comes to facial gua sha, the correct approach is to be much firmer/ stronger for maximum benefits on the body.
Here’s the skinny:
- Remember: the Empress Stone is designed specifically for the face, the Aura Stone is designed specifically for the body.
- For facial gua sha, it’s ideal to move very lightly, especially around the eyes and front of neck.
- Pressure cheat sheet: Feather light on the front of neck, very light around the eyes, light to medium everywhere else on the face (whatever feels good), and firmer pressure around the back of the neck/chest/top of shoulders.
- Facial gua sha should never leave marks. You may turn a bit pink after boosting circulation to the area, but no bruising should occur.
- A good rule of thumb for pressure on the face? Think: ‘frosting a cake’.
- For body gua sha, it’s appropriate to use much firmer pressure in most areas.
- You’ll want to use much firmer pressure when switching over to the Aura Ritual, for body, especially where you experience tight muscles or find yourself holding a lot of tension.
- Don’t be alarmed by bruising on the body, this is a sign that you’ve brought fresh energy and flow to the area, and is a desired result for gua sha here.
- Follow your intuition and remember to hydrate after both!
Now that you’re a pressure pro on body gua sha vs facial gua sha, be sure to use these tools to help you cope with that other kind of pressure!