Facial Cupping and Gua Sha – how to get the best of both
What is facial cupping? Does facial cupping work?
Watch this video for an introduction to facial cupping and facial gua sha.
Find out the similarities, the differences, how to do them, what to expect, and what to watch out for.
What are facial cupping and gua sha?
An introduction to facial cupping and facial gua sha
Facial cupping and gua sha have a similar effect. In Chinese Medicine we say the pull "Sha" to the surface of the skin.
You can think of Sha as cellular waste that's accumulated in your cells and tissues that your body is unable to get rid of.
This Sha can cause stagnation, poor lymphatic movement, muscle tension, and it can prevent oxygenated blood and nutrients from getting into the tissues to perform repairs.
Once the sha is brought towards the surface, it's much easier for your body to get rid of it and for healing nutrients to get into your skin and tissues.
It's like a deep cleaning, healing, relaxing, rejuvenating, and stimulating treatment.
How to do facial cupping
Be sure to use cups meant for the face, as they are smaller with a gentler suction than other cups.
Cleanse and apply oil to your face.
Place the cup on your skin and activate gentle suction - then anchoring your skin with one hand, gently slide the cup outward across your skin (watch the video for more detail.)
Repeat this stroke 1 - 3 times in each area.
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How to do facial gua sha
After cleansing and oiling your face, place your gua sha tool on the center of your face with the correct angle (see the video for details) and gently scrape the tool across your skin with an upward and outward stroke.
Repeat the stroke 1 - 3 times on each area of the face.
Is facial cupping safe?
Facial cupping in generally considered quite safe, but some minor side effects are possible.
Possible side effects of facial cupping and gua sha
Usually if you're going to have side effects it will happen during or just after your treatment and can include feeling dizzy, lightheaded, nausea, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
Where and when not to do facial cupping or gua sha
It's generally best to avoid doing facial cupping or gua sha on any broken or inflamed skin - so not over areas with breakouts, rashes, or sores...
It's also best to cup over muscular and bony areas, so avoid areas over soft tissue.
How often to do facial cupping or gua sha
You want to give the body time to fully remove all the cellular waste you've moved before repeating the treatment. Once to twice a week is plenty, and even a couple of times a month has benefit.
You might want to do a treatment more often if you're using it for toothache or TMJ.
What are the benefits of facial cupping and gua sha?
Facial cupping and gua sha for younger looking skin
Because facial cupping and gua sha have been shown to:
- Strengthen the skin and connective tissues
- Stimulate the cells that product collagen
- Increase oxygen-rich blood circulation
They help your skin perform more like it did when you were younger.
Facial cupping and gua sha for gums and teeth
One of my favorite professors when I was getting my Masters in Oriental Medicine swore by facial gua sha for toothache and gum infections. She used it both for pain relief, helping to resolve infections, and helping to increase gum health.
For acute toothache or infection, in addition to checking in with your dentist of course, you might want to do gua sha or cupping just over the affected jaw and cheek area more often - daily or even twice a day for a few days.
Facial cupping and gua sha for TMJ and migraines
Facial cupping and gua sha can help relieve muscle tension and blockage in the energy channels around the face - especially in the muscles of the jaw and forehead.
In some cases it can help to greatly reduce the frequency or intensity of migraines and relax the muscles and tissues to help relieve muscle tension that contributes to TMJ.
Facial cupping for lymphatic drainage and sinus health
Cupping and gua sha are known for helping to promote lymphatic draining and help the body get rid of sinus congestion.
Plus, by helping with lymph circulation, gua sha and facial cupping may be able to help reduce eye bags.
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This article is part of a series I created in honor of our fabulous Natural Beauty in our 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Catch the rest of the articles in the series here
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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/