Facial cupping and Gua Sha – could it benefit me?

By Kath Smith
Facial Cupping

Cupping and Gua sha are two practices that use small tools to work on the body which both originate in Traditional Chinese medicine and are still widely used by TCM practitioners today.

More recently both the techniques and tools involved have been adapted for use on the face to bring a wealth of potential benefits – improved circulation to the face and facial muscles, a brighter more sculpted complexion and support in releasing facial tension.

So how can you try these techniques; depending on what appeals, you could book a facial treatment with a qualified practitioner to experience it for yourself or you could invest in a facial tool and some oil and start a self-care practice at home.

Facial Gua Sha uses a smooth stone tool to gently massage and work the skin and muscles of the face, neck, and scalp. After applying facial oil, the stone is used to lightly massage, lift, smooth and sculpt the face and facial muscles in light and flowing movements. A good, regular Gua Sha routine can promote lymphatic drainage and encourage collagen production. This in turn can lead to less puffiness and a more glowing complexion. For facial use, stones such as Bian, Rose quartz and Jade are popular as they have a firm smooth quality. There are a huge range of shapes available; which one suits you will largely be a matter of personal choice.

Facial Cupping uses small, flexible cups in a light sucking movement to encourage blood flow to specific areas of the face. A regular routine with correct technique can have a rejuvenating effect on the skin and over time may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Like Gua sha, facial cupping can help relax and tone the muscles in your face, encourage lymphatic drainage and promote collagen production. It is important to always apply a generous layer of facial oil before cupping and not leave the cups in one place.

Many people are worried that facial cupping will mark their skin having seen images of body cupping leaving red circles on the skin. In facial cupping the soft cups are kept moving or used in a quick ‘flash cupping’ move but never left in place. If done in the correct way, with the right pressure, Facial cupping should not create marks on the skin, although there may be temporary redness as it brings more blood flow to the surface.

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NOTE: It is very important not to practice Gua sha or facial cupping too soon after having any Botox or facial fillers. Please consult your Dermatologist / Doctor for specific advice. Also, as with any new treatment, if you have any health conditions, skin conditions or illness affecting your skin please consult a professional before starting. Cupping should not be performed on people with skin that bruises very easily.

About the Author:

Kath Smith

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