Gua Sha Ritual
Myth: Blood circulation is an internal body process. It has nothing to do with my skin.
Fact: Good blood circulation = Glowing skin.
I’m a big fan of cycles. Every morning I wake up smelling coffee, and I go to bed with all my eight furballs (and my husband). It’s a pattern I will never stop loving.
There is another cycle I love dearly: blood circulation. It’s a magical thing really…to have blood cycling through our veins. This function of the body has some major roles. It supplies oxygen to the brain and other organs; at the same time, it brings proteins and nutrients to the skin. Good circulation also works to rid our bodies of carbon dioxide and waste.
Blood circulation has the power to make our skin glow and our cells grow, but we have a major part to play in that process too. That’s right. You and me—we have an integral role in the glow of our skin and the extent that our cells grow.
There are many ways you can improve blood flow (aka your skin glow) but these are the four I am focusing on today: nutrients, amino acids, movement, and the Gua Sha ritual.
Remember that blog I wrote about the correlation between our food intake and our skin? I wrote about how the foods we eat, the nutrients we consume, directly impact the largest organ we have—our skin. You can find that blog here if you want a refresher of what specific foods enhance specific body parts.
Amino acids play another major role in circulation. Arginine (also called L-arginine) is an amino acid that creates nitric oxide in the body, which not only improves blood flow, but also boosts your healthy immune system and hair growth. Arginine can be found in dairy (although I limit my daily intake due to the fact it causes acne), fish, poultry and other meats. If you need a quick hit of collagen but don’t love the idea of eating meat or dairy, check out my favorite collagen powder here.
We live in a sit-down world, because we live in a working world. Working usually means we are in front of our laptops typing away, just as I am now. I know it’s hard to break away from sitting, but we MUST. Movement is a critical part to good circulation.
Gua Sha Ritual:
The Gua Sha Ritual is a skin routine that has been practiced across Asia for thousands of years. It’s a hands-on way for us to activate our facial tissue as to increase circulation and boost collagen. There are many gua sha tools out there, but here are my favorites. Found here and here. I follow this routine below.
When we move the tool on our face, we want to use medium pressure with a slow, intentional speed. Think more about your grandma’s gentle back stroke rather than a deep tissue massage. Keep the tool close to your face rather than perpendicular.
Step One: I like to do my Gua Sha ritual in the evening.
Be sure you start with a clean face. I will first do a deep oil cleanse as my first cleanse. My all time favorite (pretty sure will never change) is found here. Then I follow-up with my second cleanser which is usually the ZO Skin Health Exfoliating or Gentle cleanser depending on how my skin is feeling that day.
I then continue with my full nighttime skincare routine. Which can be found here.
Step Two: Use the Gua Sha tool as shown in above photo. I will break it down here.
Use the edge of tool to massage your jaw line, starting with your chin and moving toward your ear.
Use the edge of the tool to massage from your nose to your cheek.
Use the edge of the tool to massage from the bridge of your nose (close to the under eyes) toward the top of your ear.
Use the edge of the tool to massage between your eyebrows out toward the top of your ear.
Use the edge of the tool to massage from the top of the eyebrow to your hairline.
Step Three: Don’t forget to clean your tool! Be sure to use a natural/gentle soap. My favorite is here.
If that was too wordy for you just think:
Neck—chin to ear—nose to outer cheek—bridge of nose to ear—eyebrows to ear—top of eyebrows to hairline.
The ritual may look a little intense, but I promise—it’s not. The more you do it, the easier it will become. If these four ways to increase circulation sound overwhelming, why not just try one? Drink some collagen. Go for a walk. Make fish for dinner. Rub a stone on your face.
Take your pick.
Shine on beauties.