Who doesn’t want to roll back the years, especially when it comes to the appearance of the skin? A centuries-old solution is found in gua sha, a time-tested treatment incorporating jade gua sha boards and traditional Chinese acupuncture points connected by meridian lines. Sharing that spotlight is the double jade stone roller, a very Instagrammable trend that is gaining popularity as an additional tool to help clients look and feel years younger.
Before the surge in popularity of jade rollers, gua sha meridian treatments using jade gua sha boards have been proven to be a natural, non-invasive way to lift, sculpt, and brighten while improving blood circulation and decreasing inflammation. Advanced gua sha meridian facial techniques have been shown to clear impurities through lymphatic pathways, transport oxygen and nutrients to the skin, and smooth out the underlying fascia.
The visible result is reduced puffiness, increased radiance, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improved texture. The neck looks longer and thinner, facial contours are more defined, and clients feel relaxed and energized at the same time. The key to achieving these benefitsis gua sha strokes that move through the meridian lines.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Whether using a jade roller, jade board, or the latest cup-shaped jade tool for gua sha treatments, it is essential to move along meridian lines in one direction, without using back and forth strokes. Think of gua sha strokes as similar to moving dirt underneath the water, bringing up the impurities to flush them out. When dealing with the flow of energy and toxins in a gua sha treatment, the massage strokes must move in one direction.
There is a specific method that follows meridian points and pathways. Simply moving the gua sha tool back and forth or rolling the jade roller like a paint roller without tracking along meridian lines will not benefit the client and may move toxins in the wrong direction.
GUA SHA PROTOCOL
By itself, a jade roller is somewhat limited in gua sha treatments. It works best when used with jade boards and cup-shaped tools. Overall, when using jade rollers, jade boards, or cup-shaped jade tools, the most important thing is to move in the direction of the flow of meridian lines connecting meridian points.
Use fingers or a cup-shaped jade tool to press the scalp gently but firmly along the governing vessel and meridian pathways on the scalp to release energy blockage, improve circulation, stimulate the scalp, relax the body, and calm the mind. Always ask the client if the pressure is too strong.
After the scalp massage, wrap the head with a towel. Use the large stone on the jade roller to relieve inflammation and blockages in the front of the ear area. From the back of the ear, glide the roller down the side of the neck, draining impurities down lymphatic lines, in a downward direction only.
Cleanse the facial area using an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, then a foaming cleanser to remove excess dirt, debris, and makeup residue. Then, pat dry.
Protect eye areas with moistened cotton pads. Use a light micro-peel on the face, neck, and décolleté. Do not rinse.
Gua sha meridian massage
Use the large stone on the jade roller to evenly spread facial oil or facial balm across the skin. Gently press the primary 10 meridian points on the face to release energy blockage. Starting from each of the primary 10 meridian points, use the jade board to perform strokes, moving through the points and along the facial meridian lines, the chin, and the jawline. After point 10, work on the forehead with the board, then with the hands, moving impurities and blockages down lymphatic pathways. Use a light, firm touch. Do not press too hard to avoid rupturing tiny capillaries.
Use the small stone on the jade roller to target undereye puffiness, using a light touch to gently roll from the inner corner of the eye outward.
Apply a sheet mask evenly onto the client’s face. While the mask is on, apply lotion to the client’s hands and arms. Use the cup-shaped gua sha tool to massage the palm, rotating and pressing upward over the palm, along the arm, and up to the shoulder. While the mask is on, the large stone on the jade roller may also be used to perform strokes over meridian lines, in a downward direction only. After15 minutes, remove the mask. Do not rinse.
Serum, Moisturizer, & Sun Care
Use the large stone on the jade roller to evenly spread a serum, moisturizer, and sun protectant factor across the skin. For older clients, serums should contain antioxidants, peptides, stem cells, and growth factors to protect against environmental aggressors and to help skin cells regenerate faster.
To add to the sensory experience of the treatment, cool down the jade roller or jade stone before beginning. Warm hands on a hot towel, then work with hot hands and cold stone. Immediately after, warm the jade stone and work with cold hands. Clients love the way this reversal feels.
BEFORE YOU GET ROLLING
Ready to roll? Here are some tips to remember. The jade roller is easy to use for a beginner, but in Western society, there is a misunderstanding of how the tool needs to move through the meridian lines. It bears repeating – moving in the appropriate direction is essential. Understanding the locations of meridians is even more important than choosing which jade tool to use.With gua sha, as with acupuncture, the precision of the location of the meridian points is paramount.
The takeaway –pairing the jade roller with different-shaped tools in a gua sha treatment can maximize benefits and heighten the experience for clients, much more than the do-it-yourself gua sha demonstrations on internet videos. A short YouTube video cannot provide a deep knowledge of the locations of meridian points and meridian lines. Aestheticians have an opportunity to help clients understand how to use the appropriate tools and practice the proper techniques.
There is power in the pathways, not just the tools. Attend classes and do hands-on training with meridian experts to truly improve gua sha skills and benefit clients, as an expert in your craft.
Founder, formulator, and CEO of Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb, Janel Luu has over 35 years of experience in the beauty industry as an educator, researcher, and formulator. She has taught over 37,000 skincare professionals and physicians on topics ranging from antiaging cellular technology to centuries-old Meridian techniques.