Face Yoga is a wonderful method for keeping your skin looking toned, healthy, and glowing. It is no secret that I am passionate about sharing the benefits of facial exercise, facial massage and acupressure and teaching others how it can support our physical and mental health.
I also love to embrace other holistic healing systems and integrate them with face yoga. And one powerful tool that you may have heard me talk about before is Gua Sha.
This ancient form of Chinese medicine combines the benefits of crystal healing with facial massage to lift and tone your face, release stagnant energy, and boost your circulation.
Gua Sha and Face Yoga complement each other perfectly. So, today I want to look at how you can use these two methods together to naturally lift your face and improve the health of your skin.
Katie’s name may be familiar. She’s one of the co-founders of the new facial Gua Sha teacher training course, along with Katie Brindle and I. Katie Blake is the lead super trainer for the course and also works with Katie Brindle at Hayo’u, where she is the head therapist.
Katie is also a Super Trainer for the Face Yoga teacher training course. So, I was delighted to welcome her back to the podcast to discuss how Gua Sha and Face Yoga can work together.
You can catch up with our chat here. In this post, I’m drawing out some of the themes we discussed to show how face yoga and Gua Sha complement one another – both in terms of personal self-care and in building a business teaching these wonderful skills to others.
What Is Gua Sha?
Before I go too much further, let’s take a quick look at what Gua Sha is and how it benefits us. Face yoga is a familiar topic around here, but I know some people might be less familiar with Gua Sha.
Gua Sha is a form of traditional Chinese self-massage. It uses a handheld tool to stimulate different areas of your face or body. For facial Gua Sha, which is our focus today, these tools are usually made from crystals, such as jade, clear quartz, or rose quartz.
The tools bring the benefits of crystal healing to your self-care routine. If you would like to learn more about the different types of Gua Sha tools and which is best for your skin, there’s a blog post here that can help you decide.
Gua Sha has been used in China for thousands of years. More recently, the West has caught up to the advantages of this amazing technique. It has so many benefits for our skin and our general health, including:
- Increasing circulation
- Bringing nutrients to the skin
- Removing toxins
- Boosting lymphatic drainage
- Improving the elasticity of the skin
- Stimulating collagen production
- Increasing muscle tone
- Reducing puffiness and congestion
As you learn more Gua Sha techniques, you can concentrate on sculpting, plumping, and contouring specific areas of the face.
Gua Sha is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It works alongside the meridians (energy pathways) and acupressure points to boost our health and allow our Qi (life force) to flow freely.
How Often Should You Do Gua Sha?
When I’m teaching Face Yoga techniques, I always talk about working to your own level. Little and often is usually the most sustainable way to bring a new habit into your daily routine.
Gua Sha is the same. Katie Blake recommends starting with one minute a day and building from there. If you can get to the point where you are doing around five minutes every day, you should see some fantastic benefits.
But everyone is different, and our skin has its own unique needs. If your skin is sensitive or delicate, you may want to start with one minute every other day instead.
Pay attention to your face and skin. See how it reacts, and build your Gua Sha practice from there.
How Do Face Yoga and Gua Sha Work Together?
Face Yoga and Gua Sha are wonderfully complementary techniques. While both have benefits on their own, using them together increases their effectiveness and helps you build a beautiful self-care practice that also lifts and tones your face.
Face Yoga concentrates on five main strands: facial exercises, facial massage, acupressure, relaxation, and wellness.
Gua Sha also helps tone and strengthen your facial muscles, release tension, and boost the circulation.
If you are using them together in the same session, Katie recommends starting with face yoga. Gua Sha helps to open up the pores, so you don’t then want to put your fingers on your skin and potentially introduce bacteria.
If you are a Face Yoga teacher or therapist, you could easily combine Face Yoga and Gua Sha into one workshop. Face Yoga includes breathing exercises and visualisations that help us relax and release tension at the end of a session. So, you might start with some facial exercises, move onto Gua Sha techniques, and then finish your class with the relaxation elements from face yoga.
Together, they form a lovely and supportive practice that works the muscles, stimulates the circulation, and helps you relax and let go of stress.
You could also use the two techniques at separate points in your day. Gua Sha requires tools, so is best done when you can be still in front of a mirror for a minute or two.
Both Katie and I are busy working mums, so you can imagine finding even a minute to be still during the day can be a challenge. But many Face Yoga exercises can be done while you are busy with something else. Katie often practices Face Yoga while she’s making a cup of tea or putting together a meal for her kids.
Then she’ll do her Gua Sha at the end of the day when she has a little more time to be still.
How Can You Combine Teaching Face Yoga and Gua Sha?
Since launching our Facial Gua Sha teacher training course a few months ago, we’ve been thrilled to see so many people embracing this new knowledge and combining it with face yoga to give them more flexible careers.
Katie was in a similar position at the beginning of the first lockdown. After years of offering hands-on therapies, she suddenly needed to pivot her work to go online. And she’s found real joy in teaching her skills to others.
Existing therapists and yoga teachers may find the same. Because the course empowers you to lead classes online, as well as in person, you can teach from anywhere in the world. This gives you more flexibility.
We’ve also welcomed people who are changing their careers and embracing something new. Seeing them light up with a passion for helping others with their new knowledge is inspiring. It offers them a path to work they love and enjoy.
If you are wondering which is right for you, Face Yoga teacher training or Facial Gua Sha teacher training, I encourage you to explore the two syllabuses further on my teacher training pages. You may find yourself especially called to start with one over the other.
Many facial yoga students have gone on to do the Gua Sha training and vice versa, so it is definitely not a one or the other deal.
In fact, if you already know you want to do both, you can now book both courses in one go.
And you can also join Katie live on Instagram every Wednesday at 9am BST. She’s taking over the Face Yoga Teacher Training Instagram page to share techniques, answer your questions, and give you more inspiration for how Gua Sha and face yoga can benefit you.