We’ve been stocking jade rollers and gua sha tools for years but just what are these pretty stones and why are they used?
Every so often, a trend sweeps the West and it seems like whatever the product or practice is, it’s brand new. More often than not, it’s simply been brought over from another culture and that’s exactly what happened with gua sha and jade rolling. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this practice is thousands of years old and still going strong.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what jade rollers are, what they’re used for and what that mysterious-sounding gua sha is.
A pretty tool for a pretty face
Jade rollers consist of a handle, a strong wire and a piece of jade with a hole through the centre. As you can see, it’s actually incredibly simple. Jade has been used in this type of tool in China since the 7th century and, although jade isn’t essential for the roller to work, it does have benefits and is traditional.
The purpose of a jade roller is to rejuvenate the skin, encourage good circulation and relax muscles, all in the face. A form of facial massage, the act of rolling the jade over the skin helps to reduce puffiness, keep fluid moving and brighten the complexion.
Jade is the most commonly used stone for this tool but rose quartz is also popular. Both feel cool to touch due to their high thermal conductivity. Simply put, the gemstones absorb the heat from your skin as you touch them. This cooling effect can also help to reduce puffiness.
So, what’s gua sha?
Gua sha is the Chinese practice of using tools to scrape and massage the skin to improve circulation. Jade rolling is a good example of a gua sha practice although you can use many tools for the job.
From a traditional point of view, gua sha aims to break up stagnant qi and rebalance the energy flow in your body, reducing inflammation. From a non-traditional point of view, gua sha practices boost circulation and relax patients.
Gua sha tools
There are many shapes of gua sha tools, include jade rollers. Aside from rolling, tools are typically scraped in a downwards motion in short or long strokes. Smooth sided, massage oil is frequently used to aid the flow of motion.
From S-shaped gua sha boards to fish-shaped boards, gua sha tools are often impossible to recognise for the uninitiated. Once you understand their purpose though, their odd shapes make perfect sense. You can use any side of the board to practice gua sha, enabling them to access all parts of the body, even tricky muscles.
To see our full range of gua sha tools and jade rollers, take a look here at our massage accessories.