Lymphatic Drainage and Gua Sha Facials
by: Neely Moore
August 21, 2021
As I reach midlife, it feels like an Indian summer rising. A rite of passage into rooting and being, connecting skin to soul as I take ownership of my body, as my life is my medicine and my body is my temple. Finding healing modalities, to move the issues out of the tissues, is everything to me. Ageing is a privilege, and I love my lines as they are lessons learned in life. Beauty is an inside job for sure. Connecting skin to soul through meridian touch application, as a Reflexologist, is a joy to behold. As I entered that divine threshold of midlife, Gua Sha & lymphatic drainage seemed to be the perfect self-taught practice, working with intention and self-care. Love is always around, so we must find practices & rituals to bring it down into the body. As the lymphatic system is the garbage holder of the body, we must move it out.
Historical records on Gua Sha date back to the Paleolithic Age. When people fell ill, hands or stones, as well as household materials such as coin, tins or spoons, were used to massage parts of their body to help reduce the symptoms of their illnesses. The name gua sha — pronounced gwahshah — comes from the Chinese word for scraping. It’s a part of the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with mentions in the Shang Han Lun, a Chinese medical text on illness from BC 220.
Gua Sha involves the use of a tool (Rose Quartz or Jade are my favorite tools) to glide across the skin and increase circulation, promote detoxification, relax tight muscles, and aid lymphatic drainage. Gua Sha is performed along the meridians of the face & body. It is actually my favorite tool as a Holistic Facialist. It is like a magic wand in my hand, to glide & sweep. There are plenty of different shapes available, each tailored to slightly different contours and techniques.
On my face, the results are pretty astounding. It can be used to sculpt cheekbones and rejuvenate tired looking skin, relieve TMJ pain and hormonal migraine residue, and as a natural facelift. By stimulating the lymph nodes, you’re helping it do its job: clean the blood, clear out the waste, and fight off potential infections. Facial Gua Sha increases circulation, and supports the production of anti-aging molecules, elastin and collagen which helps reduce wrinkles. It firms and tones the face, and the detoxification leads to a clearer complexion and thinking, as the lymphatic drainage re-circulates the blood. Gua Sha and lymphatic drainage is effective when the touch is gentle. With more than 30% of your lymph nodes residing in your head and neck, well-functioning lymphatic drainage is the key to great, clear, glowing skin.
The body can get sluggish with detoxification processes, so assisting the lymphatic system by moving the lymph to lymph nodes, will upgrade your immune system, as lymph moves white blood cells from point A to point B. Always use light but firm strokes on the body.
SIMPLE, SELF-TAUGHT MINI-FACIAL
Use your favorite facial serum, such as the Kat Burki Marine Collagen Gel or the Power Trio Oil, or Vital Hydration Blast , for a good degree of slip. You can glide the tool over your face in sweeping motions.
Start with the collarbone and neck, as this is the gatekeeper to the face. Always go into the scalp, where there are lots of meridians.
To firm the décolletage:
- Start at the outer corner of the jaw near the earlobe.
- Sweep down the neck to just above the collarbone.
- Repeat six times on each side.
- Open up the back of the neck, and sweep down across and collarbone +6 times.
To promote lymphatic drainage:
- Start at the chin, then sweep the gua sha tool along your jawline and up to the ear.
- Move the tool behind the earlobe, and then down the neck.
- Repeat six times.
To reduce puffiness around the eyes:
- Lubricate your eye area with lotion or oil.
- Sweep a gua sha tool over the under-eye area and out to the temple, all the way to the hairline.
- Repeat six times on each eye, then work the tool from the inside corner of the brow bone, out to the temple area.
To relieve tension in the head
- Start in the middle of your forehead and work your way out toward the temples, all the way to the hairline.
- Repeat as many times as you’d like.
Nutritionally, cranberry juice (no sugar) cleanses the lymphatic system and digestive tract.
I also love to work in synergy with red light therapy, which is great for skin conditions and cellular rejuvenation. I have a small Target Light 670nm @redlightrising which is brilliant for improving eye health, and I use it as a sleep hack at night, as it helps me to produce melatonin.
Cupping, massage & the trampoline are also great to move fascia & lymph.
So folks, it’s a simple, sacred, and scientific fact that when we show love to our body, it flourishes.