Better Than Botox

Better Than Botox
July 7, 2022 Jackie Gomez



Gua Sha - TCM For Your Skin

Not feeling the best in your own skin due to breakouts? TCM can help you get that glow back in your face!

Many times we blame our breakouts on the environment or feel our skin hates us but TCM philosophy and practice thinks otherwise.. The Chinese proverb, “An empty pot makes the loudest noise,” can be applied to many aspects of life. It’s especially true when we talk about skin and beauty. If your skin lacks nutrients and is unbalanced, you may end up with an empty and dull appearance. From redness and blemishes to uneven texture, a compromised complexion often leads to more serious issues like acne scars or hyperpigmentation. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are specific techniques that improve your complexion but also prevent future skin problems from occurring. Healing the problem from within is a main focus of TCM. Within this article, you will learn about a technique called gua sha that has been proven effective in toning the skin and preventing new breakouts from appearing—basically a natural alternative to botox.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha - TCM For Your SkinFeeling puffy? Gua Sha is here to help! The unique edges of various Gua Sha stones work perfectly to lift, sculpt and tighten the skin. Regular practice can prevent the signs of aging such as sagging, dull and wrinkled skin. Gua Sha brings energy back to your face by stimulating circulation, thus oxygenating and carrying nutrients to the skin cells. The increased blood flow resulting from Gua Sha contributes to a more lively, plumped up, and youthful appearance.

Studies have shown that using a gua sha drastically improves microcirculation by 400%  in the skin. This increased blood circulation of the smallest blood vessels in turn can help temporarily relieve muscle tension from an increase in blood oxygen levels . The benefits of increased microcirculation, muscle-tension relief, increased collagen production, and decreased inflammation make facial gua sha massage so appealing to those who are after healthier-looking skin.

Learning how to Gua Sha is all about focusing on what your body needs. There are many different Gua Sha tools such as a Gua Sha comb that has comb like features to massage the scalp or facial lifting tool whose curved edges allow for a more precise pressure. Different shapes and sizes for everyone.

How to Gua Sha

In order to make your Gua Sha experience the best it can be, book a visit with aTCM specialist. You can also Gua Sha right in the comfort of your own home by following these simple steps:Gua Sha - TCM For Your Skin

  1. To begin, start with a freshly cleaned face. Apply your favorite facial oil or moisturizer all over the face and neck. There are even herbal TCM products specifically for skin.
  2. Take the flat edge of your gua sha tool and stroke upwards from the tip of your shoulder to the point where your jaw and ear meet. This follows the natural line of your arm to your neck and up the ear. Repeat five times on each side. 
  3. Next, you’ll move to the neck and throat. You’ll do three sections, right, left, and middle. Stroke in upward motions five times each area. 
  4. As you continue working up the face, you’ll next focus on the jawline. You position the notched edge of your gua sha tool so that the middle of your chin is nestled inside. Stroke up towards your ear on the right side five times and then switch sides.
  5. Switch back to the flat side of your tool and turn your attention on the cheeks, under your cheekbones. Starting at the edge of your mouth, smooth the skin in a slightly sloped motion up to the ear. Repeat five times on each side of your face.
  6. The final step is your forehead. This part of your face has less skin and fat, so be sure to be gentle in your application of pressure. You’ll start in the center of the forehead and swipe up and out towards the hairline. Repeat five times over each eyebrow.
  7. Once your gua sha facial experience is complete, make sure you clean your gua sha tool thoroughly with soap and hot water.

Gua Sha also improves lymphatic function, resulting in a naturally dewy, glowing complexion. The action of gently scraping the Gua Sha tool across the skin aids in serum/moisturizer product penetration, so those juicy phytonutrients go deeper into the layers of skin to feed us even more hydration. Gua Sha can also be used to prevent and clear acne, decongesting the skin and reducing inflammation.

For more info on Gua Sha, check out this article. Remember this mantra: No flow, no glow!

Healthy Gut

From genetics and hormones to diet and nutrition, the skin is often a reflection of what is happening internally within the body. So, it should come as no surprise that an unhealthy gut can reveal itself through various skin conditions. On the flip side, a well-balanced gut can help ward off potential complexion concerns. 

The skin is the body’s largest organ and relies on the other organs to keep it healthy. Just like nurturing your gut health for better skin, you also need to create an environment for your skin’s microbiome to thrive. Your gut health and skin health are highly interconnected due to inflammation in the gut causing a body-wide immune response. Better skin health often starts with gut-healing foods. 

Gut Healing vs. Inflammatory Foods

KimchiThere are many foods that help support a healthy microbiome, including kefir, fermented vegetables, and certain types of fats like coconut oil and cod liver oil. It is equally important to avoid inflammatory foods that are known to damage the gut and in turn cause problems with the skin. Examples include highly processed foods, fried foods and foods that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates.

Gut Healing:

  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha (be mindful of sugar)
  • Kefir (you may consider a non dairy)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Olives

While these foods might not sound like your usual go-to’s, they will heal your gut and your skin will thank you. Combine these with Welleum’s digestwell for a happier and healthier gut!

Inflammatory Foods to Reduce or Remove

  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Some medicine
  • Antibiotics

If you struggle with skin issues and have tried every remedy, maybe it’s time to look into your gut health. Ultimately, if we’re not getting enough nutrients, or digesting our food properly due to poor gut health, our skin won’t receive the nutrition it needs to support it. As research uncovers more about the gut’s importance in all aspects of your health (including mental health), the more thankful you’ll be about all the care you’ve put into your gut health!

If you’re thinking about ways to help your skin, try these techniques out and postpone that Botox appointment! 

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