How to Select Gua Sha Tools for Face & Body
By Lori Vargas, Founder of 360 Wellness Education
There are numerous characteristics and functions to consider when selecting tools that will be appropriate for a wellness provider. The gua sha tool is used to scrape and glide on various parts of the face and body.
Tool selection considerations include materials and characteristics, tool design, and tool usage. You'll also have initial determining questions, such as the following:
Initial Determining Questions
- What type of gua sha treatments will you be performing?
- Facial contouring?
- Lymphatic support?
- Eye and lip treatments?
- Body contouring?
- Muscle scraping?
- How heavy do you want the tool to be?
- What is the best material to use with the intended usage?
Materials and Characteristics
The tool material varies from bian stone, jade, rose quartz, bronze alloy (kansa), stainless steel, soap stone, buffalo horn, or plastic. All of which range in weight and resonance. Tools are often weighted to help the wellness provider to apply pressure. A tool that is curved with rounded edges makes it easy to maneuver across various parts of the body, as well as being comfortable and easy to grip. Various lubricates will be applied which allows the tool to easily glide across the surface of the body without dragging the skin.
The material produces varying resonation or ultrasonic pulses. Ultrasonic pulses are produced from friction between the body and any kind of material. The number of ultrasonic pulses and their frequencies varies depending on the type of material used. The higher the value, the better the resonation with the body. Every material has its resonance or natural pulsating frequency that aids in healing. When the tool scrapes over the skin, the resulting friction generates ultrasonic pulses.
The higher the pulse and frequency, the better the healing. The high-frequency ultrasonic pulses are more efficient in disintegrating scar tissue. The higher rate also has a more exceptional ability to stimulate and vibrate the muscles, tissues, and blood vessels. Hence, the higher stimulation results in clearing off the blockage and allows the free flow of the Qi, the life energy. The combination of the inherent property of the material and its resonance decides which material would be most appropriate for a gua sha tool. For example, bian stone has a pulse rate of 3670 with a frequency ranging from 20 -2000 kHz. It's quite heavy and ideal for deep penetration of tissues or to be used on very fleshy parts like thighs, glutes, and calves.
Tool Design Considerations
Length - The length of the tools should be according to the surface on which used. For backs and legs, longer tools are useful, but for the neck and small areas, smaller tools would be better. The length of the tool also depends on the person using it and their ability to handle and maneuver it properly.
Thickness - Generally, thinner devices are complicated to hold between the fingers. They tire out the fingers very fast, and the tool itself becomes fragile. If a tool is too thick, it will be difficult to hold and scrape.
Edges - The edges are essential in performing gua sha. The edges should be beveled but rounded at the tip so that it serves the purpose without discomfort. Blunt edges are not suitable for scraping, and sharp edges will cut the skin.
Durability - The tool should be strong enough to bear the pressure of scraping. Accidental dropping should not break it. But some tools like jade and other semi-precious stones have excellent properties and are frequently used, despite being delicate.
The brief overview below shows a the variety of tool shapes and where they are best applied.
Gua sha tool usage is influenced by the design of the tool and provides flexibility within treatments. I recommend having a set with a variety of materials and designs.
Interested in learning more? The online courses below can help you grow your skills while you earn CEUs!
360 Method Facial Gua Sha & Face Rolling Massage Training & Certificate
Learn how to integrate these tools into your facial massage providing a customizable experience that aids in microcirculation and reduces puffiness and inflammation.
Gua Sha Stretch Therapy Training & Certificate
Earn 4 CEUs with this course that provides a therapist with the technical skills to utilize Gua Sha Therapy to effectively address myofascial pain, fascial restrictions, and adhesions while integrating with stretching to optimize the therapeutic benefits.
About Lori Vargas, MBA (she/her/hers)
Lori Vargas, founder of 360 Wellness Education, has over 20 years in the spa industry as a founder of multiple spas, a massage school, and as a spa consultant. She also has 14 years of experience guiding Fortune 500 Companies with corporate strategies and business development. Lori holds a CPA and MBA from the University of Chicago.
To complement her online 360 Wellness Education courses, Lori has created an educational community focused on connections and growth through 360 Wellness Education CORE Membership. This membership provides easy access to affordable on-demand advanced education, live webinars (sip & learn style), Facebook private group, newsletters, and live events. Follow on Instagram at @360WellnessEducation .
In addition to CORE Membership and her other online courses, Lori offers 360 Business Workshops. This live webinar series focuses on business start-up and development, sharing valuable insight, advice, and templates to jumpstart business growth and maximize success.
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