Gua Sha Facial Chart, Movements & Motions

Gua sha is an ancient body and face scraping technique that forms part of traditional Chinese medicine that remedies a variety of ailments and offers important health benefits. In this article, we’ll be discussing its benefits and show you how to use the gua sha facial chart and how the gua sha movements work.

What Is Gua Sha? What Does It Do For My Body?

As a healing method, gua sha is done in which a trained professional uses a smooth-edged scraping tool to rub the skin in long, downward strokes. This motion then raises small, red, speckled dots that appear under the skin called “petechiae” that appear after the treatment. It’s these pinpoint spots that give this treatment its name, which means “to scrape sand” in Chinese. In Indonesia, this treatment is referred to as “kerokan.” 

Gua sha is mainly used to relieve blood stagnation and promote blood circulation.  Blood stagnation, according to TCM, blocks the body’s qi (pronounced as “chee”) or energy, making it a popular treatment for chronic pain all over the body.

The treatment can also bring the following health benefits:

  • Promote hair growth – Since the gua sha promotes blood circulation all over the body, the blood flow to the scalp will be better, supporting healthy hair growth.
  • Relax tight muscles – Gua sha is particularly beneficial for musculoskeletal problems, especially major ones like tightness in the shoulders, legs, and back. It can also help relieve tension, headaches, neck pain, or bodily swelling.
  • Detoxify the body – With the surrounding muscles relaxed, toxins are drawn out from deep within the muscles and body, allowing the body to flush them out.
  • Prevents breast engorgement  –  This condition affects many breastfeeding mothers. One study discovered that women who had gua sha done on them experienced less engorgement and discomfort. 
  • Reduces perimenopausal symptoms – A study on perimenopausal women found that having frequent gua sha sessions had significantly reduced symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and hot flashes.

Gua Sha Facial Chart

gua sha facial chart
Gua Sha Facial Chart

Gua Sha And The Skin

Having a clear & vibrant face is something that a lot of people want to achieve. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

And in that aspect, gua sha treatment has recently attracted some attention due to many social media influencers, particularly on Tiktok, touting its natural cosmetic results, particularly in improving the skin.

Good blood flow helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin, and it’s the oxygen that gives the skin its glow. They also carry away waste products, toxins, and free radicals from working cells and help lock hydration and nutrients in your skin.

Additionally, it releases tension and relieves stress, which can take a toll on one’s skin health. When stressed, the sympathetic nervous system releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the body. The former causes an increase in oil production in the skin glands, which results in problems like clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Trying Out The Gua Sha Experience 

Suppose you’ve never seen a gua sha treatment done before; no need to fret! The process is quite easy to follow, and this facial chart will help you out; the best thing about gua sha is that you can do it by yourself anywhere, whether in the comfort of your home or an all-nighter with your besties or on a vacation trip. 

Before any facial treatment, it’s important that you start with your face washed clean. Prepare your favorite moisturizer or facial oil. You can use various skin care products such as face mist, cream, oil, or serum, to allow your skin to be hydrated and the tool to glide on your skin smoothly. At the same time, the gua sha treatment will also help the skin absorb the skincare products’ nutrients and benefits better.

➡️ Best Oil For Gua Sha


Before you carry out the treatment here are some important tips you should remember:

  • Always use the curved side of the Gua Sha tool, and hold the Gua Sha tool to a 30 to 45-degree angle to the area you wish to target. 
  • Use with light and firm pressure, and slowly move with an upward-lifting motion. 
  • Use a mindful pace for your strokes.
  • If you’re a newbie, avoid using any sharp edges.
  • Feel free to adjust the pressure according to your liking.

Gua Sha Movements

If you’re new to gua sha treatments, you can follow this gua sha facial chart, which will guide you where to move about and with the intended grooves and strokes.

1. Start with the neck

gua sha neck movements
gua sha neck movements
  • Always use upward movement to stroke and start with the back of your neck.
  • When starting from the side of your neck, begin from your shoulders and work your way up until you reach the bone area. Stop here and give yourself a little massage by grooving the stone on the bone.
  • From there, move over your collarbone up until you reach your jawbone. Here, stop again to give yourself a little extra massage.
  • Repeat all the strokes at least 5 times. Add a few more as you please.

2. Work your way to the jawbone and cheekbone

gua sha jaw movements
gua sha jaw movements
  1. Move from the center of your chin out towards your earlobe. You can stop next to your earlobe and give yourself an extra wiggle massage.
  2. Next, sweep underneath your cheekbone towards your hairline.
  3. Continue from your nose, moving outwards towards your hairline, tracing your cheekbone.
  4. Repeat all the strokes at least 5 times. Add a few more as you please.

3. Move gently on the eye areas

gua sha cheek movements
gua sha cheek movements
  1. Gently move the gua sha tool under your eyes outwards towards your temples. Once you reach your temple, move the gua sha tool upward for a lifting effect.
  2. Move the tool from the center of your forehead towards the temple, along your brow. Feel free to add a bit more pressure on your brow bone if you like. 
  3. Once you’ve reached your temple, switch back to an upward movement.
  4. Repeat the strokes at least 5 times. Add a few more as you please.

4. Finish with your forehead

gua sha forehead movements
gua sha forehead movements
  1. Start with a slow upward movement from under your brow. 
  2. Work your way until you reach the hairline.
  3. Continue from the middle of your forehead, where your brows meet and repeat the same slow upward movement.
  4. Here, you can stop and wiggle the stone for an extra massage at the end of each movement.
  5. Repeat all the strokes at least 5 times. Add a few more as you please.

Also, if you want to contour and de-puff your nose, lightly work the tool up the bridge of your nose and bring it down along the side of the nose, going to the cheeks. Repeat the procedure at least 5 times.

Post-Gua Sha After Care

After the gua sha treatment, be sure to clean your gua sha tool thoroughly after every use. You can wipe it using a soft towel or even dip it in lukewarm water for a deeper cleanse. Most people store the gua sha tool inside their freezers for an extra cooling effect to depuff the eyes. We recommend leaving the tools in the fridge for at least an hour.

One should also drink a moderate amount of water and rest for at least an hour. Avoid taking a cold shower for 2 hours following completion of therapy to prevent wind from entering the body through dilated pores.

Some people also use a mist, like pure rose water or aloe water, to calm any redness you might have after. Facial mists can also be useful in enhancing the absorption of facial oil.

Picking The Ideal Gua Sha Scraping Tool


Choosing the right material for your gua sha stone depends on what you want to achieve. The scraping tool is made out of a mineral, crystal, or a specific gemstone, and each material has distinct benefits to boot:

  • Bian stone – Bian stone is considered the most authentic material used for gua sha and one that has been historically used in TCM. Being a considerably heavy material, it penetrates deeper into the skin, dredging the body’s channels, improving blood circulation, eliminating heat, and removing unnecessary fats. It also purifies the blood and the blood vessels.
  • Green jade – Another traditional choice, green jade is used to help dispel negative energy and create a more positive atmosphere. This material works best for contouring, lifting, and relaxing any tight muscles.
  • White jade – White jade helps the body in promoting its self-healing abilities. It can greatly reduce the appearance of puffiness and bags under the eyes, stimulate cell growth, balance skin tone, and improve the skin’s elasticity.
  • Rose quartz –  Using rose quartz is said to be beneficial for acne-prone skin, removing fine lines and wrinkles, and relieving eczema. It can also help with lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness, and soothing the skin. 
  • Amethyst –  An amethyst gua sha tool can help balance inflamed complexions and soothe breakouts. It can also oxygenate the skin, and improve blood circulation. 
  • Aventurine – Aventurine for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for those with skin problems like acne, eczema, or rosacea. This quartz can calm an irritated and restless mind and is said to attract good luck.
  • Sodalite – Sodalite stands out for its harmonizing properties and is best for relaxing overly-tight muscles and bringing out a more balanced complexion. This stone also focuses on logic, intuition, mental clarity, and emotional balance.


Gua Sha Shape

The scraping tools also come in various shapes,  curves, dents, or edges, depending on the body part you want to use them on. In fact, experts say that the shape of the tool matters more than the material. The smaller shapes are for smaller areas like around the eyes and mouth, while bigger shapes target bigger areas like the cheeks, forehead, and other body parts.

If you’re a newbie to the whole gua sha thing, it’s best to look for a simpler-looking tool. Advanced techniques would require a more complex-looking gua sha stone. 

The following are the more commonly sought out shapes:

S-shaped gua sha –  used mostly for the neck, shoulders, back, hands, and feet. Great for relieving sinus congestion and improving blood circulation.

S shaped gua sha
S shaped gua sha

Fin-shaped gua sha – ideal for soothing pain on the shoulders, chest, arms, hands, and legs.

fin shaped gua sha
fin shaped gua sha

Dolphin-shaped gua sha – This one is often used to target deep tissues, decrease facial wrinkles, and promote detoxification.  It also relieves fatigue, refreshes the mind, and improves insomnia.

Dolphin shaped gua sha
Dolphin shaped gua sha

Claw-shaped gua sha –  used on the back, chest, wrists, abdomen, arms, legs, feet, and shoulders at the arch back.

Claw shaped gua sha
Claw shaped gua sha

Butterfly-shaped gua sha – targets the face, legs, eyes, and back. This particular shape gua sha fits perfectly on all facial contours to create a deeply relaxing massage.

Butterfly shaped gua sha
Butterfly shaped gua sha

Heart-shaped gua sha – helps ease tension, stress, and anxiety, promoting feelings of well-being. It improves circulation and skin tone, reduces puffiness, and smooths the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

heart shaped gua sha

Using a gua sha comb can also do wonders for the hair. Combing your hair with a gua sha comb massages the scalp, improves blood flow to the hair roots and provides a relaxing sensation in the head.

Side Effects

While gua sha treatments are generally safe and painless, they can still cause relatively minor side effects.  

As we know, the rubbing or scraping with the gua sha tool can cause the tiny blood vessels known as capillaries to burst, and it can result in minor skin bruising and minor bleeding, though these usually clear up within a couple of days. Some also experience temporary indentation of their skin after a gua sha treatment.

Avoid this technique if you’ve had any surgery in the past six weeks. Should bleeding occur, there’s also the risk of transferring blood-borne conditions(e.g., hepatitis B and C and HIV) with gua sha treatments, so gua sha technicians need to disinfect their tools properly after using them on each customer.

Similarly, those taking blood thinners or having blood-clotting problems should also avoid using gua sha treatments. If you’ve just had botox sessions, avoid the treatment as much as possible since it could move the botox. Gua sha can also irritate cystic acne, pimples, and open lesions, so make sure to go for this treatment once they’re already cleared.

Final Take

Gua sha is a timeless healing ritual whose promising health benefits have been proven by experts, and its popularity continues to endure. You can even do it on your own, whenever and wherever you want. 

Picking the material and shape is also important, depending on your target. The combination can yield the results you want and even offer more. 

If you’re unsure about doing the treatment yourself, consider opting for an experienced gua sha technician. A professional would know where to work through and even boost the treatment’s effectiveness and reduce the risk of side effects.

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