Zheng stated stagnant qi can manifest in dullness of the pores and skin, puffiness, tough texture, and pimples—test, test, test, and test. However actually, after months of constant apply, the outcomes communicate for themselves.
I wished to really feel sculpted. I wished a chiseled jawline and to rid myself of puffy cheeks and a child double chin by my wedding ceremony day. Performed, finished, and finished. She’s shiny, she’s clean, and he or she’s snatched. And now, she’s formally hitched!
However right here’s what I didn’t count on: I didn’t count on the textural variations and real smoothness. I didn’t count on the brightness nor the return of a pure flush that I won’t have seen since my faculty days. And above all, I didn’t count on to really feel uplifted in additional methods than one.
As what we in the neighborhood name a “first-generation alpha daughter” with infinite caretaker duties shifting via life at hyperspeed, I’m used to slapping on my seven-step skincare routine in 5 minutes or much less and flopping on the mattress previous the purpose of exhaustion and calling that “self-care.” However one thing about this gua sha routine—name it the intentional deal with long-neglected acupuncture factors or the artwork of working towards a centuries-long custom that roots me in my ancestral previous—honors traditions of my tradition and connects me to my mom, aunties, and grandmothers via restorative magnificence rituals. What began as a 10-minute routine has bloomed right into a full-blown ritual.
In order that leaves me with the ultimate professional tip, courtesy of Zheng herself: go sluggish.
“This is one of my favorite elements of gua sha practice that I think people don’t often realize or think about. A big focus of mine recently has been nervous system regulation. In this current world that we live in, it’s very easy for our sympathetic nervous system—our fight-or-flight—to get activated, so I feel like practices like gua sha—which force you to slow down, to be really intentional, to think about your breathing, your body, and how you’re feeling—help activate the parasympathetic system, the rest-and-digest stage. That’s where healing and rest happen, so it’s really important to make sure that we’re intentionally bringing our body back into that state. In this world we live in, it’s really easy to always stay in a hyperactive flight-or-flight mode,” she says.
I renamed my gua sha routine “Rest and Digest” because of Zheng’s illuminating perspective, and I apply that intentionality like my life—or somewhat my qi—relies on it.
Each night time, I placed on an episode of a present (proper now, it’s By no means Have I Ever season 4), snuggle below a comfy blanket with my canine, apply my toner, serum, and facial oil, after which glide my rose quartz Mount Lai gua sha slowly over every space of my face. I mentally digest my day—my celebrations and wins, my losses and learnings—and I wiggle away at my favourite acupuncture factors (my temples and just under my ears), permitting the superficial considerations of the day to soften away. I shut my eyes and breathe deeply. I think about what it may have been prefer to wind down my evenings with my mom on our sofa, unpacking our days collectively and grounding ourselves within the consolation of soppy dialog. She has lengthy since handed. I recall long-forgotten recollections of watching my grandmother at her self-importance as she glides her jade curler throughout her wrinkle-less cheeks along with her eyes closed and choosing up her jade gua sha with the marvel and confusion of a six-year-old youngster—“Careful, Mèimei. It’s fragile and precious.”
Does gua sha work? Sure, each day apply has yielded the snatched jawline and chiseled cheekbones that the sweetness neighborhood likes to see! However it works for me in additional methods than one. It grants me peace, readability, restoration, and emotional connection to my tradition in a means I didn’t know a easy magnificence ritual may provide. And for these causes alone, it’s a magnificence ritual and piece of Chinese language custom that I intend on working towards (learn: celebrating) daily.