With everyone's life being altered and put on hold somewhat with the pandemic, we have realised the vital importance of self-care. Whether that's popping a hair mask on before going out on a Friday night to gently smoothing a face mask on your skin whilst in your bubble bath on a weeknight to taking a little extra time with your skin and hair care routine, prioritising pampering and de-stressing has become the norm – thankfully – since we all needed a bit of love!
Another self-care tool that has risen in popularity in recent years is the mighty rise of the crystal! Anyone who hasn't been living under a figurative rock for the last few years will have seen the increasing popularity of these crystals – from jade and quartz rollers to jade combs to gua sha tools made of jade, rose quartz, odacite, and other materials to anything in between.
Crystal is everywhere – and for good reason. Crystals are believed to carry powerful healing energies that help with physical and emotional healing. But ever really wondered what these gua sha tools and combs do and what they're used for? Let's explore.
What is gua sha?
In ancient Chinese medicine, gua sha practice has been used for over 2,000 years to loosen tight muscles, help fight cold symptoms, ease chronic pain suffering, help with respiratory problems, boost the immune system, and the list goes on. Although these properties aren't founded in hard science, one study presented at conferences (1999, 2001) found that the benefits of crystals are a result of the placebo effect; in other words, our minds have the power to heal. However, since some of the gua sha techniques do ease muscle tension and hit pressure points, they have deeply relaxing qualities.
Typically, in gua sha, a trained professional uses a smooth-edged tool (often made of crystal) to stroke the skin. A technician will often apply oil to the skin and scrape the skin in long, downward strokes. The pressure should be gentle and gradual and not uncomfortable. When done on the body, it may leave petechiae, which are small, red rash-like dots that go away after treatment. It's believed to help blood flow, reduce toxins, and promote healing.
When applied to the face, gua sha is a gentler process. Many people tout the benefits of gua sha on the face for lymphatic drainage, healing cystic acne, fighting scars, reducing puffiness, softening wrinkles, contouring the jawline and cheekbones, and more.
Gua sha can also be used on the scalp but more on that later.
What are the benefits of healing crystals?
With crystal healing, crystals and other stones are used to protect the body against diseases and cure ailments. Crystals are said to act as a conduit for that healing so that positive energy can flow into the body, dispelling the negative disease-causing energy.
Despite doctors calling crystal healing a pseudoscience, crystal healing is very popular because of its basis in the concept of life energy ("chi" or "qi") and the Hindu/Buddhist concept of chakras. Chakras are said to connect life energy to the physical and supernatural parts of the body.
Those who love healing crystals and gua sha say that usage improves skin tone, elasticity, collagen, eliminates toxins, tightens pores, increases circulation, calms inflammation, and drains the lymph nodes.
The different colours of crystals are meant to have different healing properties. For example, gua sha tools often come in jade green or rose quartz pink. Pink stones are said to connect with the heart chakra for comfort, calmness, and love. Green stones are said also to connect with the heart chakra and resonate to higher emotional vibrations, connecting to love and wisdom. These stones are said to be soothing and strengthen the spleen and liver.
What are the benefits of using gua sha on the scalp?
So, most people associate the gua sha techniques on the face and body but often ignore the scalp.
Gua sha tools, like specially designed crystal combs, can be used in long and short strokes on the scalp to improve circulation and blood flow, which rejuvenates the hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth and decrease hair loss. Gua sha can increase product absorption so your scalp gets the benefits of any hair serums, speciality shampoos, or conditioning masks.
It also provides a relaxing sensation as it stimulates different pressure points on the scalp, reducing tension and stress. The scalp contains dozens of acupressure points and a comb can stimulate these points, creating total body wellness.
Introducing Abyssian’s crystal jade gua sha comb
At Abyssian, we love a good gua sha face tool but since we are all about the hair, we have our very own Crystal Jade Soothing Comb that can be used on the scalp with gua sha techniques for its healing properties. As noted above, gua sha on the scalp has multiple benefits.
For a luxurious and healing experience, you can apply light, gentle pressure in linear motions to massage your scalp and comb through your damp hair for its detangling properties. A gentle scalp massage can promote hair growth, reduce fatigue, and stimulate the meridians (in traditional Chinese medicine these are where your life energy, "chi" or "qi" flows).
Why did we choose jade as our stone of choice? The use of jade goes way back to ancient Easter civilisations. In China, jade is a celebrated crystal, found etched into jewellery and statues. Jade gives love, courage, and healing.
In folklore, jade is supposed to increase fortune, ground the user, improve relationships, bring luck, and heal.
Jade is also said to benefit the organs such as conditions around the spleen, bladder, and kidney as well as correct hormonal imbalances associated with fertility and improve the function of the skeletal system.
How do I use my jade comb for gua sha on my scalp?
Start by holding your Crystal Jade Soothing Comb and massage a small amount of your Protein Shake Hair Mask into your scalp and onto your strands (for the moisturising property and not for the gua sha!).
Place the jade comb at your hairline and make a small zigzag motion as you comb through the hair, applying gentle pressure on your scalp. Press lightly and not too hard as you want to stimulate and not damage your hair follicles.
Repeat this step of combing in a zigzag pattern until you've done your entire scalp. You can run over each section up to twenty times.
For an even more luxurious experience, you can start your relaxation and hair care routine with our Pre-Shampoo Clay Scalp Mask, which contains French Blue Clay, aloe vera, and orange peel. The clay absorbs excess oiliness, removes hair product buildup, and unclogs hair follicles whilst the aloe soothes and heals the scalp and provides deep moisturising. It’s like a mud-bath spa treatment for your scalp. To use this mask, apply to moist hair before you shampoo and condition. Spread a palm-size amount on your roots and ends and comb through (with our Jade comb, using gua sha techniques) for even distribution. Leave on for five to ten minutes and rinse thoroughly for at least two minutes. After rinsing, follow up with your Abyssian Hydrating Volumizing Shampoo and our Daily Shield Superfood Conditioner.
Combining the properties of healing crystals and gua sha techniques with a jade comb can help with your self-care routine and relax your body. Let us know on our social media channels how you use your jade comb and tag us in your videos. #AbyssianEveryday
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