Gua Sha for Double Chin: Does It Really Work?

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While it isn’t a concerning medical condition, a double chin is considered by many people to be an unsightly thing.

This is why we do our best to eliminate it through various tools — from exercise and lifestyle changes to cosmetic procedures.

A woman is using a gua sha tool on her jaw in front of a mirror

But what if there’s a time-honored technique that has been hailed by many to be effective?

And all you need is a smooth, flat tool.

Consider: a gua sha for double chin.

What Is Gua Sha?

Way before it became trendy on TikTok, gua sha has long been a main feature in traditional Chinese medicine. 

In fact, it dates as far back as the Paleolithic age, and as a remedy, it was first written in medical texts during the Ming dynasty. 

“Gua” means scrape, while “sha” means sand; indeed, it’s practiced by scraping areas of the body to produce sand-like spots known as petechiae.

Gua sha envisions restoring the flow of energy and blood in the body, unblocking stagnant “qi,” which is considered to be the body’s life force.

Or in less esoteric terms, it hopes to activate blood flow to prevent or treat the pooling or slowing down of blood, which causes inflammation.

Stagnant qi or inflammation is considered to be the main culprit in many chronic illnesses. 

And the smattering of red dots or petechiae created by gua sha indicates the restoration of blood or energy flow in the body.

How Gua Sha Works

Like many modalities in traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha is practiced with the belief that it can help restore homeostasis in the body by directing blood flow. 

According to practitioners, a disrupted blood or energy flow manifests as pain, soreness, knots, or pain. And gua sha, with its gentle massaging technique, can be effective at alleviating these issues.

Gua sha uses a smooth-edged, flat tool such as a gemstone plate, a metal plate, or even a spoon with serum, oil, or water to gently scrape an area of the body and promote healing.

On the body, the gua sha tool first lightly glides across the muscle fibers to work away knots and other issues. 

Then it scrapes away along the direction of the muscles to loosen them and successfully restore blood flow to the area.

On the face, the gua sha tool should mildly dance from the middle of the face upward and outward. This is typically done in a smooth, straight line. 

And since the face has thinner musculature, it uses less pressure than it would on the body.

Benefits of Gua Sha

Numerous studies have linked gua sha to various benefits, which are as follows.

A woman is holding two green and pink gua sha tools on her face on a gray background

Improving Blood Flow and Easing Muscle Pain

In a couple of studies, gua sha has been found to be effective in improving blood circulation and, subsequently, alleviating muscle pain.

Among healthy subjects, it has been shown to not only enhance blood flow but also decrease the incidence of myalgia or muscle aches — even after the treatment. 

A separate study that focused on the elderly echoes the same findings. Compared to a hot pack, gua sha provided more long-term relief for chronic low-back pain

It also helped improve mobility among the subjects. 

Showing Promise in Treating Certain Conditions

Multiple small case studies also say that gua sha has been beneficial to the treatment of various medical conditions, such as chronic neck pain, Tourette syndrome, and breast engorgement

Additionally, it can help ease headaches, perimenopause, and even symptoms of liver injury.

Boosting Lymphatic Drainage

Finally, gua sha is believed to help promote lymphatic drainage.

Lymphatic drainage facilitates the smooth circulation of lymph fluid in the body. This fluid is responsible for transporting wastes from the body to the lymph nodes so that they can be filtered out.

The challenge is that, unlike blood that is pumped by the heart, you need active muscles to be able to move lymph fluid through the body. 

So if there are hormonal issues or other factors that are preventing your body from doing this, you might develop symptoms of a blocked lymphatic system, which include the following:

  • General fatigue
  • Swelling in various areas of the body
  • Decreased immunity against illnesses

With gua sha, you get the perks of a well-functioning lymphatic system with just a massage.

How Lymphatic Drainage Benefits the Skin

The ability to help promote lymphatic drainage is the most critical to finding out whether you can get rid of a double chin with gua sha. 

According to experts, aging takes a toll on how the body’s lymphatic system functions, which can result in a decrease in the number of lymphatics. With this decrease, the skin becomes at risk of sagging.

More important to the issue of gua sha for double chin, lymphatic drainage offers the following overall benefits to your skin:

  • Stimulates faster lymph absorption so that it can be excreted from the body
  • Improves skin clarity
  • Reduces signs of fatigue and aging 
  • Fights off acne
  • Promotes better blood flow
  • Gives your skin a healthy glow
  • Can aid in easing puffiness around the face for a slimmer, contoured look
  • Helps reduce fluid retention in the body, even cellulite

In fact, a 2010 study found that lymphatic drainage was beneficial to decreasing thigh circumference and thigh and abdominal fat thickness among people with cellulite.

Does Gua Sha Get Rid of Double Chin?

So let’s get to it: can you use a gua sha stone for double chin?

The short answer is yes.

But it comes with some footnotes.

First off, the neck and face area contains over 300 lymph nodes

A lymphatic drainage massage with a gua sha tool can be effective at boosting lymphatic functions around the face and facilitating faster drainage of toxins and wastes.

With reduced fluid buildup and better blood circulation, your face will definitely get a more sculpted look and better muscle tone, as if you used toning devices

A more defined jawline will also trick the eye and soften the appearance of a double chin. 

However, there is one caveat: this will only work for you if your double chin is caused by water buildup.

If your double chin stems from other causes such as weight issues, genetics, hormone problems, or a poor diet, gua sha might prove to be not enough.

How To Use Gua Sha for Double Chin

With that said, if you’d like to see what it can do for you personally, here’s a gua sha routine for a double chin that you can follow.

  1. Start with a clean and moisturized face. You can opt for a facial oil, a serum, or anything that will provide some hydration.

    It’s not required, but moisture will help the tool glide smoothly onto your neck and face.
  1. Next, take the flat side of your gua sha tool, and while gripping it well, work it from the base of the neck and towards your chin. Make sure to apply gentle but firm pressure.

    Do this on all sides of your neck.
  1. Then take the flat side of your gua sha tool again and slowly sweep along the side of your chin, up to your cheekbone and earlobe.

    Repeat it on the other side.

You can also opt to get into the other areas of your face using the smaller angles of your gua sha tool.

Alternatively, you can use a jade roller or rose quartz roller to massage your chin and neck area.

Gua Sha Tips: How To Practice It Safely and Effectively

To get the full benefits of using gua sha on a double chin, there are a couple of things that can help. 

Choosing Your Gua Sha Tool

Guasha masseurs are in the hands of a girl on a bright white marble background in a home light bath. Green jade, rose quartz gua sha.

Your tool is the single most important accessory that you have to practice gua sha, so you need to choose carefully. And one of the primary factors you’ll have to consider is the gemstone in the gua sha.

Gua Sha Stones

There are various types of stones used for gua sha for double chin, and they differ according to their anecdotal benefits. These include the following:

  • Jade — reportedly effective at reducing inflammation and redness.
  • Bian stone — contains more than 40 minerals and trace elements; can also produce negative ions, which are linked to anti-aging and antioxidant properties. 
  • Rose quartz — recommended for those with hyperpigmentation and qi stagnation.
  • Obsidian — known to tackle skin issues such as pigmentation, scarring, and more.
  • Green aventurine — features healing and purifying properties.
  • Amethyst — believed to restore balance to the skin.

Gua Sha Shapes

Aside from the gemstone, you need to think about the shape of your gua sha tool too. These are as follows:

  • Dolphin/heart — especially ideal for beginners as it’s portable, convenient, and easy to use; can contour various areas of the face such as your neck, jawline, under eye, etc.
  • Wave — offers more maneuverability compared to other shapes; also helpful for massaging your neck and jawline to ease tension and prevent temporomandibular jaw (TMJ)
  • Wand/S-shape — especially recommended for targeting specific areas like your jawline; also believed to be effective for relieving allergy symptoms as its shape can help you get into acupressure points along the nasal cavity
  • Wing/fin — best for areas with large surface areas, like your forehead

Incorporating Your Tool Into a Complete Facial Routine

For more consistent results, consider incorporating your gua sha routine for your double chin into your skincare routine. 

Doing so will also ensure optimal blood circulation and drainage, giving you toned, glowing, and younger-looking skin.

Ethical Considerations

Additionally, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine note that the slimming effects of gua sha are mere side effects, not the intended objectives.

The co-opting of the practice into Western aesthetic philosophy runs the risk of glossing over the roots of gua sha, which is to heal pain by revitalizing blood flow in the body.

To honor this practice, seek the advice of an experienced practitioner. Similarly, source your tools from shops that pay homage to it instead of merely capitalizing on it.

Does Gua Sha Have Side Effects?

Gua sha can cause mild bruising as its scraping technique can burst the capillaries beneath the skin. There could also be some swelling and sensitivity.

In some cases, using the tool might result in skin lesions, especially if you apply too much pressure. 

If this happens, it’s important to thoroughly clean your tool after each use to prevent possible bacterial infection.

Who Shouldn’t Do Gua Sha?

While gua sha is considered generally safe for everyone, you shouldn’t try it if you’ve had recent surgery.

If pairing it with a lymphatic drainage massage, make sure to first seek the advice of a doctor before trying it, especially if you have an active lymphatic condition, congestive heart failure, or unexplained swelling.

Also, avoid gua sha if you have a clotting disorder or are on blood thinners.

FAQs

Does Gua Sha Hurt?

No, it is not supposed to hurt.

You’re advised to apply gentle but firm pressure, which might be a little uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.

There can be some bruising and very minor bleeding, but this should resolve within a few days.

Can I Use Gua Sha Every Day?

Gua sha is safe to do every day.

Even better, it works for all skin types.

How Soon Will I See Results From Using Gua Sha?

Most people see immediate results from gua sha, such as a glowing, less puffy face.

Over time, gua sha can help release built-up muscle tension on your face, tone and lift skin, and even prevent breakouts.

Will Gua Sha Help With My Face Fat?

Done correctly, gua sha can aid in sculpting your facial features to make your face look slimmer.

But no, it will not eliminate face fat.

How Effective Is the Gua Sha Technique for Double Chin?

Gua sha is believed to be effective in toning down the appearance of a double chin if it is caused by fluid buildup.

So if that’s applicable to you, then by all means, try it and see if it will do its magic for you.

Young african american woman with closed eyes using gua sha stone isolated on black background

But remember to go into this process with grounded expectations. If you don’t see results, consider other alternative options.

More importantly: double chin or not, you can be as happy and glowing as you hope to be by investing in good habits that promote holistic health.

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Author

  • Kat

    Kat brings a seasoned voice to our beauty blog with 13 years of dedicated writing experience. Her deep-seated passion isn't just limited to words; she's always on the pulse of emerging makeup trends. Beyond her articles, Kat crafts hand-made crochet swimwear and sundresses, and effortlessly steps in as a muse for beauty photoshoots. Kat holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

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