If you’re in the loop, you know that Doug and I just bought a townhouse here in East Rock. Very exciting. we have fallen in love with the Elm City.
We were supposed to move last weekend but our closing date got pushed out so now we’re moving next weekend. Eeeeek. I had everything perfectly timed so we would be somewhat settled in the new place just in time for Christmas. Not so much. As we all know, things don’t always go as planned. Needless to say, there have been some sleepless nights and stressful days as we work through this change in our timeline. I’m trying my best to stay present even amidst this chaos.
With the holidays comes a special and very particular brand of stress. You know what I mean? It sneaks up on us under the guise of festivity and good cheer, and particularly because it’s almost always inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Even the most mindful people can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of entertaining, being with family, work deadlines, buying presents and life in general.
So, this week, I thought it would be helpful to share a 5 minute ritual you can do to melt away stress (and jaw tension) with one of my favorite modalities-- GUA SHA.
Fear not! What’s that meme?? I’ve got 100 problems and Gua Sha can solve about 97 of them. Haha, it's true.
Gua sha melts stress-induced tension away. It’s common for stress to manifest as tension in our head, neck, and jaw, often more than other places in the body. Besides working to increase circulation, facial gua sha helps release long-held tension in the face, head, jaw, and neck. These places are often overlooked in body massage and other self-care treatments like manicures, pedicures, and home face masks. Our faces, heads, and jaws need a bit more love, don’t you agree? If you’ve had one of my facials, you know I like to focus on this area!
Here’s the step by step for this tutorial (video below):
- Prep Skin with Tonic + Oil. I used the Lilfox Mystical Awakening Toner and Prickly Pear Illuminating Nectar in this video. I’m wearing the cutest head wrap and using this very special bion gua sha stone.
- Repeat each movement 3 times
- Start on the back of the neck, along the spine moving upward, slowly.
- Using your opposite hand, begin movement downward on your shoulder
- Remember to breathe deeply in between each movement (pardon the little dog woofs in this video-- I forgot to turn the sound off and Winnie wanted my attention--hehe).
- Next, using the large round edge of the stone, apply light pressure and work up the jawline, keeping your stone at a 30 degree angle.
- Release with a wiggle movement next to your ear lobe to drain fluid.
- Then, using the U shape side: apply a little more pressure and work along your cheekbone (and those mandible muscles) all the way to your lower temple area. Wiggle and release.
This is helpful if you get tension headaches or simply need to unwind after a stressful day. If you grind your teeth, taking three minutes to do this in the morning can help bring you into your day with less constriction and more expansion.
Watch the full VIDEO tutorial here.
Have you tried it? Let me know how it feels in the comments below.
Keep calm and glow on my friends!