Why You Need To Bring Your Gua Sha Technique Down Your Neck, Too

Whether you're already a huge fan or are completely new to the benefits of gua sha, you might not be making the most of it if you're skipping your neck. If you're wondering why you need to scrape both your face and neck, the answer might surprise you. Gua sha can actually help to promote lymphatic flow by releasing fluid buildup under your skin. This can have noticeable (and scientifically proven) benefits including decreasing inflammation and stimulating your circulation. More anecdotally, gua sha users might also notice tightened skin, decreased puffiness, and even softened lines and wrinkles.

Like with most skincare regimens, people tend to focus on their face far more than their neck. While this definitely isn't a great idea with your moisturizer, it is even worse to skip your neck when it comes to gua sha. Skipping your neck during your gua sha routine can actually prevent you from experiencing the technique's benefits. Let's dive into why that is.

Why you should use gua sha on your neck

First and foremost it's never too early to start factoring your neck into your skincare routine. This is especially important for gua sha because your body's lymphatic flow begins at the base of your skull before moving down to the jugular area in your neck. Jill Munson, founder of the gua sha company Wildling, told The Zoe Report that, "The collarbone area is the 'master drain' where lymphatic congestion from the face and head enters the blood system." This means that any gua sha drainage you hope to achieve in your face is significantly less effective if you don't include your neck in the process. Some schools of thought even believe that you should start with your neck in order to help with circulation before starting on your face.

Since there are so many lymph nodes in your neck area, specifically around your jaw and ears, your neck functions like a flow through to the rest of your body. In order to ensure your facial lymphatic drainage reaches your kidneys for filtration, it needs to be effectively drained through that flow aka your neck. Recommendations for how frequently you should utilize gua sha can vary from once a day to once a week, so finding what works best for your particular schedule (and body) is ultimately the best approach.

How to use gua sha on your neck

Much like using gua sha on your face, utilizing the therapy on your neck requires a gentle scraping/gliding technique to ensure your lymphatic system can drain excess fluid. Unlike jade rollers, specific gua sha tools are flat and wide pieces of either stone or crystal that often have a textured edge and a smooth edge for different functions. While the main characteristic of gua sha tools is that they are handheld size for easier use, the exact shape of gua sha tools can vary widely, with some even resembling spoons.

The awesome thing about the variability in the shape of gua sha tools is that it means there is more than one way to use the technique when it comes to your neck. From short scrapes to long strokes, gua sha allows you to choose your own adventure depending on what scraping method works for your anatomy and your specific tool. Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology, told Byrdie that the best method for using gua sha is to first use a face oil, and then use gentle pressure and "apply even strokes against your skin, preferably in the direction of lymphatic flow." For your neck, this would mean scraping downward. You can best accomplish your optimum lymphatic drainage by starting at your jaw and scraping down to your collarbone.