Puffiness under the eyes is a common complaint. I often hear the question, Why do I have puffiness under my eyes or Why do I have dark circles under my eyes? There's a variety of reasons, such as:
-Lack of sleep
-High glucose diet
-High caffeine intake
-Diet of high inflammatory foods
-Medication that causes fluid retention
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, problems in the under eye area signify an issue with kidney function.
The most effective treatments include manual lymph drainage. Gua Sha incorporates this as well as acupressure to reduce inflammation under the eyes.
Gua Sha is a massage technique thousands of years old from Traditional Chinese Medicine. It utilizes flat, smooth stones, typically jade, but sometimes rose quartz, amethyst, or other stones. This stone is carved to varying shapes that have grooves, points, and hollowed out sections that fit around the contours of the face. Unlike Gua Sha performed on the body, facial Gua Sha uses very light pressure to gently encourage the lymph to move through its channels.
The lymph system is an amazing open circulatory system full of channels that empty out into our lymph nodes where it is cleaned and sent back to work again. When we talk about the lymph system, most people recognize it as part of our immune system when we're sick. We've probably all experienced the swelling in our lymph nodes during a cold. But a healthy immune system also contributes to how we age.
If your lymph system is stagnant, which has become increasingly common as desk jobs are more and more prevalent, your body will not be able to take away dead cells and proliferate new ones as easily. Health doesn't just equal not being overrun by a virus, it means continuing the day to day cleaning and creating activities our bodies need to do to exist.
This is how Gua Sha functions as an anti-aging technique. It coaxes the body to break up stagnation and resume cleaning and creating new cells. It brings health back to the skin, causing the body to reduce its own puffiness.
In my practice, I add Gua Sha to any facial that needs it. A full Gua Sha facial session can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Gua Sha can also be completed at home, with a little direction. After a full session, a nightly routine that takes 2-5 minutes can keep the lymph flowing, and the puffiness at bay, for an all around healthy glow.