Gua Sha and Crystal Massage: Techniques for Healthy and Glowing Skin

Union Square. Feb. 2023. 144p. ISBN 9781454948445. $17.99. SELF-HELP
To the uninitiated, gua sha may seem like another trend in the skin-care zeitgeist. But with roots in traditional Chinese medicine, the centuries-old practice has stood the test of time. This title shows how gua sha is accessible to anyone with a few modest tools and a bit of instruction. Expert facialist Polier breaks it down to fundamentals in this easy-to-follow handbook, while respecting its cultural origins. Over a soothing palette of pastel backgrounds, line drawings demonstrate each facial massage technique. Accompanying text gives step-by-step instructions, suggests tools, and explains how the practices can affect desired cosmetic results as well as overall health. The easygoing tone is like a spa day in book form. Multiple mentions of specific Eastern practitioners and philosophical texts lend credence to the theories and give credit to the practice’s original masters. A brief bibliography suggests further reading, and an index directs readers to explore targeted concerns like acne or smoothing wrinkles.
VERDICT With its respect for cultural tradition and ease of access, this introduction to gua sha would be a fine addition to libraries where self-care titles circulate well.
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