Your Favorite Skincare Tool Could Do Wonders For Foot Pain

While many popular skincare trends make their way around social media, some open your eyes to tools or techniques that have been around for ages. One of the more effective devices that established itself as a staple in wellness influencers' skincare routines is the gua sha.

It's been touted as an effective way to reduce inflammation, especially if you find yourself frequently waking up with a puffy face. Interestingly, gua sha is an ancient type of traditional Chinese medicine that dates back to the stone age. The practice of gliding stones on the surface of the skin has a long history of health benefits.

Since gua sha literally means to "scrape away illness," it makes sense that these stones could be used for more than just the face, and they are. Using jade rollers or stones on your face has been found to improve lymphatic drainage and help sculpt your jawline. However, you may be wondering how to use a gua sha for a full-body massage, and there are actually many techniques. These tools have often been used on other parts of the body and can do wonders for your foot pain.

Gua sha can be used on your whole body

Gua sha works by increasing blood flow throughout your body and releasing tension in your muscles. Therefore, it's commonly used on areas that frequently feel tight, like your neck, shoulders, back, and feet. While these stones may seem like they're a part of your typical relaxing massage, they do work a little differently.

When it comes to using this skincare tool for your feet, the gua sha technique is an effective way to treat pulled or overused muscles. Specifically, your body contains fascia, which is what holds or connects everything in your body: from bones to muscles, blood vessels, and organs. They are structural in nature but also contain sensitive nerves that can lead to pain and muscle impingement.

This foot pain can affect your movement and often leads to compensation and muscle misuse. It's hard to avoid continual walking or standing, but it's harder to keep your regular stride or stance when every step is painful. Therefore, gua sha is ideal for breaking up the fascia, or connective tissue, that surrounds the tight or pulled muscles in your feet. By stimulating circulation and working on those tight knots, you will feel pain relief.

How to treat your own foot pain

As with most techniques that have longevity on their side, gua sha is quite versatile. It's also important to know how to choose the best gua sha stone for you and your intended purpose. While many of the facial tools used are thinner with rounded edges, it's recommended to use a much longer stainless steel tool for your feet because it will be more effective in relieving pain. Think of the shape of a boomerang that can be held with both hands with a middle that glides on the arch of your foot. 

Since the goal of gua sha is to penetrate the muscles and fascia beneath the skin's surface, you will need to apply a decent amount of pressure. In order for this tool to glide seamlessly from your heels to your toes while keeping your skin healthy, it's advised to apply a topical oil that won't immediately be absorbed by your skin.

Coconut oil is a great option and can help the tool move smoothly so you can better pinpoint your source of pain. It may be that your foot pain runs further up your leg, and following it with your tool can help alleviate it from the source. While it may not be the most comfortable "massage" you've gotten, it will be effective, and if you've been dealing with foot pain, gua sha may be worth a try.