Bojin vs Gua Sha: What you need to know

Although they seem similar on the surface, the popular Bojin and now stalwart Gua Sha are slightly different in application and the areas they treat. If you’re confused with the two, this is the right place to dispel any confusion and clarify any misconceptions. 

What is Bojin and Guasha? 

Bojin is an ancient Chinese technique where the therapist uses a pointed tool to scrape the skin and stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. In Gua Sha treatment, on the other hand, the therapist uses a smooth tool to scrape the skin and this technique is characterised by a temporary redness called “sha” or petechiae, which is caused by increased blood flow to the treatment area.

Are Bojin and Guasha done the same way? 

What is Bojin therapy

Bojin and Gua Sha therapy are both techniques developed with TCM principles in mind. When it comes to technique, there is some difference in the way they are carried out.

BojinGua Sha
ToolsA pointed tool, such as a Bian Shi stone or buffalo horn tool. The pointed tips of these tools allow for deeper and more precise targeting of specific areas, such as parts of a muscle, or tendons.
A flat, smooth-edged tool, such as a jade or rose quartz scraper
PressureMore pressure Light to medium pressure
Areas treatedMostly on the face and neckMost commonly used on the face, neck, and back

The pointed tip of the tool used during a Bojin facial massage makes it easier to target specific parts of the face, jawline and forehead, just as it does for the neck. The key difference is that Bojin can relieve tension in the tendons and muscles, on top of the circulation and inflammation reduction that comes with Gua Sha treatment.

Common Benefits

Improved circulation: The scraping motion of Gua Sha and Bojin is thought to help to break up stagnation and promote the flow of Qi and encourage blood circulation. This can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle tension in the body. In the case of Bojin facial massage, this blood circulation helps enhance the outlook of the skin.

Reduced inflammation: The scraping motion is also thought to remove toxins from the body, which can help to reduce inflammation. This is why Bojin facial massage can potentially improve skin health and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Bojin-specific benefits

Promotes acne healing: The scraping motion can help to break up scar tissue and promote the growth of new tissue. With acne-prone skin, Bojin facial massage can also speed up the recovery time from acne outbreaks.

Reduced stress: The scraping motion can stimulate the release of endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. This can help to reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being.

Muscle and tendon treatments: The tool used in Bojin treatments allows for the therapist to target specific parts of the body. Using the tool, they can press deeper into the muscle, or aim for a tendon, releasing tension where Gua Sha cannot.

Reduce Puffiness: Bojin facial massages also have the additional benefit of reducing puffiness in the face through the targeted application of pressure. By pressing down and moving the tool, the therapist can shift excess fluid away from the face.

Choosing between Bojin and Gua Sha

When choosing between a Bojin facial massage and Gua Sha, there are a few factors that you need to consider.

If your goal is simply overall well-being, then you might go for Gua Sha treatment. After all, blood circulation and inflammation reduction is a key benefit of Gua Sha. However, if you’re looking for a more intense practice that releases tension and improves skin tone, then Bojin massage might be a better option for you.

Should you have oily or acne-prone skin, a Bojin facial massage may be a better option for you, as it can help to reduce oil production and improve skin clarity through its more targeted approach. Additionally, if you don’t want to have reddish scrape marks on your face, then a Bojin facial massage is less likely to leave a mark on you.

Finally, if you are new to Gua Sha and Bojin, Gua Sha may be a better option for you, as it is a gentler practice. If you have more experience with TCM massage, Bojin may be a better option for you, as it is a more intense practice that works on your skin on a deeper level.

Make an appointment with SkinLab

Whether it is Gua Sha or Bojin facial massage, SkinLab’s experienced, well-trained therapists can do it all. At SkinLab, Singapore’s largest medical spa chain, our professional therapists are ready to give you the glowing, vibrant skin you desire and deserve.

Make an appointment now.

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