Gua Sha Maison Ito

There are good facials. And there are some beyond-amazing treatments that can transform your skin from inside out, making you believe that reversing back time is possible after all. I am sure that most of you are interested in the latter. Which is why I’ve decided to launch a wellness challenge in the pursuit of finding answer to what works and what doesn’t from all the fancy and curious treatments out there. The goal is to share my honest opinion with you and hopefully help you navigate through the sea of information regarding female beauty. Important to know is that none of these posts on Beauty and Skincare is sponsored, unless specifically noted at the very beginning of the post. 

My first stop In the Name of Beauty is Maison Ito, known in Zurich as one of the best places specialised in Face Lifting Massage performed as a fusion of lymphatic drainage, Japanese massage (also called Kobido) and shiatsu. Some of the tools used at Maison  Ito are Gua Sha, power yoga massage and Cupping. 

You may have heard already about Gua Sha, a massage practice taken from traditional Chinese medicine, which is gaining a lot of popularity lately in the Western world too. The practice consists of gentle upward strokes meant to tone the face and stimulate the lymphatic system. The tools used in this practice are semiprecious stones like rose quartz and nephrite jade carved to have a firm, flat surface.

I won’t lie to you, I always feel fascinated and curious when it comes to such old traditional rituals with exotic names, and who doesn’t! I had to definitely give Gua Sha a try and find out whether it actually works! Today I am adding to my experience a little more insider’s information from the founder of Maison Ito in Zurich, Emilie Celine.  

maison Ito Face massage
Maison Ito Face Massage

Tsitaliya: What is the philosophy behind your work? 

Emilie: The heart of my philosophy is my belief in a sensorial experience that brings radiance and younger-looking skin, without compromising the health with synthetic chemical ingredients. I love helping my guests with finding their balance and improving their self-esteem with sharing my knowledge on how to better care of themselves.

Tsitaliya: How did you learn and developed your approach to beauty? 

Emilie: It started 5 years ago when for the first time in Barcelona I tried a massage by a facialist (a face massage therapist and skin expert). I fell in love with the treatment, which was similar to a gym for the face muscles. I work as a personal trainer and exploring and working in depth with the facial muscles was very much in alignment with what I was already doing for the body. That’s how my journey started and eventually I developed my own method implementing natural and effective techniques, adding aromas that can help people experience beside the face lifting effect, also a deep relaxation. 

Tsitaliya: Can you tell me more about the ritual of Gua Sha? 

Emilie: Gua Sha has been a treatment used for centuries in China. Slowly is has started gaining popularity in Switzerland as well. I use quartz stone, nephrite jade and bian stone in my practice. There are several keys beside the used tools, such as the pressure you apply and the angle when moving along the muscle lines. The goal is to activate the lymph and stimulate the blood circulation. This treatment is particularly good to contour the face. You can see direct results and there is a slimming effect for the face. The ritual works well around the eyes too, helping against dark circles and puffiness. Overall 

Gua Sha heals the skin and you can use the tool at home as long as you learn the techniques. I encourage my clients to do it at home as well. 

Maison Ito Gua Sha

Tsitaliya: Do you use the stone with specific products? 

Emilie: The most important is that the skin needs to be well cleaned. In order to slide along the face you may apply oil or serum for slippery effect and not to harm the skin. 

Tsitaliya: What are the main benefits for the skin? 

Emilie: Gua Sha is great for sagging skin. The best results show on the neck and the oval of the face and the cheekbones. 

Tsitaliya: What is the difference between the quartz roller I have at home and the Gua Sha tool? 

Emilie: The roller has a calming effect on the skin, it is almost like a stretching session after the initial work out, while the Gua Sha tool stimulates.  


Maison Ito Gua Sha

Tsitaliya: Let’s talk about the Power Yoga Massage for the face and how it is different from Gua Sha? 

Emilie: This is a ritual inspired by yoga as I am using yoga balls for example, but it also includes Gua She to drain the face even better. The goal if to re-awaken the muscles, the opposite of freezing them like Botox does for example. 

Tsitaliya: How about cupping! What is it and what are the benefits for the face?  

Emilie: Cupping is another tool to boost the blood circulation and activate the lymph. It is another thing used in the Chinese medicine and traditionally has been used on the back. Activating the blood circulation helps the cells to re-generate better and faster, it stimulates the production of collagen and helps with improved elasticity on the skin!

Tsitaliya: What is your recommendation, how often should we repeat such treatments/massages for the face? 

Emilie: I would recommend to have one of these treatments at least once a month with a specialist and of course you can support this kind of work with daily home routine. It depends on the skin condition, some people need it more often at the beginning. You can start with a series of massages every ten days! 

Tsitaliya: What’s your favourite hack into skin care in the last few years?

Emilie: Proper cleaning of the face is essential. And of course natural skin care. I use Detox Deluxe from Le Pure, a brand started by two women entrepreneurs. They use proper essential oils and plants that respect the integrity of the skin. 

Tsitaliya: Who or what inspires you when it comes to female beauty? 

Emilie: Nature inspires me all the time when it comes to beauty. I have a great respect and admiration for nature and that is an endless inspiration for me. 

Emilie used to be a personal trainer before, and she still is, but after moving from Barcelona to Zurich, she decided to explore how the facial muscles work too. She studied and tried several Asian techniques from different cultures and then designed her own rituals for Maison Ito.  Find out more about Emilie here. 

Tsitaliya: I’ve tried your treatments more than one time and I was impressed in  the way you start and finish as well, so would you be able to share some parts of your rituals explaining what it means?

Emilie: When I started Maison Ito I wanted to turn it into a place where people can re-connect with their sense. My goal from the very beginning is to put you on a state of deep relaxation! Then of course the massage is very important, the tools and the aromas, every little thing adds up to the experience. What’s really important for me is to hold space for my clients to go into reset mode! When we finish they feel rested but also re-energized.  

Tsitaliya: Is Gua Sha and Power Yoga for everyone? 

Emilie: Yes, no matter the age or state of skin. Gua Sha is great for acne for example as it helps eliminate toxins and evens the tone. Pregnant women love these kind of massages and they are completely harmless for them. For those who just had Botox I wouldn’t recommend it because these kind of techniques will fade the results of the fillers and the Botox.  


Maison Ito Gua Sha

Final Verdict: For me the immediate effect of the Gua Sha method was in the face contour. I saw a slimming and lifting effect but what I really appreciated was the beauty of the ritual and how deeply I rested and re-charged during this session. One hour with 

Emilie equals one day at the SPA. Book your Gua Sha treatment at Maison Ito with special CODE muminheels and get 15 min bonus treatment today. Valid till March 2020!


Photo Credits Maison Ito