Head massage has been used for 1,000's of years in India for relaxation as well as playing a part in rituals and Ayurvedic healing.
It makes a great treatment for anyone who spends their working life in front of a computer because it addresses the problems caused by our sedentary working habits.
If you work at a desk you may be familiar with:
- Tension Headaches
- Sore shoulders
- Eye strain
- Lack of concentration
- Stress related overwhelm
- Muscle tension
No wonder this flexible treatment has become ubiquitous.
What happens in a treatment?
Massage is part of everyday life in India, where you'll see people getting treatments on street corners or in the barbers. In the UK Indian Head Massage is popular because it can be done pretty much anywhere. You keep your clothes on and sit on an ordinary chair, so it's easy to fit one in at lunchtime without altering your schedule too much. Requiring no equipment means it is easy for the therapist to come to you; a great way of fitting some stress-reducing massage into a busy schedule. Sessions last 20-45 minutes and you sit, clothed, while your therapist works her magic. The massage covers the whole of the upper body; from the top of back, shoulders, arms, neck, to the scalp and face. Techniques vary widely but usually include a combination of kneading, pressure points and gentle percussive work (finger tapping). Some therapists will incorporate chakra-based energy work or holding as part of the treatment.
Where is it from?
Massage in India is an everyday part of domestic life, it is a great way of looking after the the skin, joints and vitality of the family members. This is usually done with oil to condition and strengthen hair, hence the head massage. Indian head massage was brought to the UK by bodyworker Narendra Mehta who has trademarked his massage as 'Champissage'. He was awarded an MBE for his social activism in 2012.
Who is it for?
This is a great treatment for someone new to massage or when you're short of time and need to stop the madness and come back into a relaxed place.
Who should stay away?
If you are protective of your blow-dry, then an Indian head massage is not going to be a relaxing experience; it's one to have after a meeting, rather than before. Other than that, the only things that would prevent you enjoying an Indian Head Massage are the usual contraindications for massage, which in most cases you probably wouldn't want a massage anyway. These include neck injuries, migraine, bruising, thrombosis, infections and recent surgery.
Why does it work?
Massaging the the soft tissue improves circulation bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the cells, eases out muscular tension and reduces cortisol. Therapists also report that these effects promote a healthy scalp, improve hair quality, relieve eyestrain and tiredness and improve concentration.