What is an Indian Head Massage?
Indian Head Massage is a form of massage therapy that has its roots in the ancient Ayurvedic healing system and has been practised in India for thousands of years.
Through a variety of different techniques, the massage works on the energy centres of the head, neck and shoulders to release built up tension. It does so by applying pressure to certain points on the neck, shoulders and head that correspond to each Chakra (energy centre) – which is a similar approach to that of reflexology. This helps to unblock the Chakras, and allows for a free flow of energy around the body, restoring the individual to optimum health and feelings of wellbeing.
What to Expect From an Indian Head Massage
An Indian Head massage is the ideal way to get a person “out of their head”, far far away from everyday emotional and mental stress.
The massage lasts approximately 40 minutes, and you are seated throughout, on a low backed chair without arms. It is your choice whether we use any oils in the hair and on the body. It will often depend on where you are – in the clinic or in your own home, most people like the shoulder/neck/arm part of the massage to be done directly onto their skin, using oil, but obviously in an office, or more public environment, the upper body massage can be given through clothing.
Starting at the upper back and shoulders, we begin by warming the area with gentle effleurage/ ‘stroking’ massage, followed by a series of frictions, heel of the hand rubs, thumb circles, finger pulls, squeezes and champissage which can help release tension and relax the muscles.
We then move to the neck, again starting with gentle strokes, and continuing with fingertip and heel of hand rubbing, aiming to release headache-causing blockages and to encourage better circulation. The massage then progresses to the scalp, using stroking, circling, rubbing, gentle tugging and lifting to relax the entire head, encouraging circulation and stimulating hair growth.
Lastly, we finish with a gentle face massage that may relieve symptoms of sinusitis & headaches, and encourages good circulation and a glowing complexion.
Physiologically, massage of the neck and shoulders can bring immediate relief from stress and tension in the major muscles groups. The circulatory and lymphatic systems are improved, reducing muscles tension and restoring flexibility and fluidity of movement.
Massaging the scalp stimulates the flow of blood to the hair follicles, which in turn improves the supply of nutrients required for healthy hair growth. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of poor circulation is muscular tension that has been caused by stress. By dispelling this tension, an Indian Head Massage can help improve hair condition, headaches and eyestrain.
In summary, you may experience some of the following benefits from regular IHM treatments :
- General relaxation of muscular tension by increasing flexibility and preventing stress induced muscle spasm
- Relief from tension headaches
- Neck and shoulder tension can be released – especially useful if you do regular keyboard work, driving or cycling
- Stimulated lymphatic flow
- Boosted overall immunity
- Improved circulation, which in turn increases energy levels
- Better clarity of thought and increased concentration (so great for the office!)
- Relief of Temporo-Mandibular Joint tension (TMJ syndrome), often caused by clenching or grinding teeth
- Increased muscle tone
- Relief from symptoms of sinusitis
- Improved circulation with additional oxygen and nutrients to the head/ hair, thereby potentially reducing hair loss, premature balding and greying hair
- Relief from restlessness and insomnia
An Indian Head massage may also improve overall mental health by:
- Relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Providing relief from stress and promoting relaxation
- Improving concentration levels
- Renewing energy levels
- Increasing feelings of peace, calm and well being.
- Boosting memory capabilities
Indian Head Massage should not be carried out if you are suffering from some symptoms/conditions including:-
- high temperature/ fever,
- vomiting or diarrhoea,
- a recent accident or injury, especially to the head/neck (eg whiplash, concussion)
- infectious diseases eg flu, chickenpox, shingles, measles etc
- headlice, scabies, ringworm
- Bacterial infections eg impetigo, conjunctivitis, folliculitis
- Intoxication – due to drugs or alcohol
Also, if you have very high or low blood pressure, serious cardiovascular conditions or heavy/ complex medication, I may wish you to confirm with your GP that they have no objection to you receiving an IHM treatment.Before starting a treatment I will go through a medical questionnaire with you which will cover these areas, but also ask you about other conditions you may have, such as recent scar tissue/operations/ fracture sites, hormone implants or recent vaccinations in your arms, recent botox injection sites and what, if any, medication you are taking.
All personal information obtained will of course be treated as confidential.
Whilst you are bound to feel great after your Indian Head Massage, there is a strong possibility that your hair may look a little ‘tussled’! You might like to bring a hairbrush and, if you have longer hair, a band, or a hat to wear on the way home from your session.