What is Indian head massage?
Indian head massage is an ancient therapeutic treatment that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Part of the Hindu health care practice of Ayurveda, Indian head massage focuses on your head, neck and shoulders and was originally used to improve scalp and hair condition. It is a deep massage, using a variety of pressure and techniques, including circular massage strokes on your scalp, deep tissue work on your shoulders, and stretching the neck.
What is Indian head massage good for?
This form of massage focuses on the three higher "chakras" - mind, body and spirit and as such hits your energy epicentre.
It doesn't seem sufficient to say that a good Indian head massage will relax you. It's more than this. It can make you feel detached and serene, leave you sighing and wordless, but also alert and clear-headed, alleviating brain-fog and stress.
Even if you don't experience this level of relaxation, this massage treatment offers all kinds of other benefits. It may relieve aches, pains and tension in your neck, back and shoulders, improve the texture of your hair and encourage it to grow. An Indian head massage stimulates the flow of blood, lymph and oxygen in your upper body, and therefore may clear your sinuses, relieve stress and help you sleep better. And because it is said to help cure headaches (even migraine), eye strain and anxiety, some say an Indian head massage can help you to concentrate better at work.
Before you go
You should wear loose-fitting clothing, so that you don't feel restricted or uncomfortable. It's a good idea not to have too many layers. For an Indian head massage, the masseur is liable to want to massage your neck and shoulders, even your upper back, so a polo neck is a bad idea, as is complicated or tight-fitting underwear.
Indian head massage is kind to hair; it is not kind to hair-dos. Remove any hair bands, clips or slides before you go in, and book that hair appointment for the day after.
Bear in mind as well that as you may have oils rubbed into your scalp - you might want to take a cap, "Alice" or other hair band with you to make yourself look respectable on your way home, or back at work.
As with any treatment it is important to let me know in advance if you are, or think you might be, pregnant, have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication, have recently had an injury or operation, are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies, have any broken skin or sores on your scalp as this may affect the kind of oil and treatment you receive.
A complete Indian head massage will probably take between 25 and 45 minutes. A full assessment will be undertaken beforehand to get an idea of your lifestyle, any particular aches, pains or ailments you have. I will ask if you are having any medical treatments or taking medicines, as this might affect what oils being used and what type of pressure and technique.
In an Indian head massage, you are likely to have oils rubbed into your scalp. It is worth mentioning, too, that if you have dandruff, or thinning hair, some oils are can help improve these conditions.
Be prepared for the fact that some of the massage will be quite firm - it can be quite an odd sensation to have your skull massaged, for example - but stick with it. You will feel really relaxed and serene afterwards. The results are worth it.