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WHAT IS AN INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE?

Posted on 4 August, 2015 at 4:40

HISTORY

Indian Head Massage is based on an ancient Indian healing system, called Ayurveda, (“knowledge of life”), which teaches self-care, prevention of illness, maintaining health and wellness, the points balance the chakras and clear energy blockages.The techniques used have been handed down over generations. This therapy is sometimes referred to as "Champissage", (a Hindi word meaning Head), from which the word "shampoo" comes from.

The modern Indian Head massage combines shiroabhyanga (the original family head massage), champi (more commonly found in barber shops in India), and Japanese shiatsu points. In some parts of India, this massage is incorporated into people's daily routines, not only to help maintain hair in good condition, but also to stimulate the body's natural healing ability. The method is meant to be preventative and to reduce the progress of prevailing conditions of illness. For over 4000 years Indian mothers have given weekly Indian Head massages to their children. The knowledge of Indian head massage came to the west with migrating Indian families and has become a useful part of the many complementary therapies in use today. It can take as little as 20 minutes or up to 45 mins to an hour. The beauty of this massage is you do not have to remove any clothing to have it performed and you can sit in an ordinary chair. Its main purpose is for relaxation and as it engages the circulation it lends itself to other therapeutic feelings and benefits.

 

WHAT IS IT LIKE?

While the title indicates only the head being massaged, this treatment focuses on the parts of the body most prone to tension and stress: the upper back, neck, shoulders, upper arms, face and scalp. The massage is calming yet revitalizing and combines effleurage, stroking, kneading, friction, percussion and pressure point techniques. When a person first experiences Indian Head Massage therapy they shouldn’t be too body conscious, because they are not going to be able to relax and enjoy the treatment. If you are analysing the massage moves and wondering why they weren’t effective for you, thinking that perhaps the therapist wasn’t doing a very good job, you can’t really enjoy! You have to know, that it takes time to feel comfortable with your therapist and that a large part of the effectiveness of the treatment lies in your own ability to let go: to disconnect from thoughts, plans, analytical thinking, and reconnect with yourself. As with most things in life, a good result takes time to achieve. It also takes time to ascertain which style and type of treatment is most effective for each client, as well as clients communicating preferences and reaching a point of trust.

WHO COULD BENEFIT:

Indian Head Massage is becoming more popular at spas, nursing homes, hospice settings, airports and for onsite corporate massage. It is particularly helpful for people confined to a wheel chair and for any client wanting deep relaxation. Air-conditioning and artificial lighting often cause headaches, as can sitting slouched in front of the computer all day, or the steering wheel, which may result in discomfort of the neck and shoulder areas. It is absolutely beneficial for those who spend long hours working in front of the computer, and those who work with the upper part of the body, such as hairdressers or beauticians. Many businesses are discovering the benefits of this ancient practice and are offering their employees free in-house massages (or providing facilities) in their efforts to improve the well-being of their workforce, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. Indian Head Massage can be performed anywhere and is just as effective if done dry (with no oils used). All strokes can be done without oil if client prefers.

IS INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE SAFE?

Yes - it is a simple yet effective treatment. However, it may be necessary to obtain medical permission prior to treatment if you are presenting certain conditions - see contraindications.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Indian Head massage is an instant de-stressing treatment for the entire body. It stimulates the release of endorphins from the brain which helps relieve pain, emotional stress and repressed feelings, also elevates the mood which can help with anxiety. This treatment works on areas, affected by mental and emotional stress and can bring immediate relief with specific relaxation of muscles and the easing of tension. A professional Indian Head Massage should in fact feel like a full-body massage, as the effects of treatment are felt throughout the entire body. This is because there are several important acupressure points on the head, which are worked during the treatment.

WHAT A TYPICAL SESSION ENTAILS:

There are many different styles of Indian Head Massage. One of them is developed by Lolita Knight, who has gathered knowledge from individuals she befriended in the many places she visited (such as Fiji and Tonga) and while living in New Zealand for 25 years. She has added the table segment of the class in response to students' requests for an adaptation of the traditional seated technique to everyday table work.

Traditional seated style includes massage to the upper back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, scalp and face. The actual massage time is 30 minutes, but allow 45 minutes to an hour. However, length of treatment can be adjusted to suit your requirements.Usually this massage does not require undressing. A series of treatments are advised in order to fully receive the benefits. Make sure you do not eat a heavy meal or consume alcohol just before your appointment. First appointment for this treatment includes about a 15 minute consultation, where you will be asked questions about your health and lifestyle. This is an important aspect of the treatment as it is beneficial for the therapist to have an understanding of all the factors that may be affecting your health and work out the treatment objectives. All information is held in strictest confidence. If possible, have no hair products in your hair, such as gel or hair spray. Hair should be pulled up and away to allow strokes of the neck and shoulder areas. After the first segment of the Indian Head Massage routine, hair is let down, any hair bands, scrunchies, clips or barrettes are removed, and a small amount of oil is distributed into the skin and the hair. Various pressures and techniques are applied. 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! You will experience immediate relief to tense shoulder and back muscles, reduced stress, calm clear mind, improved alertness, concentration and productivity.

THE USE OF OIL AND THE BENEFITS

The massage may be dry or oils may be used. Carrier oil and essential oils are used for the skin and virgin base oils are used as a part of the treatment for the hair (usually sweet almond, sesame, coconut, olive, argan, etc). They are important for:

• strengtheing and nourishing hair

• softening the scalp allowing for hair growth improvement

• increasing sebum production (which will condition the hair), and improving sebaceous gland function (wich will help with cleansing the pores)

• calming the nervous system, as the roots of one's hair are connected to nerve fibres.

The finest yet is to get organic ayurveda oil. There, organic herbs are slowly steeped in oil in an earthen pot for several days over a low flame and poured by hand through natural cloth so each blend is made by hand in the traditional way.

You can receive much more benefits if the massage is done with oils. Just be aware if you are allergic to nuts or some of the herbs! This will prevent the usage of certain carrier, virgin, or essential oils.

HOW YOU WILL FEEL AFTER THE TREATMRNT?

Most people feel very relaxed and refreshed after treatments, on occasion they may stir up emotions as part of the healing process. You may feel tired, but sometimes full of energy. Some people experience a healing reaction, such as headaches, cold or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are normally of short duration. When treatment is complete we will discuss how you are feeling and suggestions may be made to incorporate various changes to your routine/diet and so on.

HOW MANY TREATMNTS WILL YOU NEED?

This varies from person to person. Healing with therapies are a process rather than an event. In general most problems will take time to heal. If your problem is a long standing one, it may require treatments over a longer period of time.

AFTER CARE ADVICE:

It is advised to drink water or herbal tea for the rest of the day to help flush toxins and rehydrate. Avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks – (Coffee, Cola). Avoid alcohol, as this will just counteract the effectiveness of the treatment. Relax, rest, and enjoy the release of tension and stress for the rest of the day.

 

Categories: INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE

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