Copyright (c) 2010 Ashley J Downs
What is Indian Head Massage? Why would it be better for me than any of the many other massage techniques available these days?
Having experienced a shoulder injury due to stress-related postural misalignment, I decided that it was time to start de-stressing my life and indulge myself with such a treatment.
Indian Head Massage is also known as Champissage and it is thought that this comes from ‘champi’, the Hindi word for practice – and massage.
Originally practised by the women of India, it has been used for centuries as a means of keeping their long hair in a healthy condition by increasing the sebum production of the hair follicles.
Indian Head Massages are based on the Ayurvedic system of healing and the head, neck and face are massaged to release any stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, neck, shoulders and face.
It was brought from India to the west as a head massage in the 1970s by Narendra Mehta, a blind man who developed a sequence of specific movements and extended the practice to include the face, neck, and shoulders, and is particularly good for relieving stress, fatigue, tension and headaches.
However, it is not suitable for everyone and should be avoided for patients who have spondylitis, spondylosis, thrombosis or injury to the head or neck.
An Indian Head Massage can be performed virtually anywhere that there is a comfortable chair because it can be done with the patient fully clothed.
For my massage, I removed my tshirt and had a towel wrapped around my upper body. The therapist then rubbed aromatherapy oils into my upper back before utilising a series of Massage, Shiatsu and Acupressure techniques involving compression and deep kneading on my scalp, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and face.
The idea is that these will help to eliminate muscular tension, rebalance the energy and stimulate the supply of nutrients to the tissues.
This, in turn, promotes the removal of the metabolic waste which can cause stress and muscular pain within the body.
The movements themselves are not too forceful and it is all very relaxing. My treatment took about half an hour, after which I was able to sit quietly for a while, rehydrating with a glass of water.
After a treatment some clients may notice aching muscles, dizziness and fatigue. As the body gets rid of the toxins and waste materials that have been released, they may also find it necessary to go the bathroom to urinate more often.
For myself, I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep, it was so relaxing. My only complaint was the mess that it made of my hair.