Over on my other blog (Wightrabbit’s Blog), I recently accepted a ‘Versatile Blogger” award from Pete Denton (http://petedenton.wordpress.com). As a condition of the award, I had to reveal seven things about myself – one of which was that I have a Level 3 Diploma in Indian Head Massage. I also nominated ‘The Water Witch’s Daughter (http://suzicate.wordpress.com) to recieve the award and, in her comment to me, the author asked what Indian Head Massage was. So, Suzi, this one is for you!
Indian Head Massage is not new – it has been practiced in India for over a thousand years. Based on the ancient Ayurvedic healing system, it evolved from traditional rituals of Indian family grooming. For generations women have been taught by their mothers to massage different, locally available oils, (coconut; sesame; olive; almond, and mustard) into their scalp to maintain the beautiful condition of their hair. And – from the age of 6 – children are taught to show love and respect by sharing massage with other family members.
But Indian Head Massage is not only performed in the home. Barbers have developed a more stimulating and invigorating routine to offer their clients, which has been passed down, through the generations from barber father to barber son. In India it is often offered on street corners and on the beach.
It was brought to England in the 1970’s by physiotherapist Narendra Mehta, who extended it to include the upper back; upper arms; shoulders; neck; scalp and face. This has opened it up as an ideal complimentary therapy for helping to manage stress, anxiety and depression and to maintain general health and well-being.
The major advantage of Indian Head Massage is that it can be performed anywhere, with the minimum of fuss. The client can remain fully clothed throughout, sitting in a chair and doesn’t have to lean forward. This makes it suitable for those with restricted mobility and pregnant women, who may benefit from a massage but may not be comfortable lying down for one. Although natural oils may be used if the client desires, treatment without them is just as effective.
Clients report many beneficial effects, including:
- Reduction in muscular tension and pain in shoulders and neck (whether stress-related or from injury)
- Relief from eyestrain, headaches, tinnitus and sinus problems
- A lessening in the frequency and severity of migraine attacks (although treatment is not given whilst suffering)
- More restful sleep, increased energy levels and mental clarity
- Feelings of uplift, balance, peace and calm
It is important to remember that Indian Head Massage is not a cure. It should be regarded more as a ‘helping hand’ designed to balance the whole body, encourage natural healing and refresh the mind. In all but a few cases – which a trained therapist will establish prior to treatment – it is completely safe.
A Treatment lasts between 30 and 40 minutes and begins with a full consultation to build a picture of your health and lifestyle. The massage can then be tailored to suit individual requirements – it can be either stimulating or relaxing, vigorous or gentle and can include balancing of the upper three chakras (energy centres), if desired. It is quick and simple to apply and – according to my clients – is extremely effective. It is becoming more widely available in Britain – often at the hairdressers – and costs between £15 and £20.
As you can probably tell, I am passionate about Indian Head Massage – both as a therapist and a client. Even though the flowing routine of movements is concentrated on the upperr body, the effects can be felt throughout. I strongly urge you to try one for yourself, if you get the opportunity!