Indian Head Massage

Indian Head massage has been developed here in the West from the ‘Champissage’ massage practiced in India for thousands of years, in homes by women for their families, in barber shops by men, even on street corners, and the therapeutic and energy balancing techniques of the Indian Ayur Vedic Medicine system.

Benefits of Indian Head Massage 

Many people go for an Indian head massage because it feels wonderful, and depending on the style, can be deeply relaxing or energising and balancing. However it has many benefits. Other forms of massage are more focused on relieving tension in the muscles and fascia. Indian head massage is more focused on stimulating the free flow of blood, lymph (fluid), and energy in your upper body, and cerebral fluid in the head. Oxygen and nutrients can then flow in and waste products can be flushed out (often called detoxification). Then energy channels and centres in the head (marmas) and along the spine (chakras) are balanced, having a beneficial effect on the whole person, body, mind, emotions and spirit.

Indian head massage can:
- relieve tension and stress
- reduce tension headaches and migraines
- relieve TMJ pain and earache - do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
- relieve eyestrain
- reduces oedema - fluid retention, eg puffy swollen tissues
- stimulate immunity
- calm the nervous system, reducing restlessness
- drain sinuses, calm and clear the respiratory system, reducing symptoms of asthma, colds, and allergies such as hayfever, etc
- nourish hair, improving hair condition and stimulating the growth of stronger, thicker hair
- calm the mind - do you feel like you never 'switch off'?
- relieve 'brain fog' and mental fatigue
- improve alertness, concentration and memory and allow more creative thinking
- reduce depression and anxiety, lift mood and give a feeling of wellbeing
- relieve insomnia, promoting good sleep.
- renew and balance energy

"My massage with Ceri was a wonderful birthday present. She sorted out all the tension in my shoulder, and left me feeling wonderful after an Indian head massage - floaty and clear headed at the same time!" 
Ms Clare Brown, Lancaster.

I now offer 2 very different styles of Indian head massage, Release and Balance or Gentle Bliss, both an hour session. Or alternatively, a shorter version of either style for 45 minutes, or an extended Indian head massage using a range of techniques at an hour and a half and including a full back massage.

Indian Head Massage Release and Balance

This treatment includes more vigorous, stimulating and energising techniques, such as squeezing and rubbing, particularly to the scalp and the shoulders. It can also include deeper work into stiff or knotty muscles when this is wanted to release tension. However that doesn't mean it isn't relaxing - people have been known to fall asleep while sitting up during this treatment, and yet leave feeling uplifted (even euphoric) and energised! Vigorous tension and energy release alternates with gentler soothing strokes.

This is usually a seated treatment, first leaning onto pillows on the treatment couch for work to the upper back, then sat up for the neck, shoulders and arms, and head, and finally supported leaning back against the therapist and a pillow and cushion for the face.

The upper body is usually wrapped in a velcro-together towel. Women may leave the bra on if they wish, with arms out of the straps. Alternatively, it is possible to do the treatment with the person fully clothed, please discuss if this is your preference.

It can also be done in an adapted way with the client lying down - first on your front, and then on your back on a treatment couch. Let me know if you would prefer this. For example, if you are not comfortable sitting for any period of time - or if you would like me to spend longer on the face.

Back, Neck and Arms
This option includes vigorous rubbing, squeezing, kneeding and 'chopping' (champi) to upper back, especially around the shoulder blades and on the top of the shoulders, thorough work all around the neck, and a little work on lower back (more if on the couch, very little if seated). Arms are squeezed and smoothing downwards.

First kneading, rubbing, ruffling, squeezing, plucking, tugging, tapping and stroking around your scalp and right to ends of your hair. Then gentle massage, finger tip pressure and sweeping movements along the energy channels and vital energy points (marmas) of your face and head to release tension, clear sinuses and balance your energies.

Energy field
Hands held away from the body balance the 7 major chakras (energy centres - the diagram shows the location of each of these, the main associated colour and the Indian and English names) and the bodies aura or energy field to leave you feeling grounded, centred, energised yet calm and peaceful.

This is the option to take if:
- you want more or deeper work in your back, neck and shoulders
- you feel a lot of tension in the back of your head
- you want a more stimulating or energising session
- love having your hair washed at the hairdressers, because it feels so good, or love people playing with your hair
- you want your hair thoroughly oiled or your scalp stimulated for hair growth
- you want all your chakras and your whole energy field balanced.

Indian Head Massage Gentle Bliss

This treatment is all performed with the client lying down, and with a focus on creating deep relaxation, peace and serenity.  

The first part of the session involves a series of gentle, deeply relaxing repeated movements to the face, scalp, shoulders and upper arms. 
The second part involves gentle finger tip pressure, circling, and sweeping to release tension, blocked energy and congested sinuses or lymph in specific points, nodes and channels in the head and shoulders, and blissful slow scalp massage.

Then I finish off by briefly balancing chakras (energy centres) of the upper body, at heart, throat, brow, eyes, ears and crown, then grounding the energy down through the lower spinal chakras and the feet.

This is the option to take if:
- your main goal is relaxation
- you don't want to have to sit, lie on your front, or move around, just lie down and drift away
- you don't like the idea of hair tugging and plucking, or vigorous rubbing and chopping on your shoulders - would much prefer something gentle and soothing
- you'd like most time spent on your face and the top and sides of your head.

Indian Head Massage Back Special

This is a 'fusion' session, developed with a client who asked me to combine Swedish Back Massage with Indian Head Massage. An extended treatment for those who wish for more thorough work to the whole back.

First you lie down on your front on the couch for deep work on whole back using both Swedish and Indian techniques. 

Then you turn over (covered with a towel) for Swedish and Indian work on the upper chest/neck/shoulders, and Indian work on the head using techniques from 'release and balance' AND 'gentle bliss' - and you can let me know your preferences in approach and I can adapt to what you want from the session.

You may either stay on the couch for the whole session, or (with a towel wrapped and securely velcroed around you) to finish, you may get up and sit on a chair for
- more work on any remaining tension or knots in the neck and shoulders 
- more gentle head massage or playing with the hair!
- balancing of all the 7 major chakras and energy field being balanced and grounded.

Some people can feel a little 'spaced out' or 'blissed out' after an Indian head massage, Having some work in a seated position to finish can help you to come back down to earth and ready to go back out into the world!

Use of Oils on Skin and Hair

In India, various oils are liberally applied to the skin and hair for their moisturising, nourishing and other special and beneficial properties. If you can book a treatment when you are happy for the use of oil and to leave it on the skin and hair for as long as possible before washing it is an excellent deep conditioning treatment. However, in the West, clients sometimes prefer the massage to use minimal oil, to avoid oil on the hair, or be totally oil free. I'll check your preferences with you. You may wish to bring something to tie back your oiled hair after the treatment, or a hat to cover it.

I choose which oil to use depending on you, your skin and hair and what you need from the massage that day. My favourite oils to use for Indian head massage are:

Coconut Oil Light and silky smooth in texture, good for gentle gliding massage. I use a fractionated oil which is liquid at room temperature and has very little smell. It is cooling. Excellent for moisturising and softening skin (including skin with excema or psoriasis) and dry, brittle and chemically treated hair. Coconut oil is traditionally used in India for women and in Ayurvedic Medicine for those with a Pitta dosha (constitution).

Sesame Oil Slightly thick or heavy in texture, good for slow, vigorous or deep massage. It has a nutty, slightly woody scent, a bit like raw honey. It is warming. strengthening and nourishing for hair and skin and is traditionally used to help prevent greying, dandruff and head lice. It is particularly used in Ayurvedic Medicine for those with a Vata dosha (constitution) but is good for all constitutional types.

I may also use sunflower, or grapeseed oils, both medium texture. Mustard oil - traditionally used in India for men and in Ayurvedic Medicine for those with a Kapha dosha (constitution) may occasionally be used sparingly as it is very thick and has a pungent spicy smell. It is heating, cleanses the blood and is good for releasing knotted muscles and relieving aches, pains and sinus congestion. Olive oil is a milder less pungent Western alternative which I sometimes use.

As I am also a qualified Aromatherapist, I can also make up a blend with added essential oils, either for their beneficial effects on skin or hair or for various physical, mental or emotional benefits. This can be traditional Indian oils such as soothing, spiritual Sandalwood or grounding, calming Patchouli, or something closer to home - eg Rosemary gives shiny strong hair, eases aches and pains, clears the sinuses, and helps give mental focus and improve memory. Let me know if you would like me to incorporate Aromatherapy into your Indian head massage.

Please consider that before the facial massage I will usually remove any make-up if you are wearing it. You may therefore wish not to apply make-up. Alternatively, you may prefer me to leave your makeup on, in which case I can do an adapted face massage with gentle stroking and pressure points.

More testimonials here

Indian Head Massage Times and Prices

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