There are many reasons why people turn to massage therapy. The manual manipulation, by rubbing or kneading, of our muscles and other soft tissues works wonders for reducing stress, relieving pain, eliminating tension, and even aiding in curing various health ailments.
No matter where your aches and pains are or what they stem from, there isn’t a lot that a good massage can’t help with, even if it just brings temporary relief.
This range of health benefits is largely due to the hundreds of techniques and styles of massage therapy practiced today.
One such style is the Indian Head Massage; perfect for ridding you of that pesky tension headache, loosening up those stiff and achy shoulders, rebalancing your energies, and even aiding in giving you happier and healthier hair (and those are just some of the benefits of Indian Head Massage).
What is the Indian Head Massage?
Today, the Indian Head Massage is a technique involving acupressure in the upper back, shoulders, neck, and head.
The primary intent of this massage style is releasing muscle knots and tension in the upper body, encouraging better circulation of the cerebral fluid throughout the head, and promoting hair growth and healthy skin.
Where Did It Originate?
The Indian Head Massage is part of an ancient Hindu healthcare practice known as Ayurveda (from the Sanskrit words ayur meaning “life” and veda meaning “science” or “knowledge”). It originated in India over 1000 years ago. Ayurveda itself is thought to be over 3000 years old, and actually remains one of the country’s most common and traditional health care practices.
Initially invented by women, this particular style of massage was primarily used to enhance their scalp and hair health, and that of their daughters.
Often used in conjunction with various oils (such as almond, coconut, olive, and sesame – each providing a unique benefit), it was quickly realized that these techniques not only aided in keeping their locks luxurious, but also promoted good health in general and even helped enhance the body’s natural healing powers.
It became a common family tradition; mothers would massage the heads of their babies and as they grew into young children. As they got older, the children learned the techniques themselves in order to perform the head massage on their elder family members in return and eventually to pass down to their children, keeping the tradition alive from generation to generation.
Until recently, 1973 to be exact, this massage style was still confined to India, unknown to the rest of the world.
It was Indian native Narendra Mehta who blessed the world with this unique and traditional massage after he had moved from India to England to continue his education and was underwhelmed when he found no such massage type available in his new home.
This prompted him to return to India, study the traditional head massage he had missed so much, and return to England to offer this new service. The technique spread from England to the rest of the world quickly, and is common throughout most western civilizations today.
In fact, it was Mehta who transformed this technique from the scalp focused traditional massage seen hundreds of years ago in India to the holistic upper-body massage it is known as today.
What To Expect
To say that an Indian Head Massage will relax you is a severe understatement.
Not only does this type of message therapy put you into a serene state of mind, but it will leave you feeling as if a physical weight was lifted off your shoulders.
Following the traditional Ayurvedic approach, an important aspect of this type of massage is to work on healing the balance of energies within your body.
The Indian Head Massage focuses on stimulating three specific chakras: the Chakras of the Throat, the Third Eye/Brow, and the Crown Chakra.
Rebalancing and healing these Chakras can have many positive affects on you psychologically and even spiritually.
You can expect to leave your appointment with restored senses of peace and tranquility, relieved of stress and worry you may have been carrying with you, and feeling generally more relaxed and at ease.
The Indian Head Massage differs slightly, from a physical standpoint, from most other types of massages available.
During this type of massage you should expect to be seated upright and you will remain clothed (unless you opt for a focus on your shoulders, in which case you can expect to wrap a towel around your torso).
The massage typically begins with pressure being applied in specific locations around your upper back and shoulders in order to remove any knots that may be present (known as acupressure) and reduce the tension in surrounding muscles. Your masseuse will then work their way up to your neck and finish by massaging the around the skull, usually with certain types of essential oils.
How an Indian Head Massage Benefit Will Benefit You
Aside from feeling amazing and being a great way to relax and shut the world out for an hour, there are actually many health benefits to booking yourself an Indian Head Massage.
- Prevention of Headaches/Migraines and Back Pain
Tension and tightness in the upper back and neck is one of the most common culprits of headaches, migraines, and even back pain.
By targeting and loosening the knots and tight muscles in your upper body and encouraging better circulation of cerebrospinal fluid by massaging the neck and scalp, you can rid yourself of that tightness and pounding overtaking your day.
- Relieve Insomnia and Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Indian Head Massages target both the physical and mental stress your body may be coping with, and aim to transport you into a calm state of deep relaxation.
Removing muscular discomfort, improving circulation of fluids throughout your brain, and promoting relaxation and enhanced senses helps your body’s healing abilities.
This rids your body of the stress that is preventing your brain from shutting down when you need to sleep, which in turn allows you to let your body fall into a restful state of relaxation once again.
- Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Massaging the head aids in increasing and revitalizing the circulation of oxygen through your brain. Increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain helps regain the proper chemical balance needed to maintain a healthy mental state.
The Indian Head Massage will encourage higher oxygen flow to your brain, lifting your mood and effectively reducing a variety of both mental and physical symptoms caused by anxiety or depression.
- Strengthens Memory
Too often, we let our brains become overloaded with thoughts, ideas, and feelings, usually being too busy to take a moment to breath and sort ourselves out. When we become too overloaded with information, we become incapable of properly categorizing and organizing these thoughts, which in turns hinders the efficiency of our memories.
The ways in which an Indian Head Massages help to rebalance our Chakras and strengthen our mental and sensual awareness is essentially a “reset” on our cluttered minds. This reset allows us to slow down and re-establish self-awareness, effectively revitalizing our memory.
- Revives Energy Levels
Chakras are, in fact, commonly referred to as the bodies “energies”. By rebalancing your chakras, you are effectively rebalancing the energies within your body.
By combining this rebalancing of energies with the cleansing of your mental state and the relaxation of your physical body, you will feel a new type of energy throughout your body.
You will feel energetic, refreshed, stabilized, and ready to face the day.
- Detoxifies Your Body
Through certain massage techniques used on the neck (specifically the lymph nodes), the Indian Head Massage can stimulate and improve lymphatic drainage and blood flow.
The lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste products, bacteria, and damaged cells from our body’s tissues. This makes it crucial to our immune system and our body’s healing capabilities.
By encouraging better circulation of our body’s lymph, we are increasing the efficiency and effectiveness by which our body rids itself of waste and harmful substances.
In turn, we will not only feel better on a day-to-day basis, but we will also target or prevent certain health problems (such as swelling of the face or limbs, production of cancer cells, etc.), as well as clearing and refocusing our minds (thanks to better oxygen circulation resulting from less toxins within our bodies).
- Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Massaging the scalp is proven to promote longer and healthier hair by encouraging better blood flow to the scalp.
This is the portion of the massage where adding essential oils into the routine has to most benefits. Different types of oils can have positive effects both on your skin and your hair.
For your skin, the best oils to use are Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Oil, and Chamomile Oil. Tea Tree Oil and Chamomile Oil both sooth the skin, which can work to cure a dry or itchy scalp. Lemon Oil is great for fighting dandruff.
For hair health, you want to use Castor Oil, Almond Oil, and Peppermint Oil. All of these oils promote hair growth through improved blood circulation.
What Are You Waiting For?
Whether you need to work on all of the above mentioned health concerns that are easily targeted by this type of massage therapy, or simple want to disconnect and relax for an hour, and Indian Head Massage is just the answer you’ve been looking for.
This blend of both modern and traditional technique is sure to help boost your mental and emotional well-being at the same time that it eases many of your body’s aches and pains.
There is a good reason this massage has been passed down from generation to generation for over a thousand years amongst Indian families, and we should be grateful to Narendra Mehta for introducing this Indian secret to the rest of the world.
Find an accredited massage therapist near you and watch your troubles and pains fade away.