Indian head massage is an ancient therapeutic treatment that has its roots in Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine, which was developed in the Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent by Rishis (holy wise men) at around 1800 BC.
Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words Ayur meaning ‘Life’ and Veda meaning ‘Knowledge’. The underlying philosophy of Ayurveda is the belief that health results from harmony within oneself.
Massage has always played a significant role in Ayurvedic medicine, with the view that one of the keys to good health is having a body that circulates nutrients properly and expels toxins efficiently.
Massage works on and benefits all the major systems of the body – the immune, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, nervous, muscular and skeletal systems.
It calms and relaxes the mind and aids the release of emotions that can sometimes become trapped or stored in the body causing tension, pain or blockages which ultimately can lead to disease.
Benefits of Indian head massage:
- helping you feel calmer and happier
- helping reduce your physical muscular tension
- helping to lower high blood pressure
- helping reduce tension headaches and stress
- helping to increase your energy levels
- helping to improve your sleep
- helping to open constricted air passages – good for asthma
- helping to reduce hypertension
- helping your ability to focus and concentrate
- encourages desquamation (removal of dead skin cells)
- improves skin colour and texture
- can help conditions such as Pityriasis Simplex Capitis (Dandruff), Temporomandibular Joint Tension (TMJ Tension), Ankylosing Spondylitis and Sinusitis.
- increases joint mobility and flexibility in the shoulders, neck and arms
- aids postural problems
- improves circulation
It will relieve aches, pains and tension in your neck, back and shoulders, improve the texture of your hair and encourage it to grow.
An Indian head massage stimulates the flow of blood, lymph and oxygen in your upper body which will clear your sinuses, relieve stress and help you sleep better. And because it can help cure headaches (even migraine!), eye strain and anxiety, an Indian head massage can even help you to concentrate better at work.
Precautions for Indian head massages
As with any treatment it is important to tell your therapist in advance if you:
- are, or think you might be, pregnant
- have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication
- have a contagious or infectious disease
- have recently had an injury or operation
- are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies
- have any broken skin or sores on your scalp
- are under the influence of recreational drugs/alcohol
- are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting
- have Pediculosis Capitis (head lice)
- have hypertensive skin
- have a fever
After an Indian head massage
After an Indian head massage you are likely to feel great: relaxed, serene, ache-free, clear-headed, ready to tackle that important report for work, run the children ragged round the park, or fall asleep immediately.
Other symptoms may include some of the following:
- thirst or dryness of the mouth
- erythema (slight reddening of the skin as a result of surface stimulation)
- light headed due to the blood pressure being affected by relaxation and stimulation
- muscular aches, cramps, soreness and pain which are the nerve fibres responding to the deep work that has been undertaken
- light bruising/inflammation due to heavier pressure during some deeper tissue treatments
- frequent urination due to stimulation of the lymphatic system
- flatulence and increased defaecation due to stimulation of the digestive system
- spots may occur due to released toxins and hormones
- heightened emotions
- sleep pattern changes with an increased state of relaxation helping to improve or promote better sleep
- cold like symptoms, runny nose or nausea due to stimulation of the lymphatic or digestive system
- improved joint movement and flexibility
- relief from pain
Information provided by The London School of Massage