Indian Head Massage Techniques

Indian Head Massage is a wonderful ancient massage technique that has evolved over many hundreds of years to encourage healthy hair growth and to relieve muscular and joint tension in the head and upper body.  In India it is normal to have a head massage every time you go to the hairdressers, as they believe that it helps encourage a healthy scalp and hair growth.

Treatments vary in length but are often half an hour long so can easily be incorporated into our hectic lives. It is normal to remain clothed and many therapists do not use oils so you won’t leave the treatment looking a state, although if this is a concern you should check beforehand.

The therapist will massage your head, neck, shoulders, arms, upper back and face in order to increase blood flow, ease muscle tension and strain.

Indian Head Massage Techniques

The therapist will usually start the treatment on the head and use a variety of Indian head massage techniques including long strokes (effleurage) this warms up your head, shoulders and tops of your arms and helps you feel comfortable with the therapist touching you. Then they might do some finger circles all over your head, gentle hair tugging which increases blood flow, finger combing through your hair, and static pressure which is where the therapist will push and release over your head which relaxes and stimulates the nerve endings in the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth.  Then they might do some tapping, squeezing and lifting of the scalp and finally some gently chopping (hacking).

Indian Head Massage Routine

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What Is Indian Head Massage?

A salon test by Kate Eshmade originally printed in Echo Woman

Kate Eshmade discovers bliss in an Indian Head Massage

I’ll let you into a little secret. While the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the route to mine is via my head.

My scalp to be precise.

I can think of nothing nicer than having my hair stroked and played with to totally chill me out. In fact I’d turn down unlimited use of a chocolate fountain for a whole month, or a night being fed grapes and champagne by a male Adonis, to have my hair played with.

As you can see, I’m a bit of a fan. However, for all my enthusiasm, I’d never had a head massage done properly.

So, after a long day at work, I headed over to The Ark in Leigh to take advantage of its late night opening and to enjoy my first Indian Head Massage.

On a cold blustery night on which I’d rather have stayed in curled up on the sofa, I was hoping for big things.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The Ark is a shop and salon combined. The shop sells crystals, candles, oils and incense, while the salon offers a host of Holistic Treatments such as Reiki, Reflexology and Aromatherapy, as well as a Hairdressers.

My therapist asked me to complete a detailed health questionnaire and then took me into the treatment room. After double checking that I didn’t suffer from migraines, she asked why I’d chosen this particular treatment and then told me to take my jumper off and wrap a towel around my upper body and sit waiting on the chair.

I’d like to tell you all about the decor of the room, but I had my eyes shut in a state of relaxed bliss for most of it.

What I do remember is wooden floors, candlelight and soothing music – what you’d expect really.

My therapist started by rubbing aromatherapy oil into my upper back and kneading out all the knots a day spent in front of a computer creates.

As soon as she started, my head drooped and I switched off completely. Thankfully my therapist allowed me to do this and didn’t interrupt my inner calm with chit-chat.

After my back and neck had been attended to, she moved onto my head. Starting by stroking my hair down and then ruffling it up like when you towel-dry your hair.

Then she combed through my hair with her fingers, pulled different strands and tapped my head with varying levels of force – thankfully none of them too hard.

By this point though, if she had wrapped my hair around her fist and dragged me round the room, I probably wouldn’t have minded.

Sadly, after 30 minutes, the massage was over, and I had to rejoin reality. My therapist poured me a glass of water and told me that she would meet me outside when I was ready.

I could have quite easily curled up on the bed and had a good snooze but I’m not sure her generosity would have stretched quite that far.

My only criticism would be that the chair moved about a little during the massage, but apart from that I was delighted with my first professional Indian Head Massage.

I do have some advice though – don’t arrange to meet your friends or boyfriend straight afterwards.

As I left, despite feeling calm and relaxed, my hair was most definitely distressed. The oil they use makes your hair resemble that of Waynetta Slob and needs a good wash before you can safely be seen in public again.

Visit the Ark for your Indian Head Massage

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