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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