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It only takes a light touch to make your scalp tingle. An Indian head massage is a gentle healing treatment based on ayurvedic philosophy. It’s been a part of traditional family life in India for over a thousand years, helping to relieve stress, ward off illness and strengthen relationships through physical affection.
Of course, your therapist won’t be expecting you to start sending birthday cards – but despite the more limited social bonding, a head massage can still banish anxiety, soothe your aches and, more to the point, it feels amazing.
You’ll be sitting upright for the treatment and it’s best to remove any hairclips or bands and undo your collar if it’s stiff. Your therapist will use a variety of different massage styles, including deep kneading and compression movements over the neck and shoulders and gentle manipulation of your scalp. There are also pressure points on your face, which your therapist will press or gently stroke (beware if you’re very ticklish).
The session will usually last from 20 to 45 minutes and once the treatment is finished, you may be left to sit quietly for a few minutes enjoying the head-to-toe feeling of relaxation.
Indian head massage is especially good for relieving stress, tension, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, migraine and sinusitis. It’s also great if you have trouble concentrating; by relaxing you it helps to clear your mind of buzzing distractions.
If you often have stiff neck or shoulders, an Indian head massage can help increase joint mobility and flexibility in these areas. The deep kneading also increases blood circulation and lymphatic flow (the body’s waste-disposal system) and will work out any knots in your muscles.
Some people say that for a couple of hours after the treatment they feel tired, dizzy or experience a greater need to urinate. It’s thought that this is the effect of the increased toxin disposal. Most people find that they simply feel blissfully relaxed or slightly euphoric for a number of hours and often less stressed for days after the treatment.