Indian head massage (or “Champi” in Hindi) is a practice that originated over a thousand years ago in India, where it stemmed from a tradition of family grooming. Indian mothers used to massage their daughters’ hair with different oils to encourage long, lustrous locks.
Narendra Metha, a blind man who grew up in an Indian community where Champi was an important part of life, was the first person to develop and formalise Indian head massage into an actual therapy.
Today, one of the most popular forms of head massage is Champissage – a trademarked sequence of massage movements.
Metha arrived in England in the 1970s where he trained as a physiotherapist. In 1978 he returned to India where he studied the benefits and practice of Champi. Metha soon included the neck, shoulders and face in the massage and employed modern knowledge of shiatsu and acupressure to relax tense areas, rebalance the energy and clear any areas of concentrated negativity.
Massage session: what to expect
The therapist will strive to restore balance and harmony by working on the three higher chakras. In Sanskrit these areas are called Vissuddha (the base of the throat), Ajna (the forehead) and Sahasrara (the crown).
A chakra (“wheel” or “disk”) is a centre of vital energy in the form of a lotus flower. The head of the “flower” is found at the front of the body and the stem is thought to go through the central spinal column.
There are seven chakras situated throughout the body, starting with the root chakra at the base of the spine and ending with the crown chakra – just above the head. When the therapist balances the top three chakras, the rest will vibrate in balance and the belief is that perfect health and well-being will result.
A professional Indian head massage should in fact feel almost like a reflexology massage, which is performed on the feet, but is felt throughout the entire body. This is because there are several important acupressure points on the head.
Indian head massage may be dry, or oils may be used. The oils not only nourish the hair, but also calm the nervous system, as the roots of one’s hair are connected to nerve fibres.
Through a variety of different techniques, the massage works to release any blocked negative energy in the body that may be manifesting itself as disease or injury in any one of the seven Chakras (energy centres) of the body. It does so by applying pressure to certain points on the neck, shoulders and head that correspond to each Chakra (which is a similar approach to that of reflexology). This unblocks the Chakras, and allows for a free flow of energy around the body, restoring the individual to optimum health and feelings of wellbeing.
What to Expect From an Indian Head Massage
An Indian Head massage is the ideal way to get a person “out of their head”, far far away from everyday emotional and mental stress.
The massage takes around 45 minutes, and may or may not use certain oils in the hair and on the body. You will lay on the massage bed with your shoulders bared but the rest of you will be wrapped up in a comfy blanket.
Starting at the upper back, the Indian Head masseuse begins by applying pressure to points that dissolve knots and relax the muscles. They then move to the shoulders and upper arms to release other common areas of tension, and to the neck and head to release headache-causing blockages and to encourage better circulation of the cerebral fluid. The massage then progresses to the scalp, relaxing the entire head, encouraging circulation and stimulating hair growth. Lastly, the masseuse will perform a gentle face massage that may relieve symptoms of sinusitis & headaches, and encourages good circulation and a glowing complexion.
An Indian Head Massage may prove beneficial by:
- Relieving built up tension that can often result in headaches, migraines, neck and back pain..
- Detoxifying the body by stimulating lymphatic drainage
- Boosting overall immunity
- Improving circulation, which in turn increases energy levels.
- Promoting clarity and increased concentration.
- Soothes symptoms of asthma by calming the respiratory system.
- Relieves Mandibular Joint Tension.
- Increases muscle tone.
- Relieves symptoms of sinusitis.
- Boosts cerebral spinal fluid circulation.
- Relieves sleeplessness, restlessness and insomnia.
An Indian Head massage may also improve overall mental health by:
- Relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Providing relief from stress and promotes relaxation
- Improving concentration levels
- Renewing energy levels
- Increasing feelings of peace, calm and well being.
- Boosting memory capabilities
Whilst you are bound to feel great after our Indian head massage, there is a good chance you may not look great. Whether your masseuse has chosen to use oils or not, your hair will look tussled and potentially like you haven’t washed out your conditioner from a week ago! Make sure to take a hairbrush and band, or a hat to wear on the way home from your session
Contra-actions of Indian Head Massage
With Indian Head Massage there many benefits but there may also be unwanted side effects that can occur during or after a treatment, these reactions are normal and show toxins are being released.
• Increased Urination
• Aching Muscles
The following are contra-indications for Indian Head Massage:
- Recent head or neck injuries
- High or low blood pressure
- Severe bruising
- Recent operations (within 6 weeks)
- Abrasions and cuts in treatment area
- Skin or scalp infections
- Recent haemorrhage
- Spastic conditions
In some cases, where a condition has been stabilised, your doctor must be consulted to gain his/her approval and assurance that the treatment would be safe in view of your case hi
- People with degenerative spinal disorders such as osteoporosis and arthritis require a more gentle massage.
- Pressure should be moderated according to the individual’s needs and characteristics, including age.
- Allow five to ten days between treatments to give the body a chance to get rid of the toxins liberated by the treatment.
Indian Head Massage treatment is not a substitute for traditional medical care by your GP, it is a complementary therapy that may be used in conjunction with conventional medicine. Should you be aware of any reason why this treatment is contraindicated for you or you have a serious health problem, please consult your GP