Guest Author - Grace Ashton
Indian Head Massage is an easily accessible therapy that promotes both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Massage is a form of healing that has been used for thousands of years and by many different cultures. The need to touch and be touched is a fundamental instinct in humans – as in most other forms of animal life – and we know that health often suffers in the person who lacks physical contact with others. In particular, research has shown that lack of touch leads to a depressed immune system.
Indian Head Massage (IHM) involves the massage of, primarily, the scalp, although many practitioners also work on the upper back, shoulders and face.
On a practical level, the benefits of massaging the scalp, or scalp and face, are that the massage can easily be given at home or work, without the need for a special room or equipment, and that, with a little learning and practice, IHM can be used as a self-treatment.
IHM relaxes and revitalises the body through touch – stroking and kneading – and also has beneficial effects on the mind and spirit. Rhythmic movements release muscular tension and bring about other physical benefits. Emotional wellbeing and comfort is promoted, and on a spiritual level the massage giver transmits Chi, or energy, to the receiver.
Major benefits of Indian Head Massage
It counteracts the effects of mental stress by promoting relaxation
It improves the circulation of Cerebrospinal Fluid
It improves the development and renewal of brain cells by encouraging hormone production
It stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, which benefits the hair follicles and helps to slow hair loss and greying.
It encourages elimination of toxins and so strengthens the immune system and improves vitality
Facial massage improves circulation and gives a healthy glow to the complexion.
Disclaimer - using Indian Head Massage for self-treatment or on others
The benefits of IHM and the simple techniques it involves make it a good choice both for self-treatment and to use on others. Having said this, though, it is important that anyone seeking to use IHM on themselves or on others should learn the techniques in a proper training environment.
There are several contra-indications for the use of IHM, including, but not limited to, fever or inflammation, recent head, neck or shoulder injury, skin infections, high or low blood pressure, or any kind of heart condition. It is essential that if you want to practice IHM on yourself or others you should learn about all of the contra-indications, the correct techniques of massage and the possible effects on the receiver of a massage.
A safe and simple form of IHM
If you are in good health, and can shampoo your hair without any difficulty or ill-effect, then you are unlikely to do yourself any harm by using the same technique and level of pressure to give yourself IHM. Simply use a little oil on your fingertips and massage all over your scalp, as if shampooing. Similarly, use a little oil to massage your face gently, as if applying a moisturiser.
Oils to use during IHM
Almond Oil – gentle, promotes healthy hair.
Coconut Oil – moisturises the skin and encourages hair growth.
Olive Oil – opens pores to cleanse and purify.
Peach Kernel Oil – promotes skin suppleness, excellent as facial oil.
Sunflower Oil – gentle and softening, ideal if there may be nut allergy reactions.
Indian Head Massage is a simple, easily learned, and highly beneficial form of massage therapy. It promotes physical and emotional wellbeing, deep relaxation and a feeling of calm and serenity.