An introduction to Indian Head Massage by Maggi Morrison
(Images are of Maggi and her brother Keith)
Indian Head Massage began as a personal therapy within the family. In the past, and even in present day India the life style is simple, with few home entertainments. There is also a prevalent culture of “hands on” caring for others. Most Indian women and girls have long hair, and the brushing and general looking after of the hair was usually a Mother/Daughter activity. The gentle brushing of the hair can be very relaxing, and the massage evolved as a part of this daily routine. The gentle massage of the scalp and neck is something we often do ourselves when we come home stressed, or feel we are starting a headache
The massage as it is practised today works on the Head, Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back. The Face and the Rims of the Ears are also treated.
The benefits of the massage are many and varied. Firstly, tension in the scalp, neck and shoulders are released. This brings a sense of relaxation and well-being. Secondly, the massage has evolved over the years to include several techniques, and it includes elements from Swedish massage and Shiatsu, which are extremely beneficial. The technique also assists with lymph drainage of the head and neck.
Thirdly, the mere act of sitting in a chair to have a pleasant one to one therapy is a great luxury in today’s busy world.
The Massage needs no special tools, just a suitable chair or stool and a bit of quiet time. The traditional massage uses a type of hair oil, but I have found this unnecessary. With today’s hairstyles, the idea of covering the hair with oil is not very popular. It is better, however, not to use hair spray or gel type products if going for a head massage.
What good is such an ancient therapy in the busy world of today? Look around you at the people rushing past you in the city. Everyone seems to be working under pressure, and they hold most of their tension in the head area. This can lead to headaches as well as back problems. Remember that the neck is also part of the spine. A new type of stress problem comes from the long periods of time that people spend in front of the computer.
A Prime candidate?
If everything is adjusted well for height and comfort then the body does not have to adapt to fit the space available. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule, and many people find themselves in very uncomfortable positions for a large part of each day. This leads to tension, to pain, to headaches and a general unhappy or even unwell feeling.