Indian women originally developed Indian Head Massage as part of their grooming routine, using a wide selection of seasonal oils (almond, mustard, sesame and coconut). Routines were, and still are, passed on from mother to daughter, teaching that sharing massage with family members shows love and respect.
Not only this but the Indian Head massage is prevalent in barber shops across India and Asia, with techniques being passed from barber to barber’s son whilst salons in the western world are also increasingly introducing the massage on their treatment menus. For not only is it an enjoyable and beneficial treatment for the client but it also greatly improves the growth and condition of the hair and scalp – overall the client's salon/barber experience is enriched whilst the stylist’s work enjoyment improves (by adding skills) and the salon’s revenue is able to increase due to a wider treatment menu.
Not just applicable to hair salons, this is a fantastic skill for any therapist within the beauty and massage industry to have in their repertoire! But what is an Indian Head massage and why is it such a popular treatment?
The Indian Head massage is a form of Ayurvedic massage. Ayurveda (meaning “the complete knowledge for long life”), consists of the words ãyus, (i.e., “longevity”) and andveda, (meaning “related to knowledge” or “science”). It is the oldest recorded Indian healing system, and works on the understanding that to be well physically you have to be well spiritually and mentally/emotionally. Early Ayurvedic texts date back 4000 years and features massage and the holistic approach that health results from harmony in one-self. The Ayurvedic view is that health is maintained by 3 subtle life giving forces or doshas:
· Vata: a combination of Air and Ether (the air/atmosphere/upper air/the heavens). It is responsible for all movements of the mind, body and senses, and the process of elimination. The unique characteristic of Vata is dryness.
· Pitta: is a combination of Fire and Water. It is responsible for heat, energy, metabolism and digestive functions of the body. The unique characteristic of Pitta is heat.
· Kapha: is a combination of Earth and Water. It is responsible for physical stability, proper body structure and fluid balance. The unique characteristic of Kapha is heaviness.
The underlying principle of Ayurveda is maintaining balance in the body and a healthy balance of doshas, with Ayurvedic customs recommending both men and women should have a weekly Indian Head massage in order to promote soft skin, shiny hair and maintain emotional and physical health via balancing of our chakras. This is specifically true of our higher chakras where most people carry the most amount of emotional stress. Each Chakra connects with a different part of the body and endocrine system.
Balancing of 'chakras' means balancing the flow of energy through the body of which an imbalance can result in a feeling of being unsettled and of feeling of being unwell, i.e., the physical, emotional and mental body are not working in harmony with each other.
Using a range of stimulating and vigorous massage techniques this invigorating massage is performed with the client sitting in a chair, as opposed to lying down, since the therapist will have easier access to the shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp and face - muscles/areas we hold the most tension and stress. Although it can be carried out using beneficial oils, it can also be performed with the client fully dressed making it suitable to perform anywhere, whilst it is an ideal massage to give to people in wheelchairs, people who don’t want to take their clothes off and/or pregnant women.
This fantastic treatment provides a number of benefits to the client, such as:
· Relieving tensions that result in headaches, neck and back pain
· Stimulating lymphatic drainage and therefore detoxing the body
· Boosting the immune system
· Improving circulation, consequently increasing energy levels.
· Increasing clarity and increasing concentration.
· Calming the respiratory system and therefore soothing asthma symptoms.
· Adding muscle tone.
· Relieving sinusitis symptoms.
· Improving circulation of cerebral spinal fluid.
· Relieving sleeplessness, restlessness and insomnia.
· Growth and condition of scalp.
Furthermore this massage can also improve general mental health by:
· Relieving symptoms of depression/anxiety
· Providing stress relief and encouraging relaxation
· Increase concentration and memory levels
· Promoting feelings of peace, calm and wellbeing.
Consequently, EpP – Algarve Beauty School will be holding a 12 week Indian Head massage course (starting 24th Feb) for complete beginners who will learn about the body’s systems and effects the Indian Head massage techniques have. This course also teaches about the chakras, auras and also includes ear candling (also known as thermo-auricular therapy).
Another version of this course is also available to more experienced massage therapists as a 1.5 day workshop (on 5th and 26th Feb) – ideal for therapists looking to increase their skills and learn new techniques - case studies will need to be provided.
For more information on these, please contact the school on tel: 282762606 or email Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org