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Serenity Kneaded Blog

Indian Head Massage

Ancient Indian Treatment

Indian Head Massage based on the ancient healing system of Ayurveda and has been practiced in Indian for thousands of years. While and Indian Head Massage can be done seated and clothed, I prefer to incorporate into a supine position on the table, so the head, shoulders, harms and hands can be incorporated. While an Indian head massage can be performed without oils, the treatment is so much better with heated oil, I use both coconut oil or a blend of Grapeseed, Apricot and sesame oil. Sesame is a popular general purpose oil traditionally used in Ayurvedic massage. As well as being ultra-nourishing, this balancing oil is also believed to help relieve muscular pain and stiffness.

Photo Credit: Serenity Kneaded at My Cambridge Health

Headache and Sinus Pain

The combination of brisk friction movements to stimulate and refresh and slower, circular petrissage movements to soothe and relieve neck and scalp tension, make this massage ideal for those who suffer from headaches. Indian Head Massage also involves working on the pressure points on the forehead and around the eye sockets to relax and soothe tension. People are always surprised that they hold so much tension in their face, jaw and forehead. I use a combination of Indian head pressure points and Manual Lymph drainage in and around the sinuses which helps clear out the sinuses, which is often a culprit of headaches.

Popular and Portable, Seated or lying down

With more and more businesses recognizing the impact of stress on employees, it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to offer treatments to staff in the workplace. A shorter treatment can be performed while the client is clothed sitting in a chair. Indian head massage, or ‘champi’ as it’s known in Hindi and Urdu, stems from the important Indian family tradition of grooming, which has been practised for over 1,000 years. Indian barbers often offer champi as part of their hair cutting treatment for male clients, although their treatments differ in intention and style. Whereas champi for women was a relaxing and calming therapy that formed part of their beauty regime, for men it was an invigorating scalp massage intended to stimulate and refresh the person. If you are interested in seeing some wildly different Champi, just search up Indian Barber Head and Face Massage on Google. Some of them bring Indian Head Massage to a whole new level.


Like any massage treatment there some conditions that could be contraindicated for Indian Head Massage.

Local contraindications such as: Bruising/Swelling, Cuts/Abrasions, Sunburn or Skin Conditions (Eczema, Dermatitis, Psoriasis) This treatment should also be avoided with certain other more serious conditions such as: Recent Surgery, Inflamed Nerves (Trigeminal Neurology), Head lice, Conjunctivitis, Sycosis Barbae, Undiagnosed lumps and bumps.

When should you avoid this treatment Completely?

This should be a no brainer, and the same should be avoided for any massage, that being said when you are feeling extremely weak and are possibly clinically exhausted; If you have taken alcohol or drugs within the last 12 hours; Flu or a fever (with a temperature); or contagious diseases or skin conditions.

Pretreatment Advice

  • Indian Head Massage is designed to promote stress reduction and relaxation. Avoid strenuous activities following your treatment.

  • Please attend your appointment with clean hair.

  • Indian Head Massage is suitable to have during pregnancy and will induce a deep sense of calm and relaxation and light strokes are used in the face and head area, and light gentle tugging, kneading and vibrations throughout the scalp and hair.

Post treatment Advice

After an Indian Head Massage appointment it is advisable to go home and relax. This ensures maximum benefit from the treatment.

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol

  • Maintain a healthy diet

Following Indian Head Massage, you may experience a number of symptoms or side effects. These differ from person to person and are all positive signs of the body bringing itself back into balance. These may include feeling tired and wanting to sleep. Possible headaches, although my personal experience is that this type of treatments makes headaches go away. You may feel the need to urinate, which is normal as the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in with this type of treatment. When working in this area, we affect the Lymph nodes in and around the neck and face, and there are a lot. So rest and hydrate after this massage. This is a great treatment to get before going to bed, as I generally feel a deep relaxation post treatment.

Indian Heal Massage, like any massage therapy is completely safe and complementary, but it must not replace any medical treatment. Regular head massage can give the body and mind a great feeling of well being.


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