Rooted in the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, the style of Indian Head Massage I practise has been adapted for those in the West.
With its focus on head, neck and shoulders, it can be particularly beneficial for people who carry a lot of tension in these areas. The sense of relaxation that can be engendered from working intensely in these areas can be profound.
As with Holistic Massage, we will always start with a consultation. If you are a new client, your session will always start with the initial consultation. This can take 10 – 15 minutes and, after taking your contact details, we will discuss your medical history, general health and anything else you want discuss that you might feel useful to inform our session.
If we’ve worked together before, the consultation will be more of an informal ‘check in’ to find out how you are, whether anything has changed health-wise and what you want from the session. This usually takes 5 minutes or so.
We will then talk in more depth about ‘what’s brought you here today?’ – why you have come for massage and what you hope to achieve from it.
Together, we’ll agree a plan for the session that will best address your needs for that day. While I do not work to a set routine, there is a recognisable ‘shape’ to the session. We will start on your upper back, move to your shoulders, arms and hands, and then move to your neck and head before coming to the face – which makes a very pleasing tree shape.
All sessions will include what are known as ‘chakra holds’ to your throat, brow and crown chakras to help balance the energy there, where I hold my hands just over these areas. We always finish with a sweeping stroke down your lower legs to finish with a hold to your feet. After so much intense work to the upper body, this is a deeply grounding way to finish and integrate the body – as well as a clear sign that the session has finished.
However what happens within that shape is up to you! We can discuss what strokes you like and which areas you want more or less focus on depending on your needs that day.
A unique part of the Indian Head Massage experience is the use of oils on the hair – a deeply relaxing experience and a wonderful hair conditioning treatment. In Ayurvedic tradition, each oil has it’s own set of health benefits and suitability for the different dosha types (link to Dosha Types page). If you would like oils then we will discuss which will be best for you.
Indian Head Massage is carried out fully clothed and seated on an upright chair. We can experiment with cushions and bolsters to make sure you will be comfortable for the whole 45 minute session. It is best if you wear a non-slippery fabric top such as cotton, and if you can remove necklaces, earrings and glasses. We can have music in the background or work in silence, whichever you prefer.
I use a variety of techniques according to what you like and what I think might be useful, and blend Western and Indian techniques. Everything is down to your choice and I will regularly check in with you to make sure that the pressure is right and what we are doing feels beneficial:
- Swedish massage techniques of effleurage and petrissage to warm and soften the muscles
- Percussion techniques- shampooing, champi, tapping, chopping, shampooing, (gentle) hair pulling, cupping, brushing
- Application of hair oils
- Working on murma pressure points
- Joint mobilisation
- Muscle Energy Technique and trigger point work
- Chakra holds to throat, brow and crown
Once the massage has finished, I will leave the room and get you a glass of water if you’d like one.
We will then have a chat about how the massage was for you, and I will let you know of any observations I may have made, including recommendations for exercises or other things that I feel may be useful. If you like, we can book in your next session. As I work very limited hours, I do recommend this to make sure you get the session you want.