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History of Indian Head Massage 

Francis Gould

Indian head massage has been practiced in Indian for over 5000 years. It is based on the ancient Ayruvedic (the science of life) healing system, which combines natural therapies and encompasses the mind, body and spirit. It strives to restore balance and inner harmony to the mind, body and spirit to improve the health of the individual. The skill is handed down from generation to generation and members of the family often give and receive head massages. When it is used in conjunction with herbs, spices and oils it has an important medical function and not only strengthens muscles and firms the skin but also encourages the body’s own healing processes. It was originally developed by women as part of their daily grooming routine, different oils were used according to the varying seasons and the massage kept their hair strong and healthy. Barbers in India also practised the skills and offered a vigorous scalp massage as an addition to cutting hair.

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Physiological and Psychological Benefits of Indian Head Massage

  • A sense of peace, tranquillity and harmony is restored as the vital energy flow is re-balanced and the natural healing forces are mobilised. The 3 main Chakras are rebalanced. (See section below re Chakras and the part they play in the body)
  • The increased blood circulation to the head, neck and shoulders brings oxygen and nutrients, thus helping to improve the condition of the skin and to stimulate hair growth.
  • The increased blood circulation to the brain means more oxygen is delivered; this will help mental fatigue and improve concentration.
  • The increased blood circulation will help to relieve stiffness in the neck and shoulders as oxygen is brought to the area and waste products that have built up in the affected muscles are taken away.
  • Massage relieves eyestrain and tension headaches as muscular tension is relieved.
  • The increased lymphatic flow helps to get rid of toxins and waste products, so aiding detoxification of the body.
  • Massage helps irritability and promotes sleep as the client feels more relaxed and calm.
  • It breaks down fibrositic nodules, commonly known as ‘ knots ‘, which develop from tension within the muscles.
  • It triggers the release in the brain of chemicals called endorphins which create a feeling of contentment and happiness.

Procedures of an Indian Head Massage

After the initial consultation the client  sits comfortably in the Indian head chair. Female clients wrap a towel around the upper area of the body revealing half the back. Any jewellery is removed including earrings. Relaxing music is played. Chakras are balanced and deep breathing is encouraged to relax the mind and body. The head and back areas are massaged in the chair. Arms, neck, scalp, face and further back areas are massaged whilst lying on the couch. The entire treatment can take up to 60 minutes.  

Indian Head Massage and Chakras

Chakras act as a link between the emotional and physical body. This is why balancing the chakras during an Indian head massage treatment can have such positive effects on the mind and body.

What are Chakras ?

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There are seven main energy centres (chakras) of the body which resonate with the seven rainbow colours. Anyone who is familiar with Acupuncture will realise that there are, however, a large number of minor chakras throughout the body totalling something in excess of 300.

Chakras are like spirals of energy, each one relating to the others. Chakra (pronounced sha-kra) is the Sanskrit word for ‘ wheel ‘.

If you can imagine the main chakras/energy centres as a set of cogs/wheels, they are rather like the workings of a clock or an engine; each cog/wheel needs to move smoothly and at a similar speed for the clock/engine to work properly. Thus good health and well being is achieved by a balance of all these energies (or the smooth running of the cogs/wheels).

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Each of the spectrum colours is simply light of varying wavelengths, thus each color has its own particular energy.

The energy relating to each of these spectrum colours resonates with the energy of each of the seven main chakras of the body.

Colour therapy can help to re balance these ‘wheels’ by applying the appropriate colour to the body and therefore re-balance our chakras. Listed above is each of the spectrum colours and the chakra which it relates to. Violet has the shortest wavelength and red the longest wave length.

Violet relates to the crown chakra, and red the base chakra. Colour is absorbed by the eyes, skin and skull and our electro-magnetic field/aura. The energy of colour can have an affect upon us on all levels, that is to say, physical, spiritual and emotional. Every cell in the body needs light energy – thus colour energy has widespread influence on the whole body.

Chakras used in Indian Head Massage are the Higher Chakras

Crown Chakra

Physical

Problems associated with the Crown Chakra:-

VIOLET/PURPLE relates to the CROWN chakra which is at the top of the head. The related organ to this chakra is the brain and the endocrine gland is the pineal gland.

Some of the associated problems relating to the crown chakra are Depression, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, Senile dementia, Alzheimer’s , many mental disorders, confusion, dizziness, and even just feeling as if one has a muzzy head.

Psycho-spiritual

Violet relates to self knowledge/spiritual awareness. It is the union with your higher self, with spirituality, and your higher consciousness.

When this chakra is balanced the positive aspects of this colour will prevail. However, an imbalance in this chakra can produce the negative aspects of this colour.

Some positive aspects of this colour/chakra are:-

  • A reverence for all life
  • Self sacrificing in the service of others
  • An ability to see the appropriate route for the benefit of the higher self

Some negative aspects of this colour /chakra are:-

  • No concern for others
  • Feelings of superiority
  • Lack of contact with reality

Brow Chakra

Physical

Problems associated with the Brow Chakra:-

INDIGO relates to the BROW chakra or third eye which is in the centre of the forehead. The related organs to this chakra are the eyes, lower head and sinuses and the endocrine gland is the pituitary gland.

Some of the associated problems relating to the brow chakra are:- tension headache, migraine, visual defects, short-sightedness, long-sightedness, glaucoma, cataracts, catarrh, sinus problems, some ear problems.

Psycho-spiritual

Indigo relates to self responsibility, that is to say, being responsible for one’s own life; responsibility to oneself to follow the soul’s path and trusting one’s own intuition. The ability to see things from a ‘higher’ viewpoint rather than purely for satisfaction of the ego or one’s material comfort. Intuitive messages are unique to you and are for your own personal growth and differ from the gut feelings.

When this chakra is balanced the positive aspects of this colour will prevail. However, an imbalance in this chakra can produce the negative aspects of this colour.

Some positive aspects of this colour /chakra are:-

  • Highly intuitive
  • Faithful
  • Clear sighted
  • Integrity
  • Orderly mind

Some negative aspects of this colour /chakra are:-

  • Inability to trust intuition
  • Scattered mind
  • Inconsiderate
  • Blinkered vision

Throat Chakra

Physical

Problems associated with the Throat Chakra

BLUE relates to the THROAT chakra. Associated organs to this chakra are the throat, lungs and the endocrine gland is the thyroid gland. The upper digestive tract can be affected by imbalance in this area.

Turquoise can also be helpful for both the throat and the heart chakra and the immune system.

Some associated problems relating to the throat chakra are:- Thyroid problems – over active/ under-active; Anorexia nervosa – this is a multi-chakra problem, but has a strong connection to the throat chakra; asthma, bronchitis, hearing problems, tinnitus (tinnitus may also be connected to problems with the brow chakra); problems of the upper digestive tract, mouth ulcers, sore throats, tonsillitis.

Psycho-spiritual

Blue relates to self expression. Speech, communication, the ability to communicate our needs and requirements. Spirit of truth and purpose.

When this chakra is balanced the positive aspects of this colour will prevail. However, an imbalance in this chakra can produce the negative aspects of this colour.

Some positive aspects of this colour /chakra are:-

  • Loyal
  • Trustworthy
  • Tactful
  • Calm

Some of the negative aspects of this colour /chakra are:-

  • Unfaithful
  • Untrustworthy
  • Self-righteous
  • Cold