Indian Head Massage Treatment
The traditional art of Indian Head Massage is based on the ancient system of medicine known as Ayurveda, which has been practised in India for thousands of years.
The word ‘Ayurveda’ comes from Sanskirt and means ‘the science of life and longevity. The Ayurvedic approach to health is the balance of body, mind and spirit, and the promotion of long life.
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Ayurveda teaches that there are five elements:
* Ether (space)
These underline all living systems are constantly changing throughout life. When any of theses elements are imbalanced in the environment, they will have an influence on how an individual feels. The time of day and seasons are just two of the influences on these elements.
Eight important contra-indications to Indian Head Massage
Skin or scalp infections – Clients with this would be avoided because of the risk of cross-infection. Examples: scabies, conjunctivitis, herpes simplex, ringworm, pediculosis, folliculitis, impetigo and tinea capitis
Fever/high temperature – this is a contra-indication because of the risk of spreading infection as a result of the increased circulation. During fever, the body’s temperature rises as a result of infection.
Migraine – it is inadvisable to carry out treatment if client indicates the onset of an attack of migraine, because they may become nauseous or dizzy or experience visual disturb stances with sever headache and possible vomiting.
Acute infectious diseases – As a Therapist we would not perform an Indian Head Massage as acute infectious diseases are highly contagious. Examples: colds, flu, measles, tuberculosis and chicken pox.
Intoxication – It is unable to carry out a treatment while a client is under the influence of alcohol, as the increase of blood flow to the head could make them feel dizzy and nauseous.
Require medical advice
Epilepsy – Caution is advised because of the complexity of this condition and the risk that deep relaxation or over stimulation could provoke a convulsion.
Sever circulatory disorders/heart conditions – Increase in circulation from the massage may overburden the heat and can increase this risk of thrombus or embolus, therefore medical advice should be needed. If medical advice indicates that massage is advisable, you would give a lighter massage of a shorter duration initially
Cancer – There is a risk of certain types of cancer spreading through the lymphatic system. It is always important to obtain advice from the consultant/medical team concerning the cancer and the extent of the disease. Massage may help in relaxing the body and supporting the immune system. When massaging a cancer patient, avoid massage over areas of the body receiving radiation therapy, close to tumour sites and areas of skin cancer. Using a light short massage is more beneficial in relaxing the client and supporting the immune system.
Diabetes – there can be some clients with diabetes may be prone to arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and oedema. Clients should have the necessary medications with them when they attend for treatment in case of an emergency
Physical benefits and effects of Indian Head Massage
* General relaxation given rise to better sleep patterns and concentration
* Improved blood circulation created by warming the tissues, massage increases the oxygen supply to the brain.
* Stimulates hair growth and cellular regeneration
* Improves hair condition with the increase in circulation and sebum flow
* Improved lymphatic flow, which aids removal if waste products and toxins and thereby helps the immune system.
* Reduces muscular tension from the massage breaking down nodules, adhesions, and realises toxins from tense muscles.
* Regenerates the skin from the layers getting stimulated, improving their cellular function.
* Softer skin from sebaceous secretions getting stimulated and the removal of dead skin cells (desquamation) is accelerated
* Reduced stiffness in the neck and shoulder region
* Stimulated nerve endings reliving muscular pain and fatigue
Psychological benefits and effects of Indian Head Massage
* Increases a sense of well-being
* Improves sleep related problems
* Increases energy levels from blocked tension being released
* Counteracts stress
* Improves the ability to concentrate from the increase in oxygen to the brain
* Releases emotions
* Help confidents from the physical touch and uplifting effect of the massage
Three most popular oils to Indian Head Massage
Coconut oil – a light oil that is very moisturising and softening on the skin and hair. It also helps to relieve inflammation. Coconut oil is traditionally used in the spring, because it helps to keep the head cool.
Mustard oil – has a very warming effect by increasing body heat. It is also well known for its ability to break down congestion and swellings from tense muscles to relieve pain. As heat is created, this oil is particularly recommended for use during the winter, but the warmth created by using this oil is also beneficial to clients with arthritis. Using mustard oil with a small amount of turmeric power can help dryness of the scalp
Sesame oil – sesame seeds are very high in minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus which help to strengthen, nourish and protect the hair. Sesame oils also help to improve skin texture, reduce swellings and alleviate muscular pain. Sesame oil is said to be effective in preventing hair from turning grey. There are also claims that it can restore hair to its natural colour. Really good for dry scalp and hair. Ideal to use in summer as it provides some protection from sun rays.
Effects and benefits of:
* Dilates the capillaries and increases circulation
* Relaxes clients
* Prepares the area for deeper strokes
* Soothes tired, achy muscles
* Soothing effect on nerves
* Increases blood and lymphatic circulation
* Relieves tension
* Helps to reduce non-medical oedema, which is usually due to poor circulation and tiredness.
* Aids removal of dead skin cells
* Warms the tissue, making them more extensible
* Used as a linking movement to facilitate the flow from one technigue to another.
* Dilates the capillaries and increases blood and lymph circulation
* Generates heat
* Aid in the removal of any non-medical oedema
* Loosen stiffness and tension by relaxing muscles
* Break down and help free adhered tissue in restricted areas
* Frees scar tissue from underlying tissues
* Improves nourishment to ligaments and joints
* Stimulates sensory-nerve endings
* Produce a local raise in temperature
* When performed over the thoracic region, it can help to loosen mucus in chest conditions.
* Increases muscle tone through stimulation of muscle fibres
* Wakens and refreshes the body
* Increases the circulation and blood flow
* Increases metabolism
Marma pressure points
* Treats the pranas
* Treats a specific organ or system of the body
* Treats a specific dosha imbalance
* Improved blood circulation
* Promotes engery
* Balances the mind, body and spirit
* Relieves tiredness
The base or root charka (Muladhara)
Location – base of spine
Element – Earth
Colour association – red
Sense – Smell
Relevance – Concerned with all issues of a physical nature – the body, sences, sensuality, persons sex, survival, aggression and self-defence.
Energy levels affect – Lower parts of the pelvis, hips, legs and feet
Imbalance – make a person feel unfocused, weak or unconfident
The sacral chakra (Swadhistana)
Location – at the level of the sacrum, between the navel and the base charka
Element – Water
Colour association – orange
Sense – taste
Relevance – Concerned with all issues of creativity and sexuality.
Energy levels affect – the urino-gential organs, uterus, kidneys, lower digestive organs and lower back
Imbalance – lead to sexual difficulties, infertility or blocks in creativity
The solar plexus chakra (Manipura)
Location – approximately waist level
Element – Fire
Colour association – yellow
Sense – Sight
Relevance – Relates to emotions, self-esteem and self-worth. Feelings such as fear, anxiety, insecurity, jealousy and anger.
Energy levels effect – solar and splenic nerve plexuses, digestive system, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, diaphragm and middle back
Imbalance – result in negative thoughts, feeling depressed, insecure or lacking in confidence
The heart chakra (Anahata)
Location – in the centre of chest
Element – Air
Colour association – green
Sense – touch
Relevance – Concerned with love and the heart
Energy levels affect – Cardiac and pulmonary nerve plexuses, heart, lungs, bronchial tubes, chest, upper back and arms
Imbalance – May lead to a person feeling unloved, unworthy, afraid of letting go or feeling terrified of rejection
The throat chakra (Vishuddha)
Location – at the base of the neck
Element – Ether
Colour association – blue
Sense – hearing
Relevance – Concerned with communication and expression.
Energy levels effect – pharyngeal nerve plexus, organs of throat, neck, nose, mouth, teeth and ears.
Imbalance – May effect a persons willingness to hear, may lead to frustration and tension from not being able to express emotions.
The brow chakra (Ajna)
Location – in the middle of the forehead, over the ‘third eye’ area
Element – Mind
Colour association – indigo
Relevance – Is the storehouse of memories and imagination associated with intellect, understanding and intuition
Energy levels affect – Nerves of the head, brain, eyes and face.
Imbalance – Can lead to headaches and nightmares. The person may be oversensitive to others feelings, being afraid of success, be non-assertive and undisciplined.
The crown chakra (Sahasrara)
Location – on top of the head
Element – Spirit
Colour association – violet
Relevance – Concerned with thinking and decision making.
Energy levels affect – the brain and rest of body
Imbalance – May show as being unable to make decisions or may reflect in those who are unwilling or afraid to open their own spiritual potential.