Head massage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a massage treatment that focuses on the upper back, shoulders, neck, head and face. Also called Champissage or Indian head massage, it is rooted in Ayurvedic healing traditions. It can be traced back to around 600BC in various forms but has been popular in the West since the 1970s.
Types of head massage
Different spas use the foundation of a traditional head massage and create a wide variety of treatments from it, incorporating different oils (or hot oils) and elements to enhance the experience. Most treatments use a combination of strokes, kneading, friction and acupressure. At its core however, scalp massage hinges on two types: effleurage and petrissage.
- Effleurage is a massage method that uses circular motions and stokes to increase circulation to the head and relieve tension.
- Petrissage uses more of a kneading technique.
Head massage is often incorporated into other treatments, like a full body massage or Shirodhara. There are also other scalp treatments that some spas offer. For example, cranial osteopathy, which is extremely gentle and is designed to rebalance the body and strengthen it by using that energy and fluid flow in the skull.
What are the benefits of head massage?
Most of us don’t realise how much tension we carry in our face, jaw and head in general. A head massage is a wonderful way to really relax and support overall wellbeing, and it’s purpose is to work on the muscles and joints in the head, neck, face and shoulders with relaxation in mind. Benefits may include:
- Increased blood circulation
- Relieving knots
- Relaxation for body and mind
- Help relieving tension and stress
- It can help ease headaches and migraines
- It can also help with fatigue
What happens during a head massage?
- As with all treatments, you will begin with a consultation with your therapist to talk about what you want to achieve from your treatment or any health concerns.
- You will then lay on the treatment bed, remaining in your clothing or robe unless your head massage is part of a wider treatment like a full body massage.
- Your therapist will begin the massage using different techniques. They may include oils within the treatment, which will help to nourish the hair and scalp, but you can ask them not to if you prefer.
- After your treatment you will be invited to drink water and are usually taken to a relaxation area.
Choose this if you want to…
Feel a deep sense of relaxation but prefer not to opt for a full body treatment. It’s also great if you want something quite gentle but with really excellent results.
Average price of a head massage
Depending on the length of the treatment and where you have it, Indian head massage is on average £30 or more.
Head massage aftercare
Most people feel deeply relaxed after a head massage, so it’s a good idea to spend some time coming around from your treatment in a relaxation room. Take it easy for the rest of the day, drink plenty of water and try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, at least for a couple of hours.
What should I wear to a head massage?
One of the things that first-time spa goers like about head massage is that you don’t need to undress for the treatment. You can wear your ordinary clothes if you want, or your robe and slippers if you’re on a spa day.