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Based on the ancient science of Ayurvedic medicine, Indian Head Massage uses centuries-old techniques to drive out pain and restore balance, health and vitality to your body. When you learn Indian head massage, you discover how to apply a series of calm-inducing strokes on the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face that stimulate blood flow and release tension, reducing stress and anxiety and increasing mental clarity.
Here’s how to learn some sample Indian head massage techniques that revitalise the nervous system and improve health and well being.
Shoulders – releases built up tension
Thumb extensions – Rest your hands on the shoulders and walk your thumbs lightly down the midline of the neck and shoulders, as far down the spine as you can go. Then placing your hands on the outer corner of each shoulder, push each thumb up over, gathering the outer shoulder muscle and pushing straight forward. Repeat twice, in the centre of each shoulder and then at the junction of shoulder and neck.
Palm roll – Using the heels of the palms, roll over the shoulder muscle each side with a back to front movement like rolling dough.
Tapping and hacking – Using your fingertips stimulate the upper back and shoulder muscles by gently tapping, then repeat with the side of your hand.
Neck – prevents headaches
Slide – Tilting your client’s head to one side and supporting it with one hand, put the fingers of the other hand over the shoulders and slide your thumb up the neck, releasing the tension.
Shiatsu neck points – Using the thumbs press either side of the cervical vertebrae at regular intervals from the top of the neck down to the shoulders, then return to the top of the neck.
Pullbacks – Tilt head slightly to one side and push horizontally forward across the neck with the other hand, starting at the top of the neck and repeating twice more at regular intervals down to the base of the neck.
Scalp – relaxes the mind
Brisk rub – supporting the forehead with one hand, rub the base of the skull briskly first with the fingers and then the heel of the palm, causing gentle friction.
Figure skating – Tilt and support the head and with the ball of the other hand rub briskly from behind the ear to the temple in a C shape over one side of the scalp.
Firm hand friction – with one hand supporting the side of the head, place the other hand over the ear, fingers facing forward, and move the scalp up and down firmly and briskly. Repeat two more times until you reach the midline of the scalp, then repeat the other side.
Hair – releases natural conditioning nutrients
Messy hairdo – As if shampooing, play firmly with the hair and scalp using the fingertips. Comb hair back from the crown by dragging fingers backwards over the scalp one hand at a time.
Plucking – Place widespread fingertips on the head and quickly squeeze together and lift off the hair abruptly, all over the scalp. This is a gentle movement, like a spider jumping off the head.
Squeezing – Place your palms over each ear, fingers facing each other, push up and under the hair, squeezing the scalp gently then releasing.
Face – softens fine lines and eases sinus discomfort
Palm temple massage – Lay your client’s head against your chest and move the heel of your palm to circular massage around the temple and under the cheekbone.
Facial pressure points – Using the finger pads of both hands press firmly either side of the bridge of the nose to the hairline in regular intervals. Repeat again at the centre of the eyebrows to the hairline and the temple end of the eyebrow.
Using each ring finger, make circles moving up both sides of the nose, starting at the sinus points at the base of nostrils and ending at the eyebrow level. Then continue around and under the eyes tracing the cheekbone, ending at the jaw.
Overall I found Indian head massage to be the most satisfying and relaxing of all the massage techniques. I’m always left feeling totally relaxed and refreshed. I am so glad my partner and I learned Indian head massage as it has been an extremely rewarding experience.