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What is an Indian Head Massage?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2016
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Sometimes referred to as champissage, Indian head massage is an alternative healing approach that focuses on therapeutic touch that involves the neck, face, and head. The underlying principle is that there are energy channels within the area above the shoulders that impact the function of every organ in the human body. By using massage techniques to free those channels of any blocks that prevent the free flow of energy throughout the body, it is believed that a balance of body and mind can be restored. As a result, the individual begins to heal from whatever ailment has been troubling him or her.

There is no established record of exactly when this form of massage first developed. Different records tracing Indian head massage history point to different eras in the history of the Indian nation. What is clear is that the use of this form of massage as a healing tool was carried from India to various parts of Europe. By the dawn of the 20th century, Indian head massage was a common alternative health practice across the continent. The introduction of this form of massage therapy in North America is normally traced to the early years of the 1970’s.

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While the history of Indian head massage is somewhat controversial, there can be no doubt that this approach to healthcare has a number of proponents. Testimonials of receiving healing from various aches and pains are commonly found in literature supporting this form of massage. There are also anecdotal claims of reducing stress and helping to restore a more balanced level of blood pressure. Some claim that Indian head massage benefits include lowering bad cholesterol levels, minimizing irregular heartbeats, and even reversing baldness.

In actual process, Indian head massage training will teach the novice how to identify the various channels of energy in the face, neck and on the upper portion of the skull. Techniques in gently manipulating those areas are taught in most Indian head massage courses usually include learning how to apply the proper amount of pressure. Often, the use of oils infused with herbs and scents is encouraged, as these are understood to help ease physical discomfort and aid in breaking down any barriers that currently exist in the energy channels.

It is not unusual for Indian head massage to be used in conjunction with other forms of therapeutic touch. Practitioners may also be certified herbalists and recommend various herbal blends that supply nutrition necessary to aid the body in overcoming the damage done by the blockages in the energy channels. While this form of massage is not currently regulated in the West, several schools offer courses that train interested students in the practice and proper use of Indian scalp and neck massage.

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