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Champissage™ is a massage technique which focuses on the head, face, and neck. It is derived from the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine in India, where bodywork on the head and neck is a common part of medical treatment and daily maintenance of well-being. The Champissage™ technique is trademarked, with massage therapists learning the style from certified instructors; it is also sometimes offered by hair professionals.
This massage technique was known as Indian Head Massage when it was first brought to the West in the 1970s by Narendra Mehta. Mehta studied Ayurveda in India, looking at the various practices and techniques used to treat disease and promote good health, and he developed Champissage™ to cater to Western tastes, integrating some of the principles of Ayurveda into a massage style which would be comfortable for Europeans and Americans.
In theory, Champissage™ is supposed to balance the flow of energy around the head, promoting balance and well being. Head massage is also beneficial for scalp circulation and the reduction of stress, so even if people don't believe in the idea of manipulating the body's energy fields, they might still benefit from a Champissage™ session. The massage is meant to be deeply relaxing and calming, and it is often offered at spas as a pampering treat.
In a Champissage™ session, the client sits upright in a chair, fully clothed, and the massage therapist works around the client's head. No oils or creams are used, and the massage is performed primarily with the fingers; some therapists may offer a version with essential oils which is not technically Champissage™, although it can be relaxing.
For people who are interested in experiencing Champissage™, the best way to find a practitioner is to look for practitioners in your area. Calling around to spas and massage studios and asking about head massage is also an option, as some therapists do not use the term Champissage™ either because they think that people may not recognize it, or because they have not been formally certified. Champissage™ is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical condition, since it is a gentle, non-invasive form of massage therapy.
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