22 August 2007

Indian head massage

If your stress levels are stratospheric, this 3000-year-old therapy could be just what you need. Our guinea-pig, André van Wyk, found it deeply relaxing.


If your stress levels are stratospheric, this 3000-year-old therapy could be just what you need.

Indian head massage (or "Champi" in Hindi) is a form of alternative therapy that focuses on the massaging of the face, neck, shoulders and scalp. It aims to de-stress, detoxify and bring about a sense of general well-being. And it has been claimed to:

  • assist relaxation;
  • improve blood circulation;
  • soften the skin;
  • relieve muscular pain; and
  • improve lymphatic flow.

Our guinea-pig, André van Wyk, found it deeply relaxing. Here are his thoughts:

What it felt like
After experiencing an Indian head massage, I can attest that there is far more to it than just having someone slap your head around for a while and charging you for it.

Indian head massage involves a variety of massage methods, all of which were incorporated into my session. Five minutes were spent on each technique, varying from the practitioner tapping her fingers against my head to tugging on my ears.

During the first five minutes, I had my neck and shoulders massaged for a few seconds, followed by my head being drummed on by the practitioner’s fingertips.

One of the firmer techniques involved the flat-palmed strikes to the head that I received next. It’s best described as “karate chops”, yet it was somehow calming. At this point, I started feeling drowsy and at ease, barely noticing my scalp being kneaded next, which only added to my relaxation.

With the next technique, the skin of my forehead and the back of my head was slowly but firmly pushed upwards. This was probably the most uncomfortable method as the pressure against my skull was higher than I would have liked.

For the final ten minutes, I had my temples kneaded and my ears tweaked before the practitioner finished off with another massage of my neck and shoulders.

The half-hour session cost me R160.

The verdict
I’ll admit that it wasn’t what I expected, but I mean that in a good way. I would recommend an Indian head massage to everyone.

Whether you’re over-stressed or just in the mood to spoil yourself, it’s something that will invigorate and re-energise you in the best way possible.

For more information or to book a session, visit:
Healthy Soles
Stall 127, Waterfront Wellness Centre
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town

Useful links:
More info on Indian head massage
The Massage Therapy Association of South Africa

– (Health24, August 2007)


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