What it is
Head massage is a familiar part of life in India and Narendra Mehta, blind from infancy, grew up experiencing the benefits of this tradition. An osteopath and massage therapist, he developed a unique system of massage he calls "champissage" (from the Indian word "champi" meaning head massage and has founded and runs the London Centre of Indian Champissage. Head massage has featured in the earliest Ayurvedic texts, which date back nearly 4000 years. Even today, scalp massage is commonplace in India - the techniques having been passed through the generations for thousands of years. When used with aromatic oils, herbs and spices, massage has an important function to invigorate and improve the constitution.
Indian Head Massage springs from this rich tradition of family grooming, across the generations as an integral part of family life. Originally developed by Indian women, who have always been renowned for their long, luxuriant hair, they enhanced the art of Head Massage to be either stimulating or relaxing -as the occasion demands.
In India today, whether as a tourist or resident, it is quite common to be offered a head massage on street corners, in the market place and on the beach. Many leading Indian universities insist on daily treatments for their professors to maximize output in their pressurized environments. It is India's most popular massage. Indian head massage is a relaxing therapy involving massage of the upper back, shoulders, neck head and face. It purports to provide relief from aches and pains and stress symptoms, promote hair growth, soothe, comfort and rebalance skin and provide a sense of deep calmness and tranquility. Indian head massage is based on the ancient Ayurvedic healing system, practiced in India for over a thousand years.
Massage has been around for many centuries and has played an important role in traditional medicine. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine made extensive use of it for the treatment and prevention of diseases, as did Galen, in conjunction with his specialty, herbalism.
Head massage in today's society
In our modern society, stress, poor eating habits, pollution, lack of exercise and fresh air all contribute to a variety of ailments settling on the head and shoulders. Indian Head and Shoulder massage is an exceedingly effective and accessible technique that can be practiced anywhere -the only equipment needed is a chair without arms. In or out of the workplace, you can relax, allowing a therapist half an hour to iron out all the tension brought about by a fast paced lifestyle. There is also no need to strip and the treatment has been adapted so that no oils are necessary. A quick comb through of the hair, and it is business as usual. Many corporations have been quick to realize the benefits of offering regular in-house treatments to their staff.
What are the benefits?
One of the most prevalent causes of absenteeism and low productivity is headaches. Four out of five people suffer from headaches -occasionally or on a daily basis. Apart from environmental factors such as artificial lighting and air conditioning, headaches have multiple causes. Seasonal allergies, sinusitis, eyestrain, poor posture and aching jaws from clenching or grinding teeth all contribute. Pill popping offers temporary relief from the symptoms of headaches. Head and shoulder massage eases the nodules, which accumulate in the neck and shoulders, caused by long hours spent in front of a computer or driving. Massaging the scalp improves the circulation, increasing the flow oxygen to the head and dissipating accumulated toxins which contribute to headaches. A relaxing facial massage assists in clearing the sinuses. The whole upper body, including the back, shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp and face is attended to. One is left feeling refreshed, as if after a short nap. Many people have attested that with regular treatments, the frequency and severity of their heads has lessened.