The benefits of massage seem almost endless. Besides the obvious ‘making us feel great,’ more and more people are learning the wonderful physiological effects that it has on us. The famous Indian head massage is the point of focus in today’s topic, as it has some seriously great factors that deserve boasting about.
Indian Head Massage is based on the Ayurvedic system of healing which has been practised in India for more than a thousand years. It works on both the physical and the mental level. Physically, it helps all the systems of the body – the immune nervous, respiratory, endocrine, circulation, muscular, skeletal and lymphatic. Mentally, it helps the mind to relax, transmitting a life-giving energy that assists all systems of the body to restore and renew themselves.
One of the main attractions being hair growth. Literally, it can make your hair grow faster. Not only that, but it will promote healthier and better-looking hair also.
Massage, the catalyst
Massing the scalp increases blood flow to the hair follicles which speeds the delivery of vital nutrients, oxygen and a waste disposal system that eliminates toxins. While all this is happening beneath the skin, up on the surface desquamation is occurring. This is when dead skin cells are removed and the regeneration process is stimulated. This equates to a faster formation of hair cells, meaning an increased rate of hair growth. Bare in mind, your hair can only grow as fast as your genetics allow, although there has been many reported cases of premature baldness being reversed in men. These cases may not be due to genetics however, as there are many reasons we lose hair, and massage can help with a lot of these issues.
Oils make a difference!
Rubbing the scalp stimulates the production of sebum, the skins natural oil. This oil then gets distributed throughout the scalp and newly-grown hair. Sebum works to condition, nourish and protect the hair follicle, hair root and hair shaft simultaneously. It also lubricates the bulb and follicle where the hair is pushed out from the pore, enabling the process to be a smooth and speedy one. There is nothing like a well oiled engine!
Using an additional oil such as sweet almond oil, argan oil or coconut oil, can really elevate the whole process and step up the massage game. Warming the oil first before application lets the product penetrate into all layers of the hair shaft, locking in moisture. This creates a glossy shine and prevents breakage by giving the hair extra elasticity. By preventing breakage, the hair will be able to grow longer without snapping off or acquiring split ends during it’s life cycle. All this stimulation can also help to unclog blocked pores, enabling hair to grow at it’s thickest potential, eventually giving us a more voluminous head of hair.
Relaxation plays a big role
When the tissues of your head, neck and scalp are tense, it impedes circulation to the area, interfering with healthy hair growth. Massaging the area will induce relaxation, allowing optimal blood flow to resume. Healthy skin and hair are not the only benefits of head massage. After only a few minutes, headaches can reduce along with fatigue and fatigue-related symptoms.
Another relaxation-booster which is often triggered during a head massage is an extremely pleasant sensation known as ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Most people have experienced this sensation at one point or another during their life, described as euphoric tingles that occur in the head and emanate through the rest of the body. When we physically relax, our mind soon follows and vice versa. The physiological benefits of relaxation are tremendous and essential for a good quality of life, this is not news though.
Other benefits of Indian Head Massage include:
- Helps prevent migraines, headaches and back pain – Tension in the upper back, neck and head very often leads to headaches. If this is a continual, unrelenting tension it can even lead to depression. An Indian head massage will start with the upper back, arms and shoulders helping to relax your knots and relieve tension. It will then progress to the head and neck encouraging better cerebral fluid circulation.
- Detoxifies the body – The Indian head massage will improve lymphatic drainage and blood flow to the neck which helps the body to get rid of waste products.
- Relieves anxiety – Massaging the head increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain and is one of the best ways to get rid of anxiety. All that oxygen makes you feel great! Just like exercise does.
- Gives you more energy – It’s all about bringing everything back to balance. Working on the chakras during an Indian head massage goes beyond healing and restores balance to the bodies energies.
- Boosts memory – Having an Indian head massage is like pressing the reset button. During the massage everything slows down, tension is dissipated and your thoughts quieten right down, allowing the brain to ‘charge’.
- Helps with sleeping problems – Sleeping poorly is often a side-effect of stress, therefore relieving stress and tension will allow your body to properly relax and rest.
It’s a no-brainer (pun intended)
In order to carry out one of these delectable treatments:
- You don’t need a massage table, special chair or any equipment whatsoever
- You don’t need a carrier oil (it’s only optional)
- The recipient does not need to remove their clothes (unless they are wearing a hat)
- The recipient does not have to lie down
- Any age can benefit from one
- With just a few minutes you can feel effects and start to benefit from them
- It’s quick and easy to learn and pass along
- You can do it on yourself (Yay!)
Like with any massage, there are some contraindications. Mostly, we need to use our common sense as both recipients and practitioners to deduce whether or not it’s safe to go ahead with treatment. Contraindications would include:
- An open wound
- A case of nits
- Areas of recent injury or scar tissue
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Red or sore skin on scalp or face
- An undiagnosed lump, bump or deformity in the area
- A contagious rash or one which you are not certain of (better safe than sorry)
- Severe pain which could indicate underlying medical condition
- A headache which intensifies with touch
- Some cancers
- History of embolism
- Low blood pressure
In any case, if you are suffering from a disease or condition which you are concerned could be aggravated or simply unsure of, you should always seek advice from your doctor. Information regarding your wellbeing should always be disclosed to your massage therapist prior to treatment, for your safety and theirs.
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