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About Indian Head Massage

This massage, based on the ayurvedic system of healing which has been practised in India for over a thousand years, is also called Champissage. In the 1980s Narendra Mehta, an Indian physiotherapist and massage therapist based in London, incorporated the traditional techniques into a treatment designed to be given with the client seated in an ordinary chair, with additional work to the upper back and shoulders, upper arms neck and face.


The fact that you can be seated while receiving the massage makes it possible to enjoy it almost anywhere. But if you prefer to lie down on a massage table you can benefit from it as well.


It is an invigorating, uplifting and revitalizing massage.


 Ashley Montagu, a renowned anthropologist, explains in his book "Touching" how important the influence that a hands-on therapy can have on the many structures and systems. "Continuous stimulation of the skin by external environment serves to maintain both sensory and motor tonus. The brain must receive sensory feedback from the skin in order to make such adjustments as may be called for, in reference to the information it receives. The feedback from the skin to the brain even in sleep is continuous."

Can Indian Head Massage Help Me?

Ayurvedic or Indian Head Massage helps increase joint mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders, improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow, frees knots of muscular tension, relaxes connective tissue, and aids in the elimination of accumulated toxins and waste products. It is particularly good for reducing the effects of stress and tension.

People most commonly have Indian Head Massage as a relaxing treat. The aim of this type of head massage is to release the stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face, neck and shoulders.

It is excellent for conditions such as...

  • neck and shoulder tension

  • tension headaches

  • sinus symptoms

  • and eye strain


It works on a physical and mental level by concentrating on the most vulnerable areas to stress and tension. It also...

  • Supports the nervous system by alleviating stress

  • Helps in the relief of eyestrain

  • Promotes relaxation of the head, neck and shoulders’ muscles.

  • Improves concentration

  • Boosts sleep quality

What to Expect During Treatment

While you sit on a chair, the therapist uses a range of different movements including application of deep kneading and compression movements over the neck, shoulder and scalp areas. In addition, the therapist will also gently stimulate and stroke pressure points on the face.


The session will usually last from twenty to forty-five minutes. Ideally you will sit quietly for some minutes once the massage has been completed.

The History of Indian Head Massage

Massage has always played an important part in Indian life. The earliest Ayurvedic texts, which date back over 4000 years, already described that massage has an important therapeutic function encouraging the body’s innate healing energy. Indian head massage has been practised in the homes for thousands of years. 

The concept was originally developed by women who used different oils according to the season (coconut, sesame, almond, olive oil, herbal oils, buttermilk, mustard oil and henna) in order to maintain their long hair strong, lustrous and in beautiful condition.

Barbers practiced many of the same skills with the gentlemen. They used to visit individual homes, cutting hair and often offering champi (head massage) as part of the treatment. 


The Indian head massage became very popular in the West thanks to an Indian massage therapist, Narendra Mehta. He immigrated to England in the 70s and missed the champissage he was used to enjoy back in his hometown where it was very popular. He then decided to go back to India, do research and study it to introduce the head massage as Indian Champissage in England in 1981.

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