Most ancient civilisations used some form of massage and exercise to either give pain relief or maintain a healthy body. Indian head massage has been practised for 3000 years as part of a holistic approach to healing known as Ayurveda.
Expectant mothers received massage daily to their head, face, neck, shoulders and back before and after childbirth and then massaged their child daily to promote bonding with the infant, to create calm in the child and good health. Therefore massage is embedded within every day life as the Indians believe it balances or preserves the body’s energy and promotes a healthy balanced life, thus everyone is capable of giving massage and receiving it.
Traditional Indian head massage is more stimulating than the western version of Indian head massage, which is more relaxing. The west uses different types of massage mediums and can also include essential oils, whilst in India a variety of massage mediums are used to produce either a warming, stimulating or cooling, calming affect with Indian head massage, depending on the time of the year. Spices and herbs are sometimes added to the massage medium for their beneficial effects on the scalp and hair.
Indian head massage was brought to England in the late 1970s by NarendraMehta.
Ayurveda refers to the science of life; it is a holistic approach which aims to maintain balance and energy within each individual whilst living in harmony with nature. It is a complete way of life which aims to prevent disease and enhance spiritual, physical, and psychological wellbeing, giving vitality and longevity. This can be achieved through daily meditation, exercise, herbal remedies, massage and being a vegetarian.
It relies on three basic universal energies called Tridosha. The three doshaare constantly fluctuating centres of energy which govern the five elements and correspond to the western concept of body types. The doshafluctuate daily and are affected by the time of day, foods, stress, seasons and repressed emotions. Any imbalance brought about in these doshasleads to a disruption in the energy (prana) that flows into the body via our food or breath and can lead to imbalance as the body, mind and spirit are not in harmony, which inevitably leads to some form of weakness in an individual such as ill health.