Indian Head Massage: Relaxation and Stress Reduction

A Woman Having a Head Massage

When it comes to massage, you’ve likely heard of the Swedish massage, the Deep Tissue massage, even the Lomi Lomi massage! But what about the Indian head massage? 

If you're in search of a rejuvenating and holistic approach to relaxation and stress reduction, an Indian Head Massage might be the soothing remedy you need. But what is it, and how does it work? In the following blog, we're going to explore what Indian massage really entails, its benefits, and the popular techniques employed during a session. Let’s dive in!

What is an Indian Head Massage?

An Indian Head Massage, also known as Champissage, is an ancient therapeutic practice that originated in India over a thousand years ago; in short, it’s a holistic treatment that focuses on the upper body, including the head, neck, shoulders, and upper arms, and is designed to release tension, promote relaxation, and improve overall well-being.

During an Indian head massage, the therapist typically uses a combination of gentle strokes, kneading, and acupressure techniques to stimulate the muscles and energy points in the upper body. The massage often begins with the head and scalp, then moves down to the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It’s almost always performed with the client seated comfortably (rather than laying down) and fully clothed as opposed to undressed. 

Benefits of Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage offers a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental well-being:

Stress Reduction

An Indian head massage is renowned for its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation; the gentle strokes and rhythmic movements help calm the nervous system, alleviating anxiety and tension.

Headache Relief

We all know that massage therapy can improve migraines, and the Indian head massage is no different! If you frequently experience tension headaches or migraines, an Indian head massage can provide relief by targeting the muscles and pressure points in the head and neck.

Improved Circulation

Another benefit of an Indian head massage is improved circulation; the massage techniques used by a professional practitioner can enhance blood circulation, promoting oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain and scalp, while also helping you unwind. Not only can improved blood circulation lead to improved cognitive function, but it also offers an added bonus in improving hair health!

Muscle Relaxation

The kneading and stretching movements in this massage release muscular tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, and can be particularly beneficial for those of us who spend long hours at a desk or computer. 

Enhanced Sleep

Just like with regular massage, many people may find that an Indian head massage helps improve the quality of their sleep, and can even increase how much REM sleep they get each night. Massage does this by inducing  a deep sense of relaxation, which makes it easier to fall asleep, achieve deep sleep, and stay asleep during the night.

In fact, one of the best ways to enhance your sleep via a massage is to have your massage performed at home. At Spa Theory, we offer an expert couples mobile massage service that brings the massage table to your home - so why not experiment with a new date night and enjoy the relaxing benefits of a couple’s massage?

Popular Indian Head Massage Techniques

Indian Head Massage incorporates various techniques to promote relaxation and well-being. Some of the popular techniques used during a session include:

  • Effleurage: This involves gentle stroking movements on the scalp, neck, and shoulders to relax the muscles and increase blood flow.

  • Petrissage: Kneading and squeezing motions are used to release tension in the muscles and improve circulation.

  • Tapotement: This involves light tapping or percussion movements which are applied to invigorate the scalp and stimulate blood flow.

  • Friction: With friction, circular motions with the fingertips are used to work on specific pressure points and release tightness.

  • Acupressure: When performing acupressure, the therapist applies pressure to specific points on the head and neck to promote energy flow and relaxation.

How Do I Prepare for an Indian Head Massage?

Preparing for an Indian Head Massage is simple and straightforward, especially as you won’t be needing to get undressed for the session:

Comfortable Clothing

Like with any massage, we’d always recommend that you wear loose and comfortable clothing to your appointment. Since an Indian Head Massage is typically performed with the client fully clothed, choose attire that allows for ease of movement.

Avoid Heavy Meals

It's best to avoid heavy meals immediately before your massage appointment; while massage can be good for your digestive system, activating your gut right after a meal might leave you feeling bloated. Sticking to a light meal or snack a few hours before is preferable to ensure comfort during the session.


Finally, always inform your therapist about any specific concerns, areas of tension, or medical conditions you may have before your session begins. This will help them tailor the massage to your needs and preferences, while also ensuring you won’t experience any discomfort or pain.


Is Indian Head Massage suitable for everyone?

Indian Head Massage is generally safe and suitable for most individuals. However, it may not be recommended for people with certain medical conditions or specific contraindications, such as recent head injuries or scalp infections. It's essential to consult with your therapist and inform them of any relevant health concerns before the session.

How long does an Indian Head Massage session typically last?

Indian head massage sessions can vary in duration, but they typically last around 30 to 45 minutes. The length of the session can be adjusted to meet your specific needs and preferences.

Is an Indian Head Massage relaxing or invigorating?

An Indian head massage is primarily a relaxing and soothing experience, and is designed to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and promote a deep sense of relaxation. However, some of the techniques used, such as tapotement, can invigorate and refresh the scalp too.

Can I wear hair products to the session?

It's generally recommended to arrive with clean hair, free from heavy styling products or excessive oil. This allows the therapist to perform the massage more effectively. However, light hair products are usually acceptable.

Will my hair get oily during the massage?

The massage may involve the use of oils or lotions on the scalp to facilitate smooth movements. While your hair may become slightly oily during the session, it can be easily washed and restored to its usual condition afterward. In some cases, the oil might even nourish your scalp and hair, so it’s a win-win!


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