Indian Head Massage

What is Indian Head Massage?

Indian head massage is a traditional massage treatment. It involves the application of massage techniques to the upper back and shoulders, arms, neck, head and face. The treatment takes place with the client fully clothed and seated in a chair.


Where did Massage originate?

Indian head massage, or Shiro-Abhyanga, has been practised in India for over 5,000 years. It is part of Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of medicine. In translation, Shiro-Abhyanga means mind, head and neck (Shiro) therapeutic massage (Abhyanga). This technique was brought from India to the West in the 1970s.

Although originally Indian head massage involved only massage of the head area, in its transition to the West, it has encompassed other parts of the upper body including the shoulders, upper arms and neck. This is because these areas are also vulnerable to stress, something that Indian head massage techniques are effective at managing.

How does Indian Head Massage work?

The aim of Indian head Massage is to release the stress and tension that has accumulated in the muscles, tissues and joints of areas treated. A variety of techniques such as deep kneading and compression may be used to break down ‘knots’ or ‘adhesions’. This can help to relieve pre-existing feelings of discomfort in tight or over-used muscles as a result of occupation or daily stress for example.

What happens during a session?

During an initial consultation, some personal details such as diet, lifestyle and general health are discussed in confidence. You will then be asked to sit in a comfortable chair. The therapist will massage the upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, head and face through your clothes. Soothing stroking movements relax and calm and muscles are stretched and lengthened. Pressure points on the face and head are gently stimulated.
Oil can be applied to the hair to nourish and condition both hair and scalp if clients wish.

Why do I need an initial consultation?

There are some occasions when treatment is not advised. The therapist needs to be aware of these for your safety, comfort and if treatment is advised, to tailor the therapy to each individual client.

How long will a treatment last?

A full treatment is 45 minutes in length (with an additional free 15 minute consultation at your first appointment, prior to the treatment beginning).
Please see our website and the section on Treatments and Prices for further information about the full variety of treatments we offer.

How much does the treatment cost?

A 45 minute session is £20. There are also a number of special offers available, including 20% off the cost of your first ever treatment.
Pamper parties are also available at the cost of £10 per person for a 20 minute mini Indian head massage treatment (minimum 3 people)

What are the benefits of Massage?

Many people comment that they experience a sense of deep relaxation and well-being during and following treatments. Other benefits may include relief from:

  • muscular tension and pain caused by occupational stress (long periods marking, completing paperwork, sitting at a computer)
  • tension headaches
  • eye strain
  • sinus problems
  • stress, anxiety and feelings of depression

Indian head massage can also promote:

  • clearer thinking, productivity and concentration
  • improved mood
  • better sleep
  • healthy condition of the skin and hair
  • improved blood circulation
  • improved posture and flexibility
  • support to the immune system
  • stimulation of the release of endorphins, the body’s ‘feel good’ hormones and natural pain reliever
  • joint mobility

When should I not have a treatment?


  • being treated for or in remission from cancer
  • with a heart condition
  • with uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • with epilepsy
  • with kidney problems
  • with diabetes
  • with any implant/ recent operation
  • with osteoporosis
  • with a dysfunction of the nervous system e.g Parkinson’s disease

should obtain written permission from their doctor prior to proceeding with treatment.

No treatment will be given for clients:

  • with thrombosis/ embolism
  • during the first trimester of pregnancy
  • with a recent head or neck injury
  • with contagious conditions eg. measles, mumps
  • with skin or scalp infections eg. cold sores, head lice

After the treatment:
The effects of massage are unique to each individual.   Because the treatment stimulates the body and encourages the release of toxins, you may experience some of the following over the next 24 hours:

  • increased energy levels/ feelings of tiredness
  • deep sleep
  • increased urination/ bowel movements
  • increased thirst/hunger
  • skin breakouts as toxins are released
  • aching muscles as toxins are released and nerve fibres respond to the massage
  • tearfulness/ emotional feelings

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

After care advice:

To gain the most from your treatment, over the 24 hours following this you are advised to:

  • avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and strenuous physical exercise
  • eat a light meal
  • drink plenty of water and relax!
  • leave oil on the skin overnight

Image courtesy of marin /