Indian Head Masseuse

Of the many massage therapies available these days, Indian Head Massage has to be one of the most flexible, enjoyable – and portable. Head Massage, or ‘Indian Champissage’, to give it its proper name, has been around for over a thousand years. The therapy as we know it today was formulated by Narendra Mehta, who introduced it at the ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ exhibition at Olympia, London, in 1981.

Mehta took the traditional and ancient head massage he had known all his life and extended it to include the face, neck, upper arms and shoulders – all the areas where stress and tension build up. The many benefits it brings, including increased blood circulation, relief from muscle tension, well-being and clarity, are widely known. Its popularity increases with every passing day, and now there are therapists all over the world.
You can incorporate oils into the therapy, but it’s the fact that it can be done with the client fully clothed and sitting in a normal chair that makes it so appealing. The full routine takes about 40 minutes, but this can easily be adapted into 10 or 20 minutes, or even half an hour – whatever the client prefers or has time for. Massage businesses are springing up everywhere, notably in the workplace, as employers realise what it can do for the efficiency of their staff – and no doubt their profit margins!
There are lots of situations where Indian Head Massage can be employed, but one obvious place is at festivals. As a summer job, this takes some beating. Although it’s hard work and you’re on your feet all day, it’s undeniably satisfying to see people slump into your chair, bleary and tired, only to spring up again twenty minutes later with shoulders relaxed and eyes sparkling, ready to rock and roll with renewed vigour. It’s easy to overdo it at a festival and revellers are increasingly going to the massage tent to recharge, iron out sore muscles from leaping about or sleeping in cramped conditions and, dare I say it, spending a long time in the beer tent. Yes, Indian Head Massage can even help relieve hangovers.
Before you dash out to pack up the transit van and make for the nearest festival venue, get trained up, if you haven’t already done so. This kind of massage involves putting pressure on sensitive areas like the occipital region – an area at the back of the skull. It’s not a good idea to merrily massage away without knowing some basic anatomy and physiology, and without asking the client whether they have any health issues – epilepsy, for instance – before you put hands to head, or anywhere else. Training is vital. You wouldn’t put your head in the hands of an amateur and neither should anyone else. A recognised qualification entitles you to get insured – don’t even think about practising without insurance. Training courses are easy to find. You could take it slowly over a few months or a year at a college, or attend a shorter, intensive course. The web is full of them; just research what’s available in your area.
Back to the festival scene. Massage is growing in popularity and if you don’t know someone who needs an extra pair of hands, do some networking. If you decide to set up yourself, get in touch with the festival organisers well in advance and negotiate a price to pitch your tent. Fees vary, but if you get in first, you should have a steady stream of clients to more than offset the rent. And don’t forget that the weather can play havoc with your arrangements – invest in a tent with walls; massage isn’t fun in the wind and rain. Your tent should be a sanctuary, a place of relaxation, well away from the main stage.
So, apart from chairs, some restful music and your willing (and properly trained) hands, what else is there to remember? Oh yes – you. Giving massage is good for your soul, but your body will suffer unless you take care of it. Make sure to learn how to balance yourself and where to put your weight. Your muscles, joints – and clients – will thank you.
By Deborah Owen.


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