A head massage is a great introduction to spa massage, as well as offering lots of potential benefits for the mind and body. In this guide, we look at what’s involved in a head massage, the benefits this treatment offers and highlight some options for your next spa head massage treatment.
Lasting around 30 minutes, this treatment focuses on the scalp, face and upper neck. A head massage can form part of a longer treatment, such as a facial or a back, neck and shoulders massage. If you’re shy about disrobing at a spa, this might be a good treatment option as you remained fully covered and seated in a massage chair. The exception is if you are combining the treatment with another type of massage.
The main type you’ll come across is the Indian head massage (also known as champissage). This treatment is based on ayurvedic medicine, which is a holistic health philosophy.
During the treatment, the therapist will use a range of techniques, including gentle kneading and stroking to rebalance your energies and promote wellbeing. The treatment incorporates acupressure, meaning it focuses on key pressure points on and around the head.
Sometimes, the therapist will incorporate oils or clay to enhance the experience. Popular oils used in a head massage include coconut, almond, avocado and olive.
Spas may offer their own variation on the Indian head massage, using various techniques that focus on the scalp, face and neck.
While head massage shouldn’t replace traditional medical treatments, it can contribute to improving a range of physical and mental issues. As well as promoting relaxation and relieving stress, this type of massage may help to:
- Improve circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body
- Release tension from the head, neck and shoulders
- Combat fatigue and low mood
- Offer relief from tension headaches and migraine
- Aid restful sleep and combat insomnia
It is important to note that immediately following the treatment, you may feel a bit tired or light-headed. This should alleviate within a few hours but be mindful of this if you are driving to the appointment. You should avoid alcohol for at least five hours ahead of the treatment.
Head massage from a trained therapist boosts oxygen and blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles, so can potentially help those living with hair loss or thinning. Additionally, the treatment reduces levels of stress hormones, which allows the body to function optimally, including the ability of hair follicles to do their job. If oils are used during the massage, this can help to alleviate dry skin and dandruff, which can impede the hair follicles, as well as improving the condition of the hair itself.
However, during the treatment, the hair is gently pulled, so if hair loss is a concern, talk to the therapist ahead of time to make sure the treatment is suitable for you.
As with most spa treatments, a head massage is not suitable for everyone. In particular, you should avoid this treatment if you have:
- had recent surgery
- experienced a head or neck injury
- a history of thrombosis or embolism
- spondylitis or spondylosis
As always, if you have any underlying medical issues, it is important to let the spa know ahead of time, particularly if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, or if you are undergoing cancer treatment.
When it comes to head massage and pregnancy, many spas refuse to treat women who are in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is best to consult with your doctor before booking an appointment and always let the spa know you are pregnant. See our pregnancy guides for more information.
Head massage treatments are widely available at spas nationwide. They can be booked as a standalone treatment or may be included as part of a spa day or spa break package. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- The Holiday Inn Reading offers a Spa Day with Indian Head Massage which features a 25-minute treatment. If you’d prefer to share the experience, you can book the Indian Head Massage for Two Spa Day.
- Our Men's Pamper Day voucher, redeemable at 25 locations nationwide, includes a 30-minute scalp massage.
To find out more or to book your next spa experience, contact the SpaSeekers’ team today.