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What to expect in an Indian Head Massage

I applied to train in Indian Head Massage after a summer of massaging at festivals and realising that a short seated treatment where you didn't have to get undressed would be a fantastic thing to offer. Through doing my training and practicing Indian Head Massage I have come to realise that it has so many more benefits than being portable and quick. At first I thought I would only offer Indian Head Massage at events however since seeing how effective and accessible it is I have decided to include it as a treatment in my Massage practice in Bristol.

Many people have had mixed experience in receiving Indian Head Massage so I wanted to give you an idea of what you can expect from an Indian Head Massage with me.

Indian Head Massage is inspired by Ayurveda the ancient Indian system of living and healing however it takes quite a different form to a massage you might experience in India. In India it is common for barbers to massage men's heads as part of a haircut and shave. Massage is also common in the family home with mothers massaging babies and children. There is also an Ayurvedic treatment called shirodhara where warm oil is poured continuously onto the forehead.

I offer a 45 minute appointment that, for first time clients, will include a 10-15 minute initial assessment which enables me to get a full case history, allows us to get to know one another and helps me get an idea of how to tailor the massage to suit your needs. There will be a chair for you to sit in and I will make sure you are comfortable with cushions and supports. The massage will include your upper back, shoulders, arms and neck as well as the head and face. You will not need to take any clothes off. This is an adaptation from traditional Indian Head Massage to suit a more western lifestyle as in our culture it is common to hold stress and tension in our shoulders and neck. The massage its self will last 30 minutes and you will have 5 minutes at the end to have a glass of water and bring yourself back to ground, if necessary I can discuss some aftercare tips with you. The massage can be deeply relaxing and I have been amazed at how clients have been able to reach a very deep state of relaxation very quickly and also come back just as quickly. It can also be uplifting and energising with a fast tempo massage on the scalp.

The session will include the option to use hair oils. I always hold a selection of oils that have

different properties that you can chose from. I will apply the oil to your hair as the massage transitions from neck to head. I will work the oil through your hair and then massage it into your scalp. Using hair oils can help to nourish and strengthen your hair as well as hydrating your scalp. If you decide you would like to have oil in your hair I recommend that you leave it in for at least 2 hours after the massage so your hair and scalp get the most benefit. When you do come to wash it out apply your shampoo before getting your hair wet to emulsify the oil and then wash it out. It may take a few washes to get all the oil out.

Oils traditionally used on the hair include:


High in nutrients and vitamins including vitamin A, B, D and E Almond oil makes and excellent conditioner helping to soften moisturise and protect the hair


Light and very moisturising for the hair and scalp. Can help to reduce inflammation and is great for dry, brittle and lifeless hair


Due to it's warming properties it is a popular choice in the winter. It has a strong pungent smell and is well known for breaking down congestion and swelling from tense muscles and reducing associated pain.


A popular choice in the western world especially in the Mediterranean. It contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids which makes it a great choice for moisturising dry skin and hair.


One of the most popular oils to be used in massage in India and is commonly used as a base in many Ayurvedic concoctions. It is high in minerals including iron, calcium and phosphorous which can help to strengthen, nourish and protect the hair. It is particularly popular in the summer as it provides some protection from the sun.

Indian Head Massage is a great way to manage stress. It can be beneficial for people who suffer from headaches, insomnia, stiff shoulders or aches in the upper back and neck and people who hold tension in their head, face and jaw. It is an accessible gateway for people who are unsure about massage, people who are not keen to take off their clothes, people who would struggle to get on and off a massage table, people in wheelchairs, people who find it uncomfortable or too intense to receive a full hours massage, nursing mothers who can't leave their babies for long, carers who can't leave their dependents for long and the list goes on. It is this inclusivity and accessibility that I love about Indian Head Massage.

If you are interested in booking in for an Indian Head Massage or have any further questions please get in touch by Phone: 07842 795 366 email: or on Facebook:

I have availability for appointments on Mondays 10-4 and Wednesdays 12-9

With Love, Esme

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