Indian Head Massage | Shiro Abhyanga

Published: Nov 5, 2020 | Updated: May 15, 2021

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Indian Head Massage | Shiro Abhyanga
© Picture courtesy Kyle McCarthy

In the past two decades, Indian Head Massage, also labeled Champissage, Champi or Shiro Abhyanga (Shiroabhyanga), has become a popular and rather sought-after treatment modality in Spa and Wellness centers around the world.

This massage is perhaps one of the most used Ayurvedic massages for stress and pain relief. Indian Head Massage is not only about the head; it includes working with the neck and shoulders, applied also in more therapeutic conditions like, for instance, frozen shoulder, insomnia, chronic tiredness, spondylosis, whiplash, and migraines, among other discomforts or illnesses.

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The head massage is given typically with the receiver in the sitting or supine position (lying down face up). The masseur/masseuse uses hands and fingers to knead, rub and press the neck, shoulders, upper back and scalp and may use Ayurvedic balms and herbal oils. Sometimes the upper arms and face are massaged also. A typical session takes between 15 minutes and 45 minutes.

Indian Head Massage is still very much integrated in everyday life in India being traditionally a family ritual with the techniques passed down across generations. Until today you can witness this treatment being practiced at home, in barber shops, at village plazas, or at weddings and births.

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