Types of head massage
and how and why they help pain and illness

Head massage will most often include shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp and face. It can be given to treat pain conditions or promote a deep state of relaxation.

The great thing about these massage techniques is that the service can be performed anywhere and you don't need oil (although some therapists use it as a scalp treatment) or lotion. You really only need a chair, and a table or desk for the client to rest their head.

Some Asian cultures believe that when the energy (or qi) does not flow properly through our head, negative energy builds up, causing common ailments, including stressneck pain, and baldness or hair loss.

Regular scalp massage techniques increase circulation, and therefore, brings more oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, decreasing ailments and pain. Sustained, consistent pressure to trigger points at the base of the skull helps relieve headaches and migraine pain.

Types of Head Massage

  • Indian (or Champissage), is a vigorous treatment and focuses on the blood circulation for head, shoulders, and neck. Although it can be deeper pressure, it should not be painful.You can read more about at Indian Scalp Massage or "Champissage" and the instructor, Susan Walsh, CMT, NCTMB, LCICI.
  • Tibetan Scalp Massage is a very relaxing experience involving acupressure and the balancing of energy pathways. It is often a slow, detailed treatment.Shirodhara
  • Ayurvedic - This is a very relaxing head massage treatment that involves pouring a tiny stream of warm, herbal oil over the third eye (forehead) for 30 to 45 minutes, followed by a few minutes of head and face massage.You can read more about types of Ayurvedic Massage and watch a video about Shirodhara here.

Because these traditional massage techniques use a generous amount of oil for the massage, you may want to plan on a trip home for a shampoo before venturing out in public. It's well worth it!

this therapy is a wonderful, natural way to relieve common aches and pains that most of us experience throughout our entire lives.

These are common pains like:

Marble facial stones are sometimes used in massaging the head, usually on the face, forehead, and scalp. You can also use them to reduce pain and inflammation in the jaw area for TMJ.

This DVD, Head, Neck & Shoulder Massage with Sherry Galloway teaches simple routines for head and neck massage, providing easy to understand tips for releasing large muscles groups around the shoulders as well as muscles of the head and neck.This is a short massage video clip from this DVD:

Other Resources

Read more about the benefits of scalp massage at LiveStrong.

As with any type of massage therapy, you should learn to identify appropriate massage techniques for clients experiencing headaches and neck pain.

More serious conditions could be responsible for the pain, and a therapist should know signs and symptoms of those issues before any type of head massage is given.

Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage 

Go back to How to Give a Massage from Head Massage Page 

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