Indian head massage (or “Champi” in Hindi) is a practice that originated over a thousand years ago in India, where it stemmed from a tradition of family grooming. Indian mothers used to massage their daughters’ hair with different oils to encourage long, lustrous locks.

Narendra Metha, a blind man who grew up in an Indian community where Champi was an important part of life, was the first person to develop and formalise Indian head massage into an actual therapy. Metha arrived in England in the 1970s where he trained as a physiotherapist. In 1978, he returned to India where he studied the benefits and practice of Champi.

Metha soon included the neck, shoulders and face in the massage and employed modern knowledge of shiatsu and acupressure to relax tense areas, re-balance the energy and clear any areas of concentrated negativity.

What can Indian Head massage treat?

Benefits include: release from upper body tension, headaches, eyestrain, insomnia, sinusitis, renews energy, clarifies thinking, settles emotions and can help improve condition of scalp and hair. Indian Head Massage can be a great help in reducing headaches caused by tension, eyestrain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. Massage helps to eliminate the cause of the headaches as well as the symptoms. In the case of migraines, massage before an attack or when one is suspected, can help reduce the symptoms and extend the interval between attacks.

How does Indian Head massage work?

In an Indian Head Massage the shoulders, neck, face and head are massaged with the purpose of manipulating energy channels. The aim is to clear blocks in these energy channels that cause a build-up of negative energy that cause ailments. The belief is when the energy does not flow properly, negative energy builds up, causing common ailments including stress, pain and aches. Indian Head Massage is used by practitioners to help reduce stress and fatigue, increase mental clarity, and relax and rejuvenate the receiver.

The therapist will strive to restore balance and harmony by working on the three higher chakras; the base of the throat, the forehead and the crown. There are seven chakras situated throughout the body, starting with the root chakra at the base of the spine and ending with the crown chakra – just above the head. When the therapist balances the top three chakras, the rest will vibrate in balance and the belief is that perfect health and well-being will result.

The Indian Head Massage

Treatment can be delivered through clothing or with oil applied. Indian Head Massage is deeply relaxing concentrating on the main areas of strain; your upper back, shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp and face. Using strong yet gentle pressures this treatment is a sensory bath of various techniques to relieve aches and promote a state of relaxation.

Indian head massage may be dry, or oils may be used. At Essential You Massage we do not use oil in an Indian Head Massage.


Indian Head Massage or Champissage is based on the ancient Indian Ayurvedic healing system. It has been practised in India for over a thousand years. In India they believe massaging their heads with natural vegetable oils keeps their hair healthy and strong. Massaging the scalp stimulates the flow of blood to the follicles, improving the supply of nutrients needed for healthy hair growth. Today the common cause of poor blood flow is stress generated muscle tension, by helping dispel such tension, head massage not only proves an invaluable treatment but helps releive stress linked problems like headaches, eye strain, neck and shoulder stiffness.

How does it work?

The head, neck and shoulders are important energy centres within your body, if you are stressed or anxious, tension tends to accumulate. Indian Head Massage involves working with a strong, but gentle rhythm helping to unknot blockages and release tension, this effect is not just physical, it also works on an emotional level, calming the spirit, promoting relaxation and relieving stress.

Physical and mental benefits
  • Relief of neck and shoulder stiffness
  • Fibrous adhesions (knots and nodules) can be broken down
  • Dispersal of toxins
  • Loosens the scalp
  • Increases oxygen uptake in tissues
  • Improves circulation of blood, providing extra oxygen to the brain
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Helps relieve eye strain and headaches
  • Helps with mental tiredness
  • Improves concentration
  • Relief from mental and emotional stress
  • Relaxation of the whole person