Indian head massage is an incredibly relaxing and therapeutic massage technique. The therapist concentrates on the client’s head, neck, shoulders, and the top of their back.
As with any form of massage or alternative medicine there are potential side effects for some people. This article will cover side effects of Indian head massages, along the the contraindications and contra-actions.
What Does an Indian Head Massage Involve?
A client sits in a chair or lays at an angle on a tilted table. The therapist uses a range of specific hand motions on their head, shoulders, neck and the top of their backs.
They use compression and kneading movements, along with applying the correct pressure to pressure points on the face. Some techniques involve oil, and sometimes there can be some gentle tapping.
A typical session is 30 minutes long. The client is usually allowed 10-15 minutes after the session to sit and relax. This gives them the time to be mindful or meditate and enjoy the feelings from the massage.
What can you expect from an Indian Head Massage
The massage therapy is designed to restore balance to a person’s natural balance and the body’s natural flow.
A chakra is the body’s central vital energy centre. There are seven chakras throughout the body. For example the root chakra is at the base of spine, and the top chakra is the ‘crown’ situated at the top of the head.
A skilled and professionally trained therapist will be aware of a person’s acupressure points around their head. Combining these points and restoring the body’s energy creates the incredible feelings and benefits of this technique.
Everyone has different reactions to the therapy. Along with different side effects, both good and bad. It’s hard to say how much you are going to get out of a treatment before going ahead.
Side Effects of Indian Head Massage
After a session some clients feel a little light-headed, tired, dizzy, and even an urgent need to urinate. Aching and pain in muscles in the face and neck also affects some.
Most of these side effects wear off after an hour or so. But if the symptoms do persist you should seek medical advice to be on the safe side.
Bad Side Effects
Some of the worse side effects that will require you seeking medical advice includes;
If you don’t usually have migraines but after a therapy you do experience them this is a red flag. You may be having a bad reaction to the therapy.
Severe Muscle Pain
A little pain in the muscles that have been massaged is normal. But if you have a severe pain that is not going away you have have some tissue damage.
You will need to rest the muscles. Possibly take some anti-inflammatories and use some muscle rub.
Dizziness after a treatment could symbolize a problem with your blood pressure. The head massage stimulates blood flow and can raise or lower blood pressure.
Good Side Effects
This is actually a good side effect. It means your body is working hard to flush out more toxins and waste materials.
This shouldn’t last more than a few hours. Drink plenty of fresh water to help flush out toxins and cleanse your body.
Dull Muscle Aching
A dull ache in your muscles is a good feeling to have. Much like after you work out at the gym, this means your muscle are repairing from micro-tears and becoming stronger.
You should feel more alert and have increased sensory perception. This is a good side effect to the massage mentally stimulating you.
If you allowed yourself to fully relax and experience the ‘present’ during the therapy you will have a profound feeling. It’s a great feeling, trust me.
Reduced Joint Pain
One of the benefits include reduced joint pain and greater mobility. Your shoulders and neck may feel a little stiff right away. But this will loosen up and you will feel a lot more mobility.
Contraindications of Indian Head Massage
There are certain contradictions of Indian head massage to be aware of it you are going to book a session. The most notable are as follows;
If you have had a surgery recently you need the all-clear from a medical professional before having a head massage.
Always disclose anything relevant to the therapist before having a therapy too. They need to be aware of health concerns to tailor the massage accordingly.
Bruising or Tissue Damage
If you have bruising or damage to any areas that will be touched you should not go ahead. Unless you had knocked yourself to cause the bruising, it could indicate an underlying illness.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Treatment can cause blood pressure to rise. If you have high blood pressure already it’s strongly advised you don’t have a massage.
It’s a small risk, but there is a risk of the client having a seizure while being massaged.
One of the side effects of the massage is lowing a person’s blood sugar. Depending on the type and severity of the diabetes this can cause problems.
Blood clots or thrombosis in veins means a massage can potentially be dangerous. The clot can become lose a travel through the vein to the heart.
Cuts and Sores
Cuts, sores and wounds are contraindications for a massage. It’s not hygienic or safe when a therapists are using their hands and rubbing these areas. It can cause an infection to start, or spread.
Contra-action Side Effects of an Indian Head Massage
Contra-actions are things that have happened during a treatment that may cause the treatment to stop. Much like side effects of Indian head massage.
If you feel uncomfortable or don’t think you can carry on, you should always speak up and tell the therapist.
Some of the contra-actions that may cause side effects that you are not comfortable with include;
- Allergic reactions of any form
- Dizziness or nausea
- Headaches or any painful feelings in and around your head
- Aching muscles making the treatment uncomfortable
- Lethargic feelings
Special Precautions to Be Aware Of
- Try not to drink alcohol 4-5 days before treatment to maximize the effects of the treatment
- People with any form of degenerative spine conditions should make the therapist aware
- Allow 7-10 days between treatments to allow the toxins to flush fully
- If you experience any of the contra-actions or contraindications as above always inform your therapist
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.