Head, Hands & Foot Massage
Your head, hands and feet are not totally distinct and separate from your torso and limbs. Each have muscles surrounding or connected to them, tendons and ligaments working with those muscles and each benefit from massage therapy, both to support and complete a massage or as stand-alone therapy to address joint-locking of the extremities, cramps and general pampering.
Ideally, your head, hands and feet should be included in every full body massage, but this is not always practical as time constraints and cost are factors in everyone’s lives. To complete a full body massage within an hour, and include your head, hands and feet would give you a perfunctory massage without adequate attention given to any area. It may feel good overall, but it is not as effective and the benefits are not as long-lasting.
We carry our heads about with us all day, every day. The head is a very heavy part of the body, and has the highest concentration of nerve endings and beginnings in our bodies. It is the beginning and end of every function of our body, and where all thoughts happen.
Although the skull does not have muscle tissue over it, it does have facia and skin, blood and lymph vessels, all of which, as part of our system, are crucial to maintain. We probably carry as much tension in our heads as anywhere else in our bodies. How many times have you heard the phrase “care-worn face”, or seen evidence of it? How much do we spend on facial skin and hair care every year?
There is no substitute for a good diet and great health to keep our skin and hair looking fabulous, but head massage as a specific treatment originated among Indian ladies to keep their hair full, thick and lustrous, thousands of years ago.
Indian men took heed of their beautiful ladies, and it was not long before the barbers were offering similar massages as standard with a hair cut or shave, although there is traditionally a different emphasis between the women’s hair focused and the men’s invigoration focused head massage. In Turkey today every time a gentleman goes to his barber he will receive not only a grooming session, but also a face, head and neck massage that leaves him feeling great as well as looking good.
As late as the 1970’s head massage was finally recognised as a formal therapy. When Narendra Mehta left India to study physiotherapy in England he was dismayed that, at the time, massage was not a significant part of physiotherapy, and even what treatments were practised omitted the head completely. He returned to India to research practices that he had grown up with as a normal part of everyday life. He formalised a routine known as Indian Head Massage which was a combination of the soothing and invigorating massage techniques, now widely practised throughout the world. He has gone onto develop a practice known as “champissage”, which incorporates the shoulders and upper arms to increase the efficacy of the treatment.
Head massage does not require the use of oils so there is no worry about looking like you have been deep fried when you leave, although if you want to keep a perfectly coiffed hair style, you should probably schedule in a little time to recreate your look after your massage.
Using pressure points on the face and small, gentle movements targeting each set of the tiny facial muscles brings about a relaxation of the tissues and releases stored toxins allowing improved circulation and cellular nutrition - in other words healthier skin and a great feeling of glow.
Hand & Foot Massage
Although there aren’t a great number of muscles in the hands or feet themselves, the tendons that link the bones to the muscles carry tensions and benefit from massage just as much as the actual muscles. Look at someone who is tense or stressed. Watch what they do with their hands - wringing and rubbing them. See how they place their feet as they stand in our crowded commuter transport, transferring their weight to the least painful points.
I use beautiful creams from The AromaTree Company, and these are also available from me to purchase from just £5 for a 30ml jar. 100% natural and hand made with love in England.
Our poor feet are used (and abused) every day, simply carrying us about. Crushed into shoes that alter the way we stand and walk, hidden with thickening nails and untended cuticles. Most people neglect their feet – out of sight out of mind perhaps? But our feet tell us when they need attention – they ache, form corns and calluses and accumulate a host of minor issues that can quickly become excruciatingly painful.
Both the hands and feet can be used for reflexology, and mirror the whole body. Although we do not yet offer reflexology, there is a great deal of benefit from simple massage of both the hands and feet, not just to help aches and pains locally, but to increase complete holistic health body wide. Making use of the classic massage passive movements, (a passive movement is made when your therapist takes a joint through its natural range of movement, rather than you moving the joint yourself), has the added advantage of allowing the stretching of soft tissues gently without breaking the relaxation.