Monday, 30 August 2010

Indian Champissage and Spas

What is a massage? An online dictionary defines it as

1. the act of kneading, rubbing, etc., parts of the body to promote circulation, suppleness, or relaxation
2. (Medicine) to treat (stiffness, aches, etc.) by a massage
3. to manipulate (statistics, data, etc.) so that they appear to support a particular interpretation or to be better than they are; doctor
massage (someone's) ego to boost (someone's) sense of self-esteem by flattery .

In India various massage therapies and treatments are available. One can choose a common barber shop masseur or a sophisticated, elegant , and expensive massage parlour or spa. In Kerala (South India) there are special ayurvedic or herbal massage centers.
Here is some more info from the web.

History of Indian Champissage (Head Massage)
Massage has always played an important part in Indian life. It features in the earliest Ayurvedic texts, which date back nearly 4000 years. These ancient texts describe that, when used in conjunction with herbs, spices and aromatic oils, massage had an important medical function and could not only “strengthen muscles and firm skin”, but also encourage the body’s innate healing energy.
Today, Indian infants often receive a daily massage from birth until they are three years old to keep them supple and in good health. From three to six years of age, they are massaged once or twice a week. After six years of age, they are taught to share a massage with family members. Massage occurs across the generations in India as an integral part of family life. Indian Champissage™ springs from this rich tradition of family grooming.
Head massage has been practised for over a thousand years. The concept was originally developed by women who used different oils according to the season (coconut, sesame, almond, olive oil, herbal oils, buttermilk, mustard oil and henna) and individual needs to keep their long hair strong, lustrous and in beautiful condition.
Barbers practised many of the same skills with their male clients. They used to visit individual homes, cutting hair and often offering champi (head massage) as part of the treatment. It was customary for most people from the king down to have someone attend to them in this manner.
Treatments offered by barbers differed from the massages performed by women. A champiwas an invigorating scalp massage designed to stimulate and refresh the individual and was not considered part of a beauty regime. The word ‘shampoo’ comes from the Hindi word 'champi,’ meaning ‘massage of the head.’ Regular head massage, as practised by woman to beautify their hair, was soothing and relaxing. They would use natural oils to keep their long hair strong and healthy.
The barbers’ skills evolved through the ages. They were handed down from father to son in much the same way that women kept alive the tradition of hair massage and grooming by passing the techniques from mother to daughter.
Nowadays, it is very common to go to a barber’s shop, receive a wet shave and have a head massage thrown in as part of the treatment. Head massage can be seen in many locations in India from Calcutta to Bombay: on street corners, in markets and, of course, on the beach.
Like most of his compatriots, Narendra Mehta had grown up with head massage as an integral part of his daily life. It was something to be automatically experienced every time he visited a barber.
However, when Narendra came to England in the 1973 to train as a Physical Therapist, he was dismayed to find that head massage was not generally available. He was also disappointed to discover that the head seemed to be completely neglected even in a full body massage.
Narendra began to miss the therapeutic value of regular head massage. In 1978, he decided to return to India to research the ancient art of head massage. He studied it wherever it was practised: in barber’s shops, on street corners, at the beach and in family homes. He enjoyed being worked on but he couldn’t help feeling that there was something missing.
Although he experienced a slight improvement in well being, the effects were too short lived to be of any therapeutic benefit. Barbers focused on the scalp and women focused on the hair. In addition, everyone who worked with Narendra had his or her own individual technique, which had been handed down and developed through the generations. He decided that he would begin to formalise what he was experiencing and apply his heightened sensitivity as a blind person to discover which part of his body reacted most positively to specific moves.
Soon he arrived at two conclusions:
1. The therapy could benefit by being extended to include the face, neck, upper arms and shoulders ­ areas that accumulate high levels of stress and tension.
2. By introducing an Ayurvedic element into the massage to include work on the three higher Chakras (energy vortices) ­ Visuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara ­ the body’s entire energy system could be rebalanced.
When these two elements were added to traditional head massage, Narendra found he had a holistic therapy, which could be used effectively to treat the whole person. Experience had shown him that working on the head brings tremendous relaxation and relief from stress-related symptoms. In addition, he knew that head massage with oil serves as an excellent hair conditioner. Thus, Indian Champissage™ was developed from an ancient practice to become an excellent contemporary therapy.
This new therapy was introduced at the 1981 ‘Mind, Body and Spirit’ exhibition at Olympia, England, where a total of 179 clients came to Narendra’s stand suffering from headaches and many other stress-related symptoms. They left recharged and relaxed. Exposure to these and countless other clients during the next few years at his clinic and at various exhibitions allowed Narendra to study the effects of his techniques in depth and to revise and expand them.
Indian Head Massage (Indian Champissage™) has received a lot of positive exposure through numerous articles, magazine features, and radio and television interviews since its introduction in the UK. This, together with the obvious efficacy of the treatment, has undoubtedly led to its current popularity amongst health practitioners and the general public as one of the leading complementary therapies in Great Britain. The future of traditional Head Massage (Indian Champissage) is bright.

Kerala massage

Here are 2 videos. The second one is very funny - a tourist get a head massage in a barbershop.

Just as a body massage helps to relax the mind and body, a spiritual massage rejuvenates us spiritually. Having a daily Quiet Time with the Lord and corporate worship with other believers give us a spiritual massage.

And your sweet , encouraging comments give me a ego massage, I must add.

I have made a posting on Indian lunches on the SS blog with recipes for KITCHREE AND CHICKPEA CHOLE they are easy. Click on the link.


Later on in the evening 3 disasters took place with the time period of 15 mins.

1. My mini swamp cooler stopped working

2. My washing machine busted. I had to do the washing by hand. A back breaking task. I have a backache now.

3. The stray dog Naughty trie d to dig up our newly planted potatoes.

4. Later on as I opened the fridge an egg fell out an d broke- hate that as they are so expensive.

I feel like humpty dumpty and badly in need of a massage myself.

23 Fertilize my soul:

Julia Dutta said...

Nice post Amrita. I never knew the head message is as old as the Rig Veda!! The pictures and videos are great.

In Delhi, there are message wallis hanging around. One use to come to our house too and "rugrofy" my friend. I am very fussy about who touches my body hence I did not take one. But I must say after a rigorous rub, the whole room used to smell of mustard oil mixed with sweat!! A good sleep followed, of course not in that room!! hahaha!

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

I want to go get one of those head massages!!!

Amrita said...

Julia I am just like you, I can ;t bear anyone touching me , I don 't go for facials too for th e same reason. Only my sisters or very close friends can do it.

We also have the malish wallis coming around. I got one for my Mom.
I hope you were on dry ground in the Delhi deluge.

Amrita said...

Hi Holly, a nice herbal oil massage would really relax you. My American frind from SC used to have a lady come round 4 or 4 times a week to give her a full body massage in her flat. Poor Elsie was going through marriage problems and really needed that. She was in th e real estate business back in the US. Very smart lady. I enjoyed her company. Lost touch with her after she left.

Zimbabwe said...

My grandfather made the small fence around his potatoes. Maybe (if You can) You should try this same?
How are You now? I believe, that high humidity in air can be something very bad for health.
Massage is very good thing. When I was 14, I had been going to massage in the sports and health centre for youth - it was needed in treatment my scoliosis.
God bless You.

Amrita said...

Hi Zimb, we laid some dry tree brancche s over the potatoes, now they are safe.

I am better this evening. Rubbed a balm on the painful area it helped. Humidity is bad for pain.

Zimbabwe said...

Thank God that You feel better. Have You rheumatism? In Cracow many people have this - sometimes also young people, I know also people who really suffer from this.. All because of wet climate there.
Little explanation: testimony on my blog was from Christian newspaper - it was the story of life the man called Marek, but not me :)
God bless You.

Gerry said...

I really enjoyed your blog on massage. My daughter said last week she was going to have an expensive massage and was so looking forward to it. A woman who was once close to my son Raymond went to school to become a masseuse, but she has been feeling poorly and I wondered how she could continued to do it. The video you showed of the hair dresser massage indicated some vigor and youth was needed to really do the job. I got a kick out of that massage. You would be bound to feel a little more invigorated after that! I like to rub virgin olive oil on my sun damaged skin! It feels so healthy!

madison said...

I've never had a massage, but there are days my back aches so I wish I could get one.
Visited the blog for the recipes. I'll make hubby the chickpea curry, but I can no longer eat Indian food, or spicy food for that matter.
I read you make your own yogurt, do you know how to make flavored yogurt? Hubby makes the plain but it doesn't always turn out well. I can't eat it if it doesn't, gives me such an upset stomach.
Hope today was better for you.

Amrita said...

Hi Zimb, yes I have arthritis, it wa s much worse earlier but I keep having trouble now and then.
In India also this is becoming quite common.

Amrita said...

Gerry when you go out in the protect yourself with a sun block lotion, its pretty hot in AZ.

Amrita said...

Ho Madison, the Punjabis love the chickpea curry, it originated there I guess.

I make raita with yogurt, which is like a salad with potatoes or other veggies.

When you are setting the yogurt float a green chilli in the milk- the yogurt will come out right. Discard the chilli when the yogurt is firm.

Reenie said...

Would you believe it that I never take a massage because I do not like strangers touching me?
It was a nice post though, much new interesting information...
Stay away from the electronic devices today :). Was there a voltage fluctuation perhaps?

- Reenie

Amrita said...

The feeling 's mutual Reenie

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Amrita:)

Very interesting and exhaustive information on massages. I have seen many advertisements for Ayurveda massage.

I have also seen common barbers doing massage in hair cutting saloons.

Although I have done any massage so far, I think massage really helps stressed people.

So I think it would be lovely that you take a massage and experience it first hand yourself:)

Best wishes:)

Pia said...

i love massages and spas . i'm such a fan. it's my way to relax and temporarily forget the daily tasks i have even for just a moment. love it!

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