My chakras just went BOOM!
The local Aveda salon has a unique treatment on the menu that I hadn’t seen anywhere else: Ayurvedic Head Massage, which just changed my life!
I’ve been trying to get a appointment for a while and fate was on my side this weekend because the timing worked out perfectly. Got my errands done early on a beautiful sunny day, sat down for a coffee and a flip through the new British Vogue, then strolled to Salon Jupiter for an ancient form of head massage. How’s that for a cross-cultural, time-warping Saturday?
Ayurvedic massage is an ancient form of Indian massage used to relax and rejuvenate the body and mind while opening up the chakras of the body. The Ayurvedic practitioner Neelu took me into the treatment room and explained a little about the purpose of the massage and what it would entail. She explained she would be using oils on the scalp and in the hair, with various pressures and massage techniques and to let her know if anything felt uncomfortable or if I wanted her to adjust the pressure she was using. I immediately felt I was in expert hands. She went on to tell me about the therapeutic benefits of head massage, which include:
- improving and stimulating blood circulation by increasing oxygen supply to the brain
- calming, revitalising and uplifting the spirit
- draining away of toxins
- promoting relaxation and deep breathing
- reducing tiredness, stress and depression
- helping concentration and mental alertness
The treatment began like a regular spa service…some of your kit comes off (so you don’t get oils on your clothes) and you lie face-up on a comfy massage bed in a warm room with your head and knees supported. Lights go as low as you wish for relaxation (I chose really low). But that’s where the normal spa service got left behind…
Neelu started with a gloriously comforting facial massage, very relaxing around the eyebrows and forehead. She then poured warm scented oils (Aveda special blends, designed to work with the three chakras in question) onto my scalp and hair and so began a half hour treatment that left me feeling as if I’ve never had a headache in my life! The massage technique veered from gentle to very vigorous, combined with gentle neck stretches and was a unique experience, to say the least. It is not for the faint of heart (although you can request less pressure, I just let her do her thing). At the end of it I had a huge head of oily hair and felt euphoric, wide-awake and very relaxed at the same time.
At the risk of going all Edina on you, here is the philosophy behind it, taken from all things Chopra….
“Ayurveda is described as a science of life (Ayur=life, Veda=science or knowledge). The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are:
the mind and the body are inextricably connected
nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
The Sanskrit word “chakra” literally translates to “wheel” or “disk”. In Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
According to Ayurveda, there are seven chakras of the body and the head massage treats the upper three, which are actually numbers five, six and seven, and called the Chakras of Spirit.
The Vishuddha chakra is the fifth chakra, located in the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.
The Ajna chakra is located in between the eyebrows. It is also referred to as the “third eye” chakra. Ajna is our center of intuition. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability.
The Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine. It is located at the crown of the head”.
Whether it’s your philosophy or not, the head massage is divine and I feel like I’ve done mind and body a big favour. At one point it felt as if a thousand minuscule river-dancers partying all over my head and it’s fair to say the whole experience is a literal head rush. As Neelu explained (and which I knew a little about before I went in) therapeutic massage is part of Indian cultural and people of all ages accept it as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. If there’s a practitioner near you, give it a whirl.
My hair was pretty dirty and in need of a wash when I went for my appointment (no point washing it beforehand) and I had booked a wash and blow-dry afterwards so when I came out of there it was a Good Hair Day! Hair definitely rejuvenated and glossy from the oils. I’ll be going back and am pleased Salon Juniper, and this delicious treatment, is now in bloom.