Shiro Abhyanga (Head Massage)

The head should be given an exclusive 15-minute massage at least twice a week.

How to Give Yourself a Head Massage

shiro abhyangaBegin by choosing oil. Sesame, mustard, almond, coconut, and olive oils are most commonly used. Coconut oil and sesame oil are best for massaging the scalp.

Step 1: Pour some oil on the crown area and do gentle dabbing strokes with your palm.

Let the oil spread over the scalp assisted by your palms. Then, starting from the sides and working towards the top, give the scalp a moderately vigorous massage in small circular patterns using your palms. Work your way toward the front and back of the head. Once the whole scalp has been covered, gently massage the whole head in the same circular fashion, with your thumbs and fingers using the flat surfaces.

Step 2: Grasp fistfuls of hair at the roots and tug from side to side, keeping your knuckles very close to the scalp. Gently squeeze at the temples with the heels of the hands and make slow, wide, circular movements of the head. Bow down your head slightly and massage the back of the neck by squeezing and rolling the muscles. Begin at the top of the neck and work your way down, first with one hand and then with the other hand.

Step 3: Place the thumb of your left hand under the left occipital area (base of the head) and the thumb of your right hand under the right occipital area. Relax the tight muscles by using friction or a rubbing movement. Place your right hand on your left shoulder near your neck. Using medium pressure, gently squeeze the shoulder muscle that starts at the base of your neck. Work your way outwards along your shoulder to your arm and then down as far as your elbow. When you reach your elbow, go back to the base of your neck and do this twice more. Concentrate on squeezing and releasing the muscles. Repeat on the right side using your left hand.

Step 4: Finally, rub lightly using the flat surface of your fingers and thumbs all over the head; extend this movement to cover your face. If possible, relax for a few minutes afterward. Take a head bath using an herbal shampoo or an herbal dry shampoo powder. Wrap wet hair and let dry. Comb hair repeatedly with a wide-toothed comb when fully dry.