If you’re experiencing emotional or physical stress at the moment, it is likely that you have felt some of that tension in your head and face. Given the state of the world, everyone’s going through a hard time, and you may be dealing with more stress than you realize.
There are some simple daily rituals, inspired by Indian Head Massage which you can do daily to ease some strain. Here’s how to do your own self-head massage for not only stress relief, but a mini facelift as well.
How to Do a Self-Head Massage: Step-by-Step
Keep in mind that this massage may be a little tricky if you’ve got long, luscious locks that hide your face – so, you may want to tuck your hair behind your ears before you begin (or pull it out of the way completely). Or, if you don’t have hair, you may have to make a few adjustments to the massage as you go, but the results should be the same.
It’s also worth noting that it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first if you suffer from a medical or skin condition. With that said, let’s get into the steps!
Step 1: Take a Deep Breath
Before you even touch your head, the first step to a head massage (or any massage) is to take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose, taking in as much air as you can, and then exhale through your nose as well. Allow your abdomen to rise on the in-breath, and then fall on the out-breath.
As you breathe out, try to picture your stress or tension leaving your body like the air does. If you can, relax your shoulders on the out-breath. Along with your head and face, the shoulders can be another problem area that frequently stores stress and tension.
Step 2: Run Your Fingers Through Your Hair
As you continue to breathe, the next step is to run your fingers through the length of your hair. Start at the top of your head, near the scalp area, and work all the way down your hair. This motion can be as gentle or as firm as you want it to be. A lighter touch is just as effective as a firm hand, so feel free to listen to your body.
Pro Tip: If you’ve got thick, curly hair, it might help to comb your hair before the massage so you can prevent your fingers from getting caught in knots. It’s also fine to adjust the massage so you just work your scalp and not the length of the hair.
Even if you don’t have long hair (or any hair at all), you can use still do the same motion, and let your fingers gently graze the back of your scalp and neck.
Don’t forget that you want to work with the breath, not against it. Begin the motion when you breathe in, and then breathe out once you reach the bottom of your hair or skull.
Step 3: Make “Shampoo” Motions in the Scalp Area
The next step of the massage is to treat your hair like you’re in the shower, rubbing shampoo into your scalp. Using your fingers, slowly work all around the scalp area until you reach the base of the skull.
Step 4: Massage the Base of the Skull With Your Thumbs
As you continue to rub the top of your scalp, transition into massaging the base of your skull with your thumbs. When you do this, you’re actually massaging the suboccipital muscles, which can be a common culprit of tension headaches.
The best way to do this is by massaging in circles, but once again, it’s important to be intuitive to your body. If another movement or gesture feels better, you should listen.
Step 5: Tap Along the Skull With Your Fists
Once you’re satisfied with steps three and four, smooth your hair back out, and clench your hands into relaxed fists. Now, gently tap along the sides of your temple, and back up to your scalp area as many times as you want.
If you wish, you can even move further back, tapping the back of the skull and down to the base again.
Step 6: Place Your Palms on Top of Your Head
Finally, lift your hands back off and gently place them, palms down, on the scalp area. Close your eyes as you do this, and feel the calming energy of your hands move to your head. You’re releasing the negative tension and replacing it with positive energy.
Step 7: Take One More Deep Breath
Finally, you’ll end the massage with what you started with: a long, deep breath through the nose. If you’d like, you can smooth your hands down your hair, letting it rest.
While the whole process may only take a few minutes, hopefully, you feel a lot more relaxed than when you started!
When is the Best Time to Do a Self-Head Massage?
Is there an ideal time to perform a self-head massage? Well, the obvious answer is when you feel stressed or tense, but you don’t need to wait until then to perform this massage. Some people like to do a self-head massage before they go to bed at night as it can actually help them fall asleep a little easier.
Ultimately, the best time for your massage comes down to the “best” time for your body. If you would rather massage your scalp when you wake up in the morning, go for it! If you feel the most stressed in the afternoon, do it then. Your body works on its own schedule, and you can harness that intuition for the better.
Feel the Best Version of You
While it’s not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, this 3-minute massage may be able to brighten your mood (and your face). For more tips about feeling the best version of yourself, check out my YouTube channel, or grab my best-selling book to learn more.