Fibromyalgia Action UK

Anyone tried Indian Head Massage for either neck or shoulder problems?

Back in the good old days I used to be a Reflexologist and Indian Head Massager. Went to college after being kicked outa work to try and help my fibrofog. Anyway, I took an accredited course City & guilds Reflexology and VTC or something for the Indian Head. Both are good treatments for relieving a lot of neck and shoulder problems. Unfortunately I cant practice anymore, the old hands wont let me, but Indian Head especially if done with a properly trained therapist can be of great benefit.

For those of you who know what the treatment is pls go read someone elses blog, for those who dont read on!

The way I was trained was in gentle massage from the bra line (sorry men - armpits ) upwards to neck, this was across all the width of the back going backwards and forwards gently getting out the knots, stretching the muscles and allowing the blood to flow properly. Then up either side of the spine, out down the arms to the elbows, back to the back, up the neck gently to the bottom of the skull. From there there are gentle tappings, stretchings and massaging of the scalp, down to the ears, then across the face, doing lymph drainage and easing the sinuses finally down the front of the neck and then finishing with lymph draining into the armpits. At no stage should any of this hurt and if you weren't asleep by the time I'd finished then I considered i hadn't done a good job. Treatment should be approx 1hr.

Now I'm not saying this is everyones cup of tea, but just the gentleness of it, I know touch can sometimes be hard to bear but this is a different type of touch and done in tranquil surroundings (you dont need to go to a spa). However this is one hour of ME time and you might find it eases your muscles a bit. A lot of people said that having a treatment meant it was the only time they had a decent nights sleep. I cannot claim this will cure the Fibro it wont. I cant claim it will work for you, but having seen so many blogs and questions about necks and shoulders surely it is worth a go. Please go to an accredited Therapist, be honest about your condition and how it affects you, they should do a medical history of you before treatment commences and you may get a healing crisis after (ie gets slightly worse for a day or so and then gets better), but as we all know gentle massage is good for the body and also the soul. You could try local colleges that run therapy courses, cut rate prices and all treatments are under strict supervision, plus its good for a therapist to do treatments on unhealthy (sorry everyone) people, it teaches them how to deal with a chronic pain issue, plus is educating them about FMS.

Sorry to have banged on about this and its not a hard sell but worth considering, if only for the ME time. I would welcome views on this, good and bad.

Lynn x

6 Replies

Lynn thank you for your lovely detailed blog. I have not had exactly what you describe but I used to go for weekly massage sessions which included head neck shoulders. I found them invaluable when I was working. Helped keep the tension at bay across my shoulders. I have not had any since my clinic shut. It was actually quite expensive worth it but difficult to afford sometimes.

I would say try it. I am an advocate of alternative for the holistic approach to caring for your body.

You are quite right it does teach people with chronic pain (pretty much all of us) how to cope, different strategy is most useful.



Hi Lynn. I've only had it once at an eye clinic while awaiting laser surgery and have to say that, while it was interesting and did help take my mind off the impending op, it wasn't anywhere near as gentle as you describe. I do like a good head massage though. I qualified as a reflexologist a couple of years ago and swear by it. I've yet to treat anyone who hasn't felt better in themselves and more relaxed. Like you, I feel I've been successful if my clients fall asleep but I've read posts from people who think they've wasted their money if they sleep though their treatment! Luckily I trained in light touch so it's kinder to my hands. I wonder if you'd be able to do a refresher course in this technique so you could practise again? I love the opportunity to have a treatment myself and feel wonderful afterwards and so much more positive.


Thanks mistymeana,

I didnt realise that you could do a light touch course, I think I might investigate. I found giving a therapy good for me as well as patient, although had to ground myself to stop absorbing any negative energies. I do miss giving treatments although I do do some reflexology on my hands.


Ive had two very different indian head massages - if Id had the 2nd one first it wouldve put me off for LIFE but the first was amazing, didnt know I had been living with a monster headache til I woke after the treatment without one!

I always felt a failure if my client didnt sleep! I qualifled in body massage, aromatherapy (ISPA), Reflexology (practitioner level), chinese cupping & moxibustion. Reflexology was always my favourite. I wanted to do Indian head massage but couldnt.


I used to go for holistic massage, it was back,neck and shoulders but they always finished with gentle head massage, it was wonderful, soooo relaxing. I haven't been for a while as the last one I had wasn't relaxing at all, I was very sore afterwards, for nearly a week! and the girl doing it talked the whole way through. I came out feeling less than relaxed but was too embarrassed to complain...I had been thinking recently I will go back as it's usually the best place for holistic massage and the reason I like the holistic one is because of the dim lights, the quietness and the relaxation.



I have been for an Indian Head Massage a couple of times and I go for weekly back, neck and shoulder massages (this is where most of my pain is). I find that they really help, especially whilst I am studying for uni. Unfortunately they lady I go to each week doesn't do Indian Head Massages or else I would get one every now and then.

C x


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