Head Massage Fun with your Children

When my father was growing up in 1930s Java in the Dutch East Indies, he had a Babu, or nurse, who could cure his headaches with a head massage.

As a child, my father gave me head massages, which I adored like a cat being pet by its master. I always returned the favor and he taught me the techniques. We would also make trains with us four kids and Dad facing each other’s backs in which we’d “wash, wash” each other’s hair and style it as part of the head massage. Or we’d scratch each other’s back and massage each other’s shoulders in the train too, and then switch and turn the other way.

I still give my father these Indian head massages, especially when he needs to relax or has a headache. I have passed this tradition on to my two children. My son daily asks for a head massage and a back scratch.

It’s a great and simple way to come together as a family, making human contact and gifting the other with relaxation and to enjoy the sensual experience of touch. It also models appropriate touch as well as have therapeutic benefits. Head massage promotes relaxation, boosts the immune system, aids with scalp and hair problems, stimulates hair growth and relieves eyestrain.

Try a massage night with you family. You can even tell a story while doing it!

 

GIVING A HEAD MASSAGE

 

1) Ask the person permission for you to give a head massage. It’s fun to have different scents of oils available and candles to make the place especially relaxing.

 

2) Have person sit with the back of the head facing you.

 

3) Gently place hands on top of head, barely touching the hair. Send energy of love and enjoyment to your partner.

 

4) Begin by gently using the fingertips of both hands to cover the head and hair and massage the scalp. Use fingernails gently if they wish a more intense experience.

 

5) Thread the fingers from the base of the neck into the hair and gently press the fingers into the scalp as you move them upward to the top of the head. If the person has a headache, massage the whole head well, then gently pull the hair and then shake your hands and arms to shake out the pain you are drawing out of them.

 

6) Use the thumb and fingers to massage around the back of the skull and where it meets the spine.

 

7) Place one hand on each side of the head, thread fingers under the hair and gently grip the scalp and move it up and down and in small circles over the skull.

 

8) Take a small bunch of hair and twist it gently down to the roots and gently pull.

 

9) Thread hands through the hair and gently pull.

10) Brush or the person’s hair. Brush from down to up at the back of the neck. Then comb neatly If hair is long, tie it in a tight and high ponytail.

 

11) Or play barber and pretend to put shampoo in their hair and wash wash, messing it up gently and moving the hair in different directions across the head. Add conditioner, pretend to rinse. Then comb and style the hair.

 

12) Massage the shoulders and tops of arms. Gently massage and pull the ears.

 

13) Give a back scratch.

 

14) Place hands barely over the head again and send a closing gift of love and joy to the person.

 

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