I've been writing about the benefits of scalp and body massage for a very long time. When performed on a regular basis scalp massage offers a whole list of benefits which are included in this article.
Maybe I'm so invested in the topic because I've been involved with the study of massage since I was a teen back in St. Louis.
As part of my early workaholic years I worked as a type of nurse's assistant during my junior and senior years of high school for a well-known hospital.
As part of my training I went to massage school and was taught to specifically deal with terminal patients. I also learned that providing massage provided soothing for pain and other wonderful benefits.
Atrium Health Services In St. Louis, Missouri
In the early 1980s I helped to co-found the first holistic health care center with my husband Michael, who was a chiropractor, herbalist and acupuncturist, and a partner.
My contribution was to offer massage treatments provided with or without aromatherapy, which I studied through courses in St. Louis. I also offered energy treatments (Reiki) and provided other metaphysical counseling. It was a very rewarding experience.
At our clinic besides offering chiropractic, acupuncture and craniopathy, we offered a wide range of body treatments such as rolfing and other movement techniques.
My early work with massage convinced me of its many benefits and although I gave up my practice when I moved to Dallas, I continued to visit massage therapists for the overall health benefits and stress relief.
When I lost a lot of my own hair through extreme dieting and from thyroid issues, I utilized my own formulas along with off-the-shelf products, to grow my hair back. I also developed my own hair vitamin and hair oils.
Although I have transitioned through a series of massage therapists, I have had a few over the years that were amazing and helped me tremendously.
Massage Therapist Wendy Menedez
One such therapist is Wendy Menendez whom I first met at the now-defunct Rejuvena Spa off Northwest Highway. I religiously visited Wendy on a weekly or bi-weekly basis until the Rejuvena Spa went out of business.
I tracked Wendy to the world famous Cooper Clinic where she still provides incredible full body massages to clients of the Spa.
Because it was so hard for me to get away from work, I convinced her to provide special on-site massage at HairBoutique.com for several years. We built a special massage room just for her in the back of the building and every week she would show up just in the nick of time to help relieve my skyrocketing stress.
Wendy's magical fingers could instantly pop out gigantic knots and I would sleep like a baby, sometimes on her famous massage table.
In fact, there are stories that I would start talking, fall asleep in the middle, and wake up to finish the story at the end.
Benefits Of Scalp Massage
Wendy also gave a really great scalp massage. At the end of every full body massage she would massage my scalp with warm oils and I could feel my hair follicles relaxing.
For days afterwards, the normal tightness in my scalp and head, which can actually cause hair loss, would be completely gone.
I believe everyone should have a scalp massage on a regular basis, whether they do it at home to their own scalp, have their favorite massage therapist, like a Wendy, do it, or ask a loved one who is willing, to massage their scalp.
Like full body massage, scalp massage can definitely can be a wonderful bonding experience between a couple.
Listed below are my own opinions of the benefits of scalp massage:
Additional Benefits Of Scalp Massage
A proper scalp massage helps provide a glow to the complexion of the face.
Scalp massage as well as body massage can also help to regulate the thyroid and can help to balance body temperatures.
It can help your eyes to relax, help to minimize chronic eye strain, and can be a general tonic for hypersensitivity or excessive nervousness. In some cases it may help to soothe ADD behaviors.
Scalp massage, can also help awaken creativity centers in your brain for more enlightened idea processing or long term meditation.
It can be combined with deep breathing for even deeper results.
When the base scalp massage oils are blended with essential or aromatherapy oils, emotional, spiritual or mental blocks can also be relieved, with ongoing treatments. Harmony can be restored.
In some cases, regular massage with appropriate essential oils can help to slow the onset of white or gray strands.
Regular scalp massage has proven to help in some cases of chronic headaches or migraines.
When my beloved husband died suddenly of a tragic heart attack in April of 2005 I discovered that I could no handle massage. Why?
It brought up so many emotions for me that the act of massage would be excruciating. Yes, it's good to get the grief out, but it left me literally unable to function, which I managed to do, most of the time.
Shortly after my husband's death through a series of circumstances, Wendy stopped coming to HairBoutique.com for the weekly stress reduction treatments. Even now, I miss her deeply, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you ever imagined and with my husband's death, I was forced to go in new directions.
I started massaging my own scalp every week to keep the follicles energized and my hair growing at optimal speed. I also developed and started using the HairTopia oil which is my own personal blend made from my recipe by an aromatherapist.
Note: To read more about Jojobo & Other Hair Oils & HairTopia Beautiful Hair Oil click on this link.
Although I no longer have a weekly massage, I do have lots of different body work and from time to time I do pop into the Cooper Clinic and have a 80 minute deep tissue massage. In my opinion, the Cooper Clinic (on Preston Road) is the very best spa in Dallas. I have never had a bad massage there and have had treatments from Wendy, Roxanne and a few others.
I have sent many of my friends there and they have raved about their body work treatments.
Can you get just a scalp massage? No, but you can ask that your head and scalp be a focal point of any massage treatment. One time I had a massage at Cooper with Roxanne and she focused a lot of time on my upper shoulders, neck and head. My scalp tingled for weeks.
Disadvantages Of Scalp Massage
In the hair and beauty world there are always two sides of the story and I always feel it is important to address both.
While scalp massage can be truly amazing at the fingertips of a great massage therapist like Wendy or Roxanne. There are some drawbacks which include:
1. It can be messy. If a good oil is used, it will make your hair oily.
Since most massage clinics don't offer shampoo bowls, you will need to bring the appropriate hair accessories (hair clips, pins, elastic bands) to pin your hair up and out of the way.
2. You must be willing to tell your massage therapist how deep to massage. A scalp massage performed too deeply can actually cause hair to tangle and could in rare cases cause a headache.
Speak up and tell your therapist what touch you prefer (light, medium, deep). Always have your hair completely detangled before you get on the table to prevent unnecessary tangling which can lead to breakage.
3. Some essential oils may be too intense for a scalp massage. Discuss the oil formula used by the massage therapist before you start. When added to a base oil, each essential oil will provide different results. To energize, peppermint oil will do the trick. To relax completely, Ylang Ylang oil.
4. Oils applied to the scalp can be more difficult to remove from the hair unless done properly.
The best technique is to apply a small amount of undiluted moisturizing shampoo to palms of the hands and pat directly onto the oiled hair BEFORE applying lukewarm water.
The shampoo will cut the oil, make it easy to wash out. Never use cold or extremely hot water directly on oiled hair.
5. A scalp massage may be so relaxing that it may not be wise to drive. If you are so relaxed you can not be alert, have a friend or relative drive you or ask for a cab to be arranged to take you home.
6. When a scalp massage is performed with fingernails which are long or sharp, they can leave tiny tips or tears in the skin covering the scalp which can set up a cycle of irritation where the scalp struggles to heal the damage.
Scalp massage should never be performed by anyone with sharp nails or fingertips. It should also not be performed on a scalp that is already irritated or damaged.
Warning: If you do your own scalp massage at home or have a friend or family member do it, be sure to be very careful not to scratch or damage the scalp in the process which can have a long ranging impact on the health of your hair.
Scalp massage can offer many advantages, especially when it's done on a regular basis.
If you're not already enjoying the benefits of regular scalp massage, consider adding it to your regular hair care regime. Your hair will love you for it.
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- Revised Publication Date: 07/10/11
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