India: Getting a Massage—Above the Shoulders
Indian head massages date back thousands of years, according to Ayurvedic texts, and are believed to not only balance the chakras, or energy centers, but also alleviate stress, stimulate the lymphatic system and relieve migraines. While some versions of this therapy can put clients to sleep, others can induce heightened alertness and concentration, which can make you eager to dive back into a project, says Denise Galon, PhD, a certified massage therapist based in New York. Galon practices and teaches a form of head massage called "champissage" which involves traditional frictional moves on the head combined with Western de-tensing techniques for the shoulders and neck. To relieve headaches and stress, Galon suggests the "occipital rub": Place your first three fingers behind your head at the spots just behind the ears where the neck connects to the head. With your elbows bent, push your fingers toward and away from one another, creating a rubbing movement on the base of the skull. Do this for 30 seconds—then sigh in relief.