News | Feature

“Scalp care tends to be forgotten about”

22 Mar 2023

During National Complementary Therapy Week, two therapists from The London Clinic share the far-reaching benefits Indian head massages can provide.

Fiona Murphy and Jay Manyande

When it comes to skincare, our bathroom cabinets can be filled with various creams and lotions for our face and body. But many of us may not give the skin on our scalps the same attention it deserves.

This National Complementary Therapy Week (20 – 25 March 2023), our Well-being Therapist Fiona Murphy and our Complementary Therapist Jay Manyande discuss the benefits Indian head massage can provide for our scalp and beyond. 

“We tend to neglect our scalps, when in fact we should be treating them as an extension to our face. An Indian head massage really does provide so many incredible benefits,” said Fiona.

Focusing on the scalp, neck, shoulders and arms, the techniques used are over 2,000 years old and are part of the ancient Indian practice of medicine known as Ayurveda.

The massage targets pressure points across the head and body, with a therapist’s hands kneading, rubbing and squeezing different muscles.

Jay using Indian head massage techniques on a patient

Alongside aiding a feeling of total relaxation in the moment, the acupressure techniques used during an Indian head massage offer a range of emotional and physical benefits. 

“Pressure from the massage can stimulate blood flow to the area, which is great for a healthy scalp,” said Fiona.

The massage can also be used to apply soothing creams for people who experience folliculitis. This is a common skin condition where the hair follicles become inflamed, causing the scalp to feel dry, sore and itchy. 

Beyond scalp health, the massage can also boost immunity by stimulating the lymphatic system, which removes toxins from the body. 

“On the mental health side, Indian head massages are also great for those who experience anxiety and depression, and can encourage good-quality sleep,” said Fiona.

Furthermore, for people who regularly experience tension headaches, Indian head massages can release any built-up stress. 

“The muscles in our head are used throughout our entire day, whether we’re pulling a facial expression, talking or eating. The muscles can hold a lot of tension. I think anyone would benefit from an Indian head massage,” said Jay. 

All inpatients at The London Clinic are offered one free complementary therapy treatment during their stay, with massages, facials, aromatherapy treatments, Reiki sessions, reflexology massages and hand, feet and nail therapies all on offer.

For extra support, patients being treated for cancer have a choice of four free “chemotherapy-friendly” treatments that have been designed with the side effects someone may encounter during treatment for cancer in mind.

For example, on top of everything else that treatment for cancer can involve, hair loss during chemotherapy can understandably cause a great deal of distress and sadness. But an Indian head massage can prove useful.

“If our appearance changes dramatically during treatment for cancer, it can have a real impact on our self-esteem. Some of the techniques we use during our Indian head massage can help people reconnect with themselves and their scalp in a safe and comforting space. The massage itself can also help to encourage hair regrowth,” said Fiona.

All oncology patients at The London Clinic are offered up to four free treatments, and all non-oncology inpatients are offered one free treatment during their stay. Find out about treatments on offer.


Any views expressed in this article are those of the featured specialist(s) and should not be considered to be the views or official policy of The London Clinic.