By M. Susan Walsh
Indian Champissage™ is a safe, simple, holistic therapy developed by Narendra Mehta. He introduced this new therapy at the 1981 Mind, Body, and Spirit Exhibition in Olympia, England, and he founded the London Centre of Indian Champissage™ in 1995 to further his work. The Centre's aim is to make a person aware of his or her own potential healing power and ability to balance energy through touch.
But, what exactly is Indian Champissage™? “Champi” is an original Indian word meaning “head massage.” Based on the ancient Ayurvedic healing system, Indian head massage has been around for at least a thousand years as part of a strong tradition of family grooming. Grandmothers, mothers, and daughters combined this technique with various oils to keep their long hair strong, healthy, and lustrous, and they passed this knowledge down from generation to generation. Champissage™ takes this family tradition two steps further. One, the therapy now extends beyond the hair to the face, neck, upper arms, and shoulders — those areas where everyday stress and tension accumulate. Two, Champissage™ also includes a more subtle form of massage which affects the energy centers, or chakras. In his research, Mr. Mehta discovered that working on the three higher chakras (Visshudha, Ajna, and Sahasrara) can bring the energy of the entire body back into balance. This element of massage is unique to Champissage.™
Mr. Narendra Mehta
The head, neck, and shoulders are important areas of the body where stress and tension reside. This tension can manifest as stiffness, eye strain, headaches, or hair loss. A Champissage™ treatment gently, firmly, and rhythmically helps to relieve this uncomfortable buildup of tension. Champissage™ stimulates scalp circulation which in turn relaxes and tones up the subcutaneous muscles, and stretches and mobilizes the tissues of the neck and shoulders. The end result is not just a physical release. This therapy also works on an emotional level as well. It calms the spirit, promotes relaxation, and relieves stress.
A typical Champissage™ treatment lasts a full thirty minutes. This technique eases muscle tension in the upper body, increases the efficiency of the circulatory and lymphatic systems, disperses toxins, and restores flexibility and fluidity. As the massage unfolds, the client relaxes and breathes deeply as more oxygen is supplied to the tissues of the body. The chakra energy balancing is an added benefit. The client receives a boost at all levels. Clients usually leave a session finding it easier to smile. An ancient proverb states:
“A happy mind is medicine; no better prescription exists.”
Champissage™ is ideally suited for the business environment because it requires no special equipment, no undressing, and no oils or creams. There is a specially adapted, 20-minute version of Champissage™ designed for the workplace. Those who depend on computers at home or in the office have found that Champissage™ is the perfect tool to reduce the tension, strain, and frustration which can accumulate after hours in front of a screen. A Champissage™ treatment received before an important interview, meeting or exam can leave the client relaxed, yet alert, and able to produce quality work without the usual stress or fatigue.
“The sense of relaxation and well-being that head massage brings helps considerably to counteract the many stresses and strains of modern living.”— Yoga & Health, May 1992
Champissage™ as it is known today was developed over several years by Narendra Mehta. Born in Bombay, India and blind since the age of one, Mr. Mehta enjoyed the traditional family-oriented Indian head massage as an important part of his daily life. When he moved to England in 1973 to train as a physical therapist, he sadly discovered that head massage was not generally available. In 1978, Mr. Mehta returned to India to research and master this ancient art.
He studied with barbers who focused on the scalp and with female family members who focused on the hair. Mr. Mehta concluded that he needed to formalize these highly individualized techniques. He applied his heightened sensitivity to touch in order to differentiate how parts of the body reacted to specific movements. At this point, Mr. Mehta extended the treatment to include the face, neck, upper arms and shoulders. He completed his new therapy by introducing the Ayurvedic element of upper chakra balancing.
Indian Champissage™ has experienced a positive acceptance throughout the world since its introduction in the United Kingdom in 1981. The London Centre of Indian Champissage™ is committed to developing people's awareness of Champissage™ in the hope that it becomes an integral part of every day life.
“Indian Head Massage, An Ancient Tradition for Modern Times”, by Kamala Thiagarajan, MASSAGE Magazine, Issue 115, May-June 2005.
“Indian Head Massage, Discover the Power of Touch”, by Narendra Mehta, Thorson's, London, 1999.
Champissage™ is the registered trademark of Narendra Mehta.