Donna Kim-Brand

We tend to be very selective about who we allow to touch our head and hair. Of course, different cultures have different notions of what constitutes personal space – how close is too close, and what degree of stroking our hair or head is allowable or appropriate unless you are a hair stylist, doctor, massage therapist or loved one.

Some who hold certain religious or spiritual beliefs are adamantly against others touching the top of their heads, as the crown is perceived as the portal for divine input.

Yet when we feel safe and comfortable, most people literally swoon, and will go to any length for a head and scalp massage. Count me in!

The benefits are multiple whichever approach you take. Stimulating your scalp with a brush or finger tips helps circulation, which motivates hair follicles to retain or regrow hair in some cases, and keeps skin on the scalp supple. When oils are used, voila, less dandruff! As with any massage, overall pent-up tension is relieved by touch, sometimes on the spot and sometimes once knots are worked out. And in the magic way the body knows what it needs, either relaxation or energizing kicks in.

Depending on who delivers the massage and how, the recipient could experience the release of oxytocin which acts as a sensual stimulant. Ooo la la!  In any case, oxygen is elevated by increased blood flow to your head, which also stimulates brain power and concentration. So you could also use a head and scalp massage to energize and prepare for focused mental function.

There’s no one right way to give or receive a massage to your head and hair. I’ll describe two variations, one au natural and one with oils. Start with placing your fingertips in the center of your forehead, from your nose to your hairline, apply slight pressure and slowly drag them towards your temples. When an inch or so into your hairline, release your fingers and shake your hands. You are shaking off any negative energies you just picked up along the way. Repeat two more times, taking a deep breath in and out as you move across your forehead. By the way, this exercise alone is often enough to get rid of a headache, as your fingers release pressure from the neuro-vasculars above your eyebrows.

Next, move your finger position onto the center of your head and slowly drag your fingers down towards your ears. Be careful not to pull your hair in a way that hurts. Repeat this process at the crown of your head, then down the back of your head. By now, your scalp should be tingling.

Of course, you could also apply any mild pressure movements all over your head with fingertips or even fingernails. Either use swirling motions or run fingers in a straight pattern through your hair front to back of your head. And don’t neglect to squeeze the nape of the neck where your spine connects. Just be mindful not to apply so much pressure that it is painful. This is supposed to be a delight!

You can also grasp finger-fulls of hair then slowly and gently pull out from your scalp all the way to the ends. Once at the ends of your locks, waggle the hair around and notice how your scalp wakes up and smiles! Sorry, this move is hard to manage on a buzz cut!

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