I’ve had many massages in my life, from Thai and Swedish, to Shiatsu, Hot Stone, Aromatherapy and Deep Tissue, but, until recently, I had never experienced an Indian Head Massage (also known as Champissage).
Upon being invited to 4 Angels Beauty Care for a service of my choice, I was delighted! As the first place that I’ve noticed that offers the treatment, it was a given that it would be my top choice.
When the salon first opened in early 2013, I recall strolling by and being warmly welcomed in for a random meet and greet, some coffee and a cookie. Business partners and beauty veterans, Navkiran (Kiran) Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi, alongside their husbands – who take care of finances and other back end business operations – were friendly, and excited to be opened. Situated between A & V Home Centre and Burrard Street Cafe, the spa offers a bit of warmth and luxury to the otherwise seemingly drab area of town.
When I came in for a treatment a year later, they exuded the same lovely demeanour accompanied by great hospitality. There was no coffee, tea or treats this time, though I feel that a hot beverage before or after the service would’ve really pulled everything together and taken the experience from an A to an A+.
Kulwinder guided me to my chair in the calming aqua and gold salon, where I sat for a moment chatting with her as I tried to shake the day’s stress. “Now, stop talking and relax your mind and your body,” she said, before proceeding with the customized Illu-Mini Facial that I was also getting. For $30 this included an exfoliation treatment, cleansing and a facial massage (extractions instead, when needed). The facial smoothly led straight into the head massage.
With relaxing but slightly upbeat music playing in the background and Bollywood happening on the flat screen, I assumed that I would stay alert for the duration of the treatment. Instead, I found myself dozing off after a few minutes. With a blanket draped over me, a hot cloth releasing tension in my neck and shoulder muscles and Kulwinder massaging almond oil into my hair, I was a goner. (Note: you can choose between castor oil, baby oil, almond oil and olive oil.)
Since my hair is growing longer and is regularly abused by hair dye, ocean water, hair products and curling irons, I was happy to hear that it would benefit from the treatment through hydration and conditioning from the oil. Though I sensed it was more difficult to administer the massage with my full head of hair, Kulwinder did it with ease, tugging my hair slightly so as to stimulate certain nerve endings, while also rubbing certain pressure points.
“At home we often use more pressure, often like banging the head on the table,” Kulwinder said with a chuckle. “Next time, since you like a ‘tough’ massage, we’ll use more pressure on you.”
Some interesting facts about the Indian Head Massage:
- Helps stimulate hair growth and gives the hair a healthy shine.
- Helps to heal aching shoulders, a tight neck, tension headache, eye strain and stress.
- Improves blood circulation which increases oxygen supply to the brain.
- The art of the massage originated from Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine.
While we use “four”, it is also “for”. You’re in here now, therefore you are my angel. These services are for you,” exclaimed Kulwinder. “We like to make people feel like it is their second home.”
Find out more about 4 Angels Beauty Care here.