Massage has always played an important part in Indian life. It features in the earliest Ayurvedic texts, which date back over 4000 years. These ancient texts describe that, when used in conjunction with herbs and oils, massage had an important medical function that could not only “strengthen muscles and firm skin”, but also encourage the body’s innate healing energy.
Indian Head Massage (Indian Champissage™) has received a lot of positive exposure in the media since its introduction in the UK. This, together with the obvious efficacy of the treatment, has undoubtedly led to its current popularity amongst health practitioners and the general public as one of the leading complementary therapies in the U.K. The future of traditional Head Massage (Indian Champissage™) in the twenty-first century is exciting.
This week, as part of the Wellness Wednesday series, London Living’s Katharine sat down with the founder’s godson, Moses Chundi, to find out more about the story behind the London Centre of Indian Champissage and the wonderful Ayurvedic treatments they have to offer.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us! The London Centre of Indian Champissage sounds like a very special place, with some incredibly unique treatments. Could you tell us a bit more about the history of the centre? And what you think makes it special?
It is indeed a very special place for clients and students who come and experience some very unique therapies. What makes it special is that it all started by the late Narendra Mehta whom was totally blind since the age of one, and has developed a highly sensitive power of touch. Narendra Mehta had over 25 years’ experience in bodywork and has studied Osteopathy and other various hands-on therapies. It is an interesting story how it all started and today it has become a global phenomenon.
When Mr Mehta arrived in the U.K. in early 1970s to further his studies in Osteopathy, he was working as a physiotherapist in Mumbai before. After a few months in the UK, he started feeling home sick, missing family, Indian food and “Champi” which is known as ‘Indian Head Massage’ in India. One day, he decided to go and have his haircut and have a head massage. He was disappointed as it he couldn’t find a hairdresser that offered this. So, he decided to book a full body massage instead, and to his surprise the massage didn’t include a head massage. Mr Mehta then asked the therapist; “is head not the part of the body?” The therapist replied, “of course”. Then Mr Mehta questioned why he didn’t receive a head massage. The therapist replied “we do not have any techniques on the head as it might damage the brain.”
This was the moment Mr Mehta decided to bring Indian Head Massages to the U.K. In 1978, he went to India to research ‘head massage’ and subsequently developed his own unique therapy of Indian Head Massage (Champissage™), based on the traditional form of Champi and his own experience as a practicing therapist. He has been working for over 10 years as a physical therapist and as a manipulative therapist, and had additionally been running Indian Head Massage (now known as Indian Champissage™) courses. He established the L.C.I.C in North London in 1990 and has trained students both in the UK and abroad. The centre still runs the training courses in the U.K and worldwide.
Can you explain what Indian Champissage actually is?
Indian Champissage is actually a made up word and soon found itself on Wikipedia. Champissage is a fusion word from Indian work “Champi” meaning massage of the head and fused with part of the word “ma-ssage” making the word Champissage.
Why is Indian Head Massage important for general health & well-being, and what makes the Indian Champissage / head massage you offer in your centre different to that offered in salons and hotel spas that seem to increasingly be putting the treatment on the menu?
Indian Champissage is very important and it should not be seen as a treatment. This form of massage is to be considered as lifestyle. According to Ayurveda, we as humans are like inverted trees. The tree has roots at the bottom and we on the top. Since healthy roots lead to create a healthy tree – the same applies to the human body. Ayurveda recommends a head massage at least twice a week even if it is self-massaging. These techniques are taught in our training courses in Indian Champissage.
It is not surprising still in this day in age where modern science is still discovering the ancient truth which is over 5000 years old that ‘most diseases begin in the mind’. It reminds me of the article which was recently published about us which had the headline to say ‘Get Ahead – Get A Head Massage’.
What form of massage or massage technique do you enjoy practising the most?
I LOVE “Champissage”, “Natural Facelift Massage” and “Kansa Wand Facelift Massage”. If combined with Kansa Foot Massage. These are amazing as you see most clients responding in the very first session.
More importantly, what is your favourite treatment to receive? :@)
I love to receive Champissage followed by Natural Facelift Massage or Kansa Wand Facelift Massage. This is pure bliss!
It’s incredible to hear that your godfather Narendra Mehta (MBE) brought Indian Head Massage to Europe. He sounds like an incredible man. Can you tell us a little more about him?
I was blessed to work for a decade with him and his wife Mrs Kundan Mehta, which he always referred to her as ‘his eyes’. That is because he sees the world through her. It was very lovely to hear that. I personally found him to be very caring, loving, gently, inspiring, very intuitive, and blind by sight but had a great vision. Always believing in the ‘I will’ and ‘I can’ type of attitude. Because of him and his decision to create such a wonderful therapy, we now have Champissage.
It was great pleasure that Mr Narendra Mehta, the Founder and Director of London Centre of Indian Champissage, was honoured with MBE.
‘Mr. Narendra Mehta,
Guru of the British Indian
head massage Movement’
– Your Healthcare
What can someone coming to the centre expect to experience / feel from an Indian Champissage treatment?
Clients come and experience Champissage for many reasons. A few of them include:
- Mental and emotional stress
- Problems in the neck and shoulders
There are many occasions where clients in the therapy rooms and students in the training become overwhelmed with the whole experience and end up crying. They say it touched them deep inside which made them feel emotional. It truly is an excellent de-stress program.
There is a lot of mention of Ayurveda on your website. Could you explain to the readers what this is?
We love spreading the ancient wisdom of science and Ayurveda sums it all. Ayu means life and Veda means Science. So in combination, it means science of life. Ayurveda teaches us how to live a life in harmony with the universe. This is still untapped wisdom of the East where West has just started the journey.
There still seems to be some stigma attached to what is considered “unconventional” here in the west, what would you say to those who pass judgement on complementary medicines and holistic career paths?
This is very interesting, as I have few clients who are GPs and surgeons and they believe massage is just to relax. But when you start to explain the meaning of massage with our philosophy – it changes their thinking. Basically all the complementary medicines should be seen as they all complement any form of medical practice. There are cases that this simple time tested methods have proven to be more effective but still needs to be under a professional, and some cases may be needing a combination to ensure a treatment which brings desired results much quicker.
Ayurveda is becoming very popular and as we see day by day, our students are becoming more interested on wanting to learn more. We are very pleased to offer them our specialised training in most of these therapies.
What other treatments do you offer in the centre? The Natural Facelift Massage sounds amazing, as does the Padhabhyanga (Foot and lower leg massage)
Ayurvedic Body Rejuvenation, Abdominal Massage, Kansa Wand Facelift Massage, Indian Champissage, Ayurvedic Back Massage, Ayurvedic Marma Facelift Massage. Deep Tissue but our style, Ayurvedic Sport Massage. These some very popular treatments. We offer many more which are listed on our website. https://champissageinternational.com/
I have heard some amazing things about the training courses that you run. Can you tell the readers a little bit more about them?
All of our courses and therapies are unique and are created by our own centre. The techniques are designed, tested on the clients for feedback, and then improved before we offer them as training courses. So, we know it works and our students do not have to think twice.
The other specialised courses are :
- Kansa Wand Facelift Massage. In this massage, we use a special metal wand along with a special sequence of face massage then followed by Facial Kansa Wand for rejuvenating the face.
- Abdominal Massage: this is an incredibly effective treatment for physical trauma, emotional trauma, imbalances in chakras in this region, for PMS syndrome, IBS, constipation, anxiety and other stress related issues.
- Ayurvedic Body Rejuvenation Course: This is classical form of Indian massage and we keep it truly authentic. We do not westernise any of our therapies.
- We also offer Ayurvedic Wellness Therapy Programs for Spa and Massage therapists.
What are your favourite spots in London for chilling out and where you truly relax, like to eat out?
My favourite spot is spending time by the hustling and bustling riverside eat outs in Canary Wharf.
Any tips you can give our readers for healthy eating?
Listen to your own heart. If it agrees with your mind, it is what your body needs. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits as much as possible. And do not follow what media portrays as the best. This does not apply to anyone who is under medical supervision or with restricted diet by GPs or any other medical professionals.
For healthy eating:
Always have a question in mind, that what others say or read may be healthy but is it healthy for you? This is simply an Ayurvedic approach. ‘If we eat your food as medicine THEN we do not have to eat medicine as your food.’
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
My advice to all the students is – first experience the therapy before enrolling on the training.
It is important to know, feel and understand what you are about to learn and you will be passionate about sharing the same experience. If the answer is YES, only then you should enrol and surely have success with gratitude.