Friends sharing wine, food, appetizers. Holiday dining.

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With buzz words like “self-care” making a huge splash in 2017, you may be trying to figure out just where and how wellness fits into your day to day. Maybe you destress with a great sweat session, or you find some solace riding around listening to Migos. No matter how and when you chill, the holidays are a known time to have your zen knocked all out of wack.

I’m someone who naturally seems to have stressful freak outs, and I’ve found that a good mix of yoga, running and massage therapy seems to help do the trick. In New York City, there are so many plush spas to choose from, but you don’t have to just indulge when you get your girl that couple’s package on her birthday. I visited New York City’s Open Center, and little did I know there was a widely practiced Indian wellness treatment waiting for me on the other side.

The Open Center is a learning center for wellness practitioners and lay folks alike who are interested in rejuvenating their health holistically. Within its soothing walls, workshops, yoga classes and lectures are provided, as well as a cozy bookstore that contains some of the best titles in wellness, from books on aromatherapy to the art of dying.

During my spa session, I received a Swedish massage, a tried and true favorite that always helps to center me. In addition, I experienced an Indian head treatment, and quite literally, nothing was the same. My Open Center counselor and practitioner, Dianese Figueroa sat me in a chair, and applied gentle pressure to my upper back, neck and head. My anxious thoughts floated away as my hair was massaged and stroked this way and that, creating a warmth and energy around me. At the end of the treatment, I was given a blessing: that my inner light would be the source of my joy, happiness and courage. I felt regal and relaxed, and wanted to learn even more about the benefits my body had received. My practitioner had blessed me with an age old Indian tradition, practiced on children from their mothers, and during barbershop visits. I can’t wait to experience the soothing treatment again, probably once (or twice) more during the hectic Christmas season.

If you’re curious about Indian head treatments, here are just a few of the benefits you’ll gain from the centuries-old practice:

1 Kiss those migraines goodbye. 

I carry so much stress in my back and shoulders, with one or both locking up multiple times throughout the year. Indian head massage helps to eliminate those ailments, and also reduces headaches and migraines.


2 No more tossing and turning.

Having trouble falling asleep with endless to-do lists in your head? By helping to foster relaxation and alleviate anxiety and depression, you’ll be able to drift off and let your body fully relax for a good night’s sleep.


3Give yourself a body reset.

When I left the Open Center, I felt physically centered. I was able to stand taller, feel my feet rooted on the ground, and ready to tackle the next thing on my to-do list: which just happened to be shopping at the busiest shopping place on Earth during the holidays, Macy’s Herald Square. I felt like Wonder Woman with a purpose navigating the crowds, and calmer waiting for the subway to finally get to my step. That’s patience!

4 Promotes hair growth.

This is a benefit I’ll have to wait a few months to see, but as my hair was turned and soothed, I even thought about the benefits my strands might receive.


You don’t have to let the holidays beat you up. Make sure you take some you time. Self-care 2017 is a real thing.