Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic healing practice performed in India for over 5,000 years. The word shirodhara breaks down into two ideas: “shiro,” meaning head, and “dhara,” which means flow. Together they form a concept that aims to bring physical and emotional balance by rejuvenating the spirit and preserving health. This is achieved through a relaxing technique in which warmed oil is poured over a client’s forehead for an extended period of time.
There are specialized forms of shirodhara called tailadhara, ksheeradhara, takradhara and jaladhara.
Shirodhara works primarily on the mental sheath or “manomaya kosha” as it is referred to in Ayurveda. Shirodhara is traditionally used to calm the nerves, harmonize vata constitutions, restore the nerves, release stored emotions, and purify the mind. In Ayurvedic Medicine, it is considered an important tool in the pursuit of higher states of consciousness. Shirodhara has been traditionally shown to help with fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, some mental disorders, headache, excessive thinking, nervousness, and many other conditions commonly affecting persons in today’s active lifestyle.
Benifits of Shirodhara:
Regular shirodhara enhances blood circulation to the brain, improves memory, nourishes hair and scalp, assists in providing sound sleep and calms the body and mind. Shirodhara is one of the most effective treatments for reducing stress and nervous tension.
- Ultimate mental and emotional relaxation therapy
- Beneficial for many diseases connected with the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat
- Beneficial for many diseases of the nervous system like nerve disorders, facial palsy, paralysis and ptosis (drooping) of the eyelids.
- Beneficial for curing long standing insomnia and schizophrenia
- Beneficial for fits in epilepsy when used in conjunction with other medicines
- Prevents hair lose, premature graying and cracking of hair
- Relieves headache and burning sensation of the head
- Nourishes and rejuvenates the body
- Stimulates the nervous system giving sturdiness to the body
- Improves digestion
- Sharpens the sense organs
- Improves the quality of voice
- Gives strength to the neck and head
- Improves the health of the skin
- Cools the body and relieves pain.
- Invigorates the body and mind and stimulate cognitive memories
- Helps relieve fatigue, tension, anxiety, anger, chronic headaches, rheumatism, hypertension, asthma, hair problems and stress
- Disperses negative electrical impulses that accumulate at the skull and hairline from stress.
- Renews the sweetness of life
- Rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines
- Opens the third eye of lord Shiva by this therapeutic Marma based head massage
- Activates the pituitary gland
- Increases spiritual awareness
- Regulates mood and depression disorders
- Activates the memory & stimulates the 6 & 7th charka which regulates our breathing patterns.
- Increases intuition
- It improves concentration, intelligence, confidence and self-esteem
Contraindications for Shirodhara therapy
- Full stomach
- Severe Vata disorder
- People with severe anxity and combined control issues
- Low Blood pressure
- Recent neck injuiry
- Brain tumor
- Abrasions or cuts on head
- Rashes on forehead or scalp
- Aversion to oil
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic treatment which involves slowly pouring liquids over a client’s third eye, which is located in the forehead. It has been used in India for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions, and many spas have adopted Shirodhara treatments for their clients. In the West, Shirodhara is an immensely popular option on the menu at many high end spas, and it may be bundled with other body treatments for a luxurious spa session.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Shirodhara is designed to relax the body and open the third eye. It is used to treat a range of skin conditions, along with eye problems, stress, insomnia, memory loss, and graying hair. A wide range of liquids can be used, depending on the body type of the patient; oils are common, but milk, buttermilk, and water can be used as well. Frequently, the liquid will be infused with herbs which are tailored to the client.
A traditional Shirodhara session starts with an interview with a vaidya, an Ayurvedic practitioner. The vaidya will determine the patient’s body type, and he or she may make recommendations for a range of treatments including Shirodhara. When the interview is concluded, the client lies on an inclined table with his or her palms facing up. Aromatic essential oils are applied to the hands, the nose, and sometimes the feet as well while a gentle stream of warm liquid is run over the forehead. Commonly, the session will include light massage of the scalp, face, and neck.
I had an abhayanga massage before my shirodhara which entailed two therapists massaging me in perfect synchronicity promoting balance of both halves of my body. I highly recommend finding an Ayurvedic therapist in your area to perform the shirodhara. It is particularly good for those with Vata constitutions or imbalances, adrenal fatigue, or those trying to cope with the stress of daily life.
Wishing you balance and peace,