Bamboo Bliss

Bamboo Bliss

SHIRODHARA TREATMENTS

What is Shirodhara?

What is Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is an amazing, unique body therapy from the ancient natural medical system Ayurveda. Shirodhara has a profound impact on the nervous system. That means, the treatment directly and immediately calms, relaxes and has a cleansing effect on the mind and nerves. In the western alternative medicine world, there may not be another therapy that has a similar impact on the nervous system, apart from an established meditation practice.

What is Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy. Warm oil (or other liquid) pours in a continuous stream over the forehead or ‘ajna marma’, an area where nerves are highly concentrated. The pressure of the oil onto the forehead creates a vibration. The oil saturates the forehead and scalp and penetrates into the nervous system.The gentle pressure and soothing warmth of the oil allow the body, mind and nervous system to experience a deep state of rest, similar to meditation. Shirodhara is traditionally done as part of the Panchakarma cleansing process using specially prepared shirodhara oil. It is also safe and effective as a stand-alone therapy.

What Does ‘Shirodhara’ Mean?

The term shirodhara is a union of two words: ‘shir‘ meaning head and ‘dhara‘ meaning pouring in a stream or sprinkling. Thus, shirodhara means the pouring of a liquid medicine in a stream over the head of a client for a stipulated amount of time. Shirodhara is a type of ‘murdha taila’ procedure which means application of oil on the head or ‘murdha’. Application of oil can be done in various ways:

Shiro Abhyanga – Massaging the head with herbal oils for a fixed duration of time, usually 30-40 minutes.

Shiro Seka / Shiro dhara – A procedure in which the herbal oils or medicated liquids (milk, buttermilk, et cetera) are poured in a stream over the receiver’s head for a fixed duration of time, usually 35-45 minutes or 60 minutes.

Benefits

Who Benefits From Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is a great treatment for a compromised nervous system. Shirodhara can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, fatigue and hypertension. It relieves tension, worry, fear and headache as well as depression. It regulates mood and gives feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Shirodhara treatment is advised for the prevention of many psychosomatic disorders. In a healthy individual, prevention of diseases pertaining to the body, mind and sense organs is the foremost indication. Shirodhara can also assist with the following conditions:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Shirodhara reduces excess vata dosha which is the primary dosha out of balance in PTSD. According to Alakananda Ma of the Alandi Ayurveda Gurukulam, shirodhara done with an appropriate Shirodhara Oil containing nervine herbs will deeply soothe the nervous system and help ease the symptoms of PTSD.

Insomnia and Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) Shirodhara is traditionally known for it’s ability to assist with sleep problems. Research proves the treatment effective alone and also when coupled with herbal support.1 Shirodhara with milk has also proven effective in treating insomnia.2 The process stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin, the regulator of the wake-sleep cycle. It calms an unquiet mind and induces rest. If your insomnia stems from working the night shift and your wake-sleep cycle is out of sync with the natural rhythms of the sun shirodhara can assist in removing fatigue, restoring energy and re-establishing harmony in the doshas or constitution.

Jet Lag If you’re a frequent flyer and your daily sleep rhythm is often out of sync and you suffer jet lag, shirodhara can help reset your daily pattern of waking and sleeping as well as remove built up fatigue. Travel with a Vata soothing oil or Bhringaraj oil and apply to the head before bed or find a local practitioner to receive the treatment.

Hypertension Raktagata Vata is an imbalance of Vata dosha that may be correlated with hypertension. Shirodhara has proven effective in lowering blood pressure.3  

Healthy Individuals Shirodhara is also a great treatment for the healthy individual looking to maintain health and enhance well being, clarity, calm and immunity. Shirodhara promotes deep relaxation, relieves fatigue and renews and reinvigorates the body and mind.

It also balances one’s energy level. If you are in need of rest and relaxation, the process will provide you that. If you are well rested the process will enhance your clarity and perception. Shirodhara increases immunity by relieving stress and worry, and balancing the Ayurveda mind-body types or doshas so that your constitution remains strong.

Shirodhara gives deep rest and renewed energy producing an ageless and youthful countenance. Shirodhara relieves stress, worry and excessive thought. It gives total relaxation as if from meditation. This naturally relaxes and rejuvenates the face and softens worry lines.

More Indications Of Shirodhara

Various ancient texts of Ayurveda have advised use of oil on the head, like shirodhara, for the following indications.

  • Headaches of various types like cluster headaches, migraines, tension headaches, headache originating at the temples, using herbal oils or milk infused with herbs
  • Burning sensation in the head.
  • Consequences of head injuries
  • Hemiplegia or paralysis
  • To control vitiated Vata dosha
  • Diseases of Vata origin, mainly degenerative diseases
  • Diseases of Pitta origin, mainly inflammatory diseases
  • Dryness of the head region
  • For healthy and long hair
  • For itching of the scalp
  • Premature greying of the hair
  • Low level of vitality or ojas
  • Cracked lips
  • Heart disease
  • Agni mandhya or sluggish metabolism
  • Certain diseases of the ear
  • Certain diseases of the eye
  • Psoriasis like skin lesions
  • Loss of memory and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diabetic neuropathy (as an adjunct with other treatments)
  • Proper neuro-muscular coordination
  • To delay aging
Benefits
How To Prepare

How To Prepare

How To Prepare For A Shirodhara Appointment

When scheduling an appointment for shirodhara, keep in mind that you may need additional rest following the treatment.

Shirodhara cleanses the mind and senses. Make use of this time and avoid unnecessary stimulation after your treatment. Avoid large crowds (concerts, restaurants/bars, large gatherings) and make the remainder of your day peaceful. This is your time for mental rest.

Eat lightly before your appointment. Shirodhara has an effect on the digestive system and a full stomach is not advised.

Your hair will be saturated with oil. Dress appropriately and comfortably. Wear an old shirt, something you don’t mind getting oil on.

It is advised to leave the oil in your hair for at least a few hours following the treatment. It’s best to leave the oil in your hair overnight.

Prepare to cover your head following the treatment. If the weather is cool, windy or cold, bring an old warm hat, again something you don’t mind getting oil on. An old scarf works well to cover the head and hair in warmer weather. A plastic shower cap also works well.

When scheduling an appointment for shirodhara, keep in mind that you may need additional rest following the treatment.

Shirodhara cleanses the mind and senses. Make use of this time and avoid unnecessary stimulation after your treatment. Avoid large crowds (concerts, restaurants/bars, large gatherings) and make the remainder of your day peaceful. This is your time for mental rest.

Eat lightly before your appointment. Shirodhara has an effect on the digestive system and a full stomach is not advised.

Your hair will be saturated with oil. Dress appropriately and comfortably. Wear an old shirt, something you don’t mind getting oil on.

It is advised to leave the oil in your hair for at least a few hours following the treatment. It’s best to leave the oil in your hair overnight.

Prepare to cover your head following the treatment. If the weather is cool, windy or cold, bring an old warm hat, again something you don’t mind getting oil on. An old scarf works well to cover the head and hair in warmer weather. A plastic shower cap also works well.