Shirodhara is a unique and powerful ayurvedic therapy traditionally done as part of the Panchakarma detoxification regime. A specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured in a thin steady stream directly onto the forehead of a person who lies down on a massage table with their eyes covered.Shirodhara purifies the mind, alleviates anxiety, reduces headaches, and expands awareness. Shirodhara - a union of two sanskrit words: “ shir “ meaning head and “ dhara “ meaning to flow, pour or stream, involved the pouring of a specially prepared medicated herbal oil in a steady stream over the head of an individual usually for around 30-40 minutes.This treatment is generally done as part of pancharkarma detoxification ,but can be administered on its own as well.
Benefits of Shirodhara
Shirodhara promotes blood circulation, reduce stress, restore damaged nerves, improve memory and cognitive function. Its benefits are :
‣ Peaceful Relaxation: The soothing warmth of the oil and gentle pressure allows the body, mind and nervous system to experience a deep state of rest. This treatment benefits even a healthy individual looking to maintain health and enhance well-being, clarity, calm, and immunity. Shirodhara boosts deep relaxation, alleviates fatigue and renews and invigorates the body and mind. It also balances one’s energy level.
‣ Improvement in Sleep and reduce stress level: Shirodhara helps to reduce the stress hormones level, thus relaxes the mind. Pouring of warm oils used stimulates and soothes the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of the pituitary gland and inducing sleep. The ability of Shirodhara can easily overcome sleeping problems when coupled with herbal support.
‣ Restore hair vitality: The medicated oils absorbed through the scalp spur the hair follicles, and hence Shirodhara is essential therapy to treat hair problems such as early greying of hair or Hair fall
‣ Restoration nerve degeneration: Shirodhara has a massive impact on the nervous system. That means, this procedure instantly and directly calms, relaxes and have a purifying effect on the mind and nerves.
Types of Shirodhara
Shirodhara treatments are offered mainly in four types,
‑ Kashaya dhara (Herbal oil) : The Shirodhara that uses medicated herbal decoction is called Kashayadhara, where the type of oil and herbs are chosen depending upon the condition of the patient, that they would like the treatment for.
‑ Thailadhara (Medicated oil) : The Shirodhara that uses medicated oil in the process is called Thailadhara.
‑ Ksheerdhara (milk infused with herbs): Ksheerdhara uses medicated milk in its Shirodhara process, which is infused with the relevant herbs, like sandalwood, camphor or vetiver roots. The temperature of the milk is kept lukewarm at the beginning of the process and then maintained at room temperature as it is carried forward.
‑ Takra Dhara (buttermilk infused with herbs): Takradhara is a type of Shirodhara in which herb infused buttermilk made by mixing equal quantities of a herbal decoction and buttermilk, is poured from a specific height and for a specific time period continuously and rhythmically, allowing the buttermilk, to run through the scalp and into the hair.
- The patient lies down on the wooden massage table with their eyes closed, and covered.
- The treatment begins with the pouring of the specially medicated lukewarm/room temperature oil from copper pot continuously as a steady stream on to the forehead in a gentle oscillating manner.
- This procedure is also often paired with a gentle massage from Ayurveda therapist performed parallelly on the body.
- After finishing the Dhara, the patient is allowed to take rest for a few minutes and then a hot water bath is given on the body and special medicated water is used for head bath.
- The time duration of Shirodhara treatment may extend from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the condition of the patient.