A profoundly relaxing treatment in which a continuous gentle stream of warm herbal oil is poured over the forehead. This tranquil treatment helps to calm the nervous system, improves brain wave synchrony and integrates mind body functioning.
- Rejuvenation: highly relaxing, calming and soothing
- Beauty: slows down aging, reduces wrinkles, reduces hair fall
- Therapeutic: cures insomnia, depression, anxiety, hyper tension, paralysis, headaches, or as prescribed by the doctor
Shirodhara treatment involves gentle and continuous pouring of warm medicated ayurvedic oil over the forehead. The pouring with varying pressure creates impulse and vibrations to experience a deep state of relaxation.
The term Shirodhara is a combination of two Sanskrit words “Shiro” which mean “Head” and “Dhara” which means “Flow”. Shirodhara is traditionally done alongside panchakarma as one of the main cleansing procedure. It creates sensory awakening and nerve stimulation for better toxin removal from the body. It is also highly effective treatment as a separate treatment all together.
Oils Used in Shirodhara Treatment
Shirodhara Oil Treatment is also called Tailadhara and Tailadhara includes a variety of oils or thailams. The oils are poured to the forehead through a pot. The height, pressure and the oil type depends on the type of condition being treated. Oils mainly included are
- Ksheera Bala Oil
- Lakshadi Oil
- Karpasasthyadi Oil
- Chandanadi Oil
- Dhanwantharam Oil
- Narayana Oil
Ksheera Bala is generally used in shirodhara and it is used to vatic doshas.
Karpasasthyadi Oil – Maybe for special conditions such as paralysis, facial palsy, spondylitis, and other neuromuscular disorders.
Chandanadi Oil – A natural coolant used to relieve inflammations, dizziness, burning sensations, etc.
Dhanwantharam Oil – Provides healing from exhaustion and for conditions such as rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, headache, etc.
Narayana Oil – Widely Ayurvedic oil, which is useful to treat several neuromuscular conditions like neuralgia, arthritis, etc.
Lakshadi oil may be used in pitta disorders and Dhanwantram oil or Mahanarayana oil may be used in Vata disorders. In Pitta disorders, lukewarm oil like Chandanadi oil can be used.
1. The person is brought into a lying position and a piece of cloth or rolled gauze is put as a band around the head just above the eyebrows with a knot on the side (the knot is placed on the side for comfort when the head rests on the droni table). The purpose of the gauze headband is to prevent any oil/ liquid from entering the eyes during the Shirodhara.
2. A pillow covered with vinyl or plastic (to prevent absorption of the oil) is placed as a headrest for comfort.
3. There are two technicians necessary for a traditional Shirodhara. Technician #1 will take care of the Shirodhara pot and technician #2 will be responsible for heating the oil and replenishing the oil back into the pot as it runs out over the course of the treatment.
4. Technician #1 will adjust the height of the shiro pot and position it so that the string is hanging right over the center and 2 inches above the top of the forehead of the person. This technician will bring the pot back off of the head of the person and technician #2 who will have already warmed the oil to the proper temperature will fill the pot with oil. While the oil is being transferred into the Shiro pot technician #1 will hold their finger over the hole at the bottom of the pot preventing the oil/ liquid from beginning to flow out.
5. After the Shiro pot is completely filled with the warmed oil (or other liquid depending on the type of Dhara) technician # 1 will remove their finger from the pot allowing the oil/ liquid to flow on to the table first so that the stream of the liquid can be adjusted properly. Only when the stream is flowing properly will technician #1 bring the oil/liquid stream onto the forehead of the person.
6. The height of the string over the top of the forehead should be about 2 inches above so that the stream does not strike the forehead too hard nor too soft. The thickness of the stream should neither be too thick or to thin but rather of a thickness that is pleasing to the constitution of the person. The stream should be moved back and forth over the forehead of the person continuously without stopping.
7. The speed of the movement should be of a medium and consistent speed throughout the length of the Shirodhara. The temperature of the oil should be constantly monitored throughout the treatment and the oil heated as necessary to maintain the proper temperature. This and constantly refilling the shirodhara pot to keep the pot at least 1/2 full is the job of technician #2. Another job of the technician #2 is to periodically drain excess oil/ liquid from the hair and keep the oil/liquid in the Droni moving toward the collection area and into the transfer pot.
8. During this time, it is very important to maintain a completely silent environment and not be milling around cleaning up items etc. It is very likely that the person is in a very deep state of relaxation and possibly deep inner reflection as well. Because of this complete silence and stillness should be maintained for at least a period of 10-15 minutes to allow the session to completely resolve and integrate.
9. After the period of resolution the person is told to sit up right on the table and the excess oil/liquid is blotted from the hair. Right after the treatment the person is taken to the shower area and asked to talk bath.
How long is a shirodhara treatment last?
Shirodhara usually last between 35-50 minutes depending upon the severity of the condition, body constitution and the judgment of the practitioner.
Shirodhara can be done as a single session or over the period of 3-28 days. Usually the Vaidya recommends 3-7 days of shirodhara but for critical cases shirodhara could be done for 14 days, 28 days or even more.
Benefits of Shirodhara Treatment
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Enhances blood circulation to the body and brain
- Nourishes Hair and Scalp
- Improves concentration and memory
- Treats headache, insomnia and migraines
- Promotes healthy sleep
Shirodhara is not just rejuvenating treatment but it has many targeted health benefits. Always consult a good practioner before undergoing shirodhara. We at Maharishi Ayurveda provides shirodhara with international standards and real Ayurveda wisdom under the supervision of renowned doctors.