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.
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.
In Ayurveda the head is considered to be the most important part of the body to be treated. The head contains four of the five sensory organs of the body and seven of the nine bodily apertures through which we interact with the external universe. On the crown of the head is the sacred shrine called Sahasrara chakra, through which the soul is said to enter the body at birth and leave after death.
Shirodhara is known as the ‘king’ of treatments. It is the process by which warm oil or medicated liquid is methodically drizzled onto the forehead from a specially designed pot hung directly above the client. This is an ancient technique and the flow is maintained at a certain rhythmic speed to awaken the third eye. Vast and miraculous healing occurs when this technique is performed to perfection.
Through the rhythm of the oil trickling onto the third eye, which is the seat of our cognitive memories, awakening of these memories occurs, bodily tissues are transformed and good health is restored.
Prior to Shirodhara therapy the preliminary procedure of abhyanga massage is performed.
A truly soporific treat, Shirodhara soothes and invigorates the senses as well as the mind, inducing a total state of relaxation and wellness.
Shirodhara helps in clearing mental fog and nagging thoughts including addictions and calms the nervous system. This is a fantastic treatment for stress relief.
Used to treat depression, insomnia, headaches, neurological disorders, mental disorders, exhaustion, sinusitis, anxiety, allergic rhinitis, weakness of muscles and joints, facial paralysis, hearing impairment, menieres disease, tinnitus, vision problems, premature greying hair, dandruff, scalp sores and inflammation of the head.
30 reasons why you should practice Shirodhara regularly
Shirodhara has been shown to help with many conditions commonly affecting persons in today’s stressed lifestyle:
- It reduces fatigue
- Decreases mental exhaustion
- Decreases anxiety
- Shirodhara reduces nervousness
- Beneficial for curing long standing insomnia
- Helps in some mental disorders
- Decreases or cures headache
- Shirodhara Reduces excessive thinking
- Regulates mood and depression disorders
- Ultimate mental and emotional relaxation therapy
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Gives sturdiness to the body
- Improves concentration, memory
- Improves confidence and self-esteem
- Beneficial in Schizophrenia when used in conjunction with other medicines
- Beneficial for fits in epilepsy when used in conjunction with other medicines
- Improves the health of the skin and complexion
- Rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines
- Disperses negative electrical impulses that accumulate at the skull and hairline from stress
- Increases spiritual awareness
- Shirodhara session Cools the body and relieves pain
- Invigorates the body and mind
- Reduces hypertension
- Increases intuition
- Improves bad digestion when related to stress and anxiety
- Prevents hair loss, premature graying and cracking of hair when used with specific oils
- Increases wellbeing
- Shirodhara Sharpens the sense organ
- Balances the secretion of endocrine glands
- Regulates breathing rythm
Benefits of Shirodhara over physical and mental health
The Shirodhara technique was tested on a group of 26 people who were unaware of what they were going to test. Each one received a treatment of 1 hour. This question was asked before and after the session:
“If 0% is the minimum and 100% the maximum of physical and mental stress you have lived in your life, at which level are you now? ”
The values before and after the session are compared.
The group showed a very significant reduction in the physical and mental stress as subjectively evaluated by the subjects. The average of stress for the group decreased from 41% to 8.9% for physical stress and from 42% to 7.5% for mental stress, as can be seen on the graph hereafter.
Further more, 54% of the group had 0% physical stress and 65% had 0% mental stress after the session. The two following graphs show the global decrease in physical and mental stress for the group studied expessed as the difference between the two areas. The blue surface shows the amount of decrease.
For the physiological effects, please read the Shirodhara scientific review by Kazuo Uebaba et coll.using a Healing Robot for the Scientific Study of Shirodhara
Shirodhara, a traditional treatment used in Ayurveda, involves pouring warm, sometimes medicated oil, on the third eye or in patterns on the forehead. When EEG measurements were taken of people undergoing shirodhara, the brain wave patterns they exhibited were similar to those seen in deep states of meditation. People’s heart rates slowed and theta waves (active in meditation) increased.