Shirodhara therapy is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that reduces physical and emotional stress. It involves the soothing application of oil or ghee onto the forehead, which is believed to alleviate tiredness and promote happiness. In addition to its stress-reducing properties, Shirodhara therapy is believed to help balance the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and relieve headaches and migraines. Would you like to try this therapy at home? If so, you may wonder what other benefits it offers and how it performs.
Shirodhara therapy, an ancient Ayurvedic practice with a 5000-year history in India, treats mental health issues and promotes mental serenity. The treatment combines the Sanskrit words for “head” and “flow” and is a part of the Panchakarma phases. It involves the gentle application of oil, milk, or ghee, made from Ayurvedic herbs to the forehead. Shirodhara is known for its ability to alleviate stress and depression, making it a popular and effective treatment option.
Shirodhara therapy has several benefits that extend beyond mental health.
It can also help to relax the nerves, alleviate tension, and treat dandruff and hair fall. Additionally, it may be effective in preventing migraines and improving sleep. This Ayurvedic technique is known for improving concentration and bringing a scattered mind back to a state of focus. Its rejuvenating properties also soften lines on the face and improve the skin’s overall glow. If you struggle with insomnia, Shirodhara therapy may particularly benefit you.
According to the classical Ayurvedic scriptures of Charak Samhita and Susruta Samhita, Shirodhara is also known by various vernacular names, including Shiro Sheka, Sirothara, Shiro Parisheka, Dhara, Parisheka and Shirashek.
Shirodhara therapy typically involves the use of various types of herbal oils or infusions to promote relaxation and well-being. Depending on the type of liquid used, it can be classified into the following categories:
Taila Dhara is a type of massage that uses a single type of oil or a blend of several Ayurvedic oils.
Milk is the main ingredient in dugadha dhara.
The main ingredient in takra dhara is buttermilk.
Different herbs are used to make decoctions for kwatha dhara, depending on the diagnosed condition or dosha imbalance.
It is generally used when there is an imbalance of Pitta in the body. Coconut water is the main ingredient in this type of treatment.
Shirodhara therapy involves the infusion of oils or other liquids onto the head and scalp, which produces a calming sensation on the head muscles and passes through the superficial peripheral nerves of the scalp to the brain. By soothing the hypothalamus, it regulates the activity of the pituitary gland and treats conditions such as insomnia by inducing sleep. The massage also stimulates various vital points on the head and improves blood circulation. The warm herbal oils used in the process cause vasodilation of the blood vessels, improving blood flow to the brain.
In addition to these physical benefits, Shirodhara therapy also helps reduce elevated levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and well-being. It also lowers stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, helping to relax the mind and alleviate stress and tension. This therapy can effectively treat a range of psychosomatic ailments, including stress, tension, depression, and anxiety.
The choice of liquid used for Shirodhara therapy depends on the individual’s condition and any imbalances in the Vata dosha. Common fluids used in this treatment include various oils, coconut water, buttermilk, decoctions made with licorice and milk mixed with herbs, and other herbal ingredients. Generally, 2-3 liters of these massage liquids are used during a 1-hour session.
The therapeutic benefits of these herbal fluids can help to treat a wide range of health conditions, including neurological disorders, memory loss, eye diseases, insomnia, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, premature greying of the hair, hearing damage, vertigo, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, and certain types of skin diseases such as psoriasis.
In many cases, Ksheer bala tailam, a mixture of Bala herb powder, sesame oil, and cow’s milk, is used for Shirodhara therapy. Other varieties of oils may be used include Chandanadi tailam, Karpasasthyadi oil, Narayana tailam, and Dhanwantharam tailam. If none of these herbal oils are available, sesame oil can be used as an alternative. Enriched with antioxidants and active ingredients such as sesamin, sesaminol, and sesamol, sesame oil helps to regulate serotonin activity in the brain, providing a calming effect and aiding in the relief of stress and the induction of sleep. Shirodhara oils mixed with nervine herbs may also be helpful for individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
The oils used in Shirodhara therapy have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that effectively relax the throbbing blood vessels in the head. As a result, this therapy can improve an individual’s mood and provide relief from stress-related headaches and chronic migraines.
Shirodhara therapy can be particularly beneficial for vision problems. While the treatment is not applied directly to the eyes, the massage with warm herbal oils can improve eye muscle strength, enhance clarity, and help a person see better without glasses. When done for a fortnight, a prescribed course of Shirodhara therapy using oils that improve eyesight has been shown to produce effective results.
Shirodhara therapy is highly valued for its ability to treat various types of psychotic problems, including depression, dementia, and restlessness. The potent anti-stress, anti-depressive, anti-anxiety properties of the herbal oils used in the therapy help balance brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters and increase the secretion of dopamine, which helps to regulate serotonin levels and reduce anxiety symptoms and depression.
Shirodhara therapy has powerful vasodilatory effects on the body. When the oil is applied to the center of the head, it activates the agnya chakra, which helps to dilate the blood arteries and improve blood circulation throughout the body. This normalization of blood flow not only improves heart function but also enhances cardiovascular endurance, bringing blood pressure to a stable level and helping to treat hypertension and abnormal pressure readings.
The oils used in traditional Shirodhara therapy have potent brain-boosting properties. Enriched with powerful antioxidants and flavonoids, they can effectively improve concentration, memory capacity, focus, calmness, and alertness. The use of Medhya Rasayana herbs in Shirodhara oils imparts neuroprotective elements that help to relieve the mind from stress and tension and reduce the risk of memory loss.
The divine Shirodhara therapy offers a deeply relaxing experience that calms the mind. The herbal oils used in this medicine not only soothe, nourish, and balance the doshas. But are also extensively used to treat various health issues, including stress, depression, insomnia, hypertension, and migraines. Consider trying this classical Ayurvedic therapy, which increases spiritual awareness and helps cultivate a connection with the inner soul.
You can contact Sattva Meditation Resort : The Ayurveda Treatments & Wellness Centers for more details.