Ayurveda Therapy

Shirodhara (Purification and rejuvenating therapy)

shirodhara therapy

In Sanskrit, Shirodhara is composed of two words shiro + dhara. Shiro means head and Dhara means flow of warm oil. Together they form a concept that aims to bring physical and emotional balance by rejuvenating the spirit and preserving health. There are specialized forms of shirodhara called tailadhara, ksheeradhara, takradhara and jaladhara.

Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic healing practice performed for over 5,000 years. The patient lies supine on a flat surface with head back and a rolled towel or pillow beneath the neck. A stream of warm oil is drizzled very slowly onto the center of the forehead (the location of the “third eye”) for 60 minutes followed by a gentle scalp massage. Normally a blend of 50% sesame oil and 50% sunflower oil is recommended, but you can use any blend of oil you wish.

Shirodhara is a great rejuvenating therapy that gives a healthy face and body glow. In Ayurveda, rejuvenating therapy is the golden path to attain longevity as it is aimed at the preservation of health. Modern lifestyles lead to poor health in many ways. Purification therapy is a unique feature of Ayurveda involving the complete cleansing of body and thereby eliminating vitiated doshas. The technique effectively treats doshic balances in their advanced stages. Vitiated doshas causing blocked channels in a system, which needs purification, approach. Shirodhara is one of the great purification and rejuvenating therapy.

Shirodhara works primarily on the mental sheath or “manomaya kosha” as it is referred to in Ayurveda. Shirodhara is traditionally used to calm the nerves, harmonize vata constitutions, restore the nerves, release stored emotions, and purify the mind. In Ayurvedic Medicine, it is considered an important tool in the pursuit of higher states of consciousness. Shirodhara has been traditionally shown to help with fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, some mental disorders, headache, excessive thinking, nervousness, and many other conditions commonly affecting persons in today’s active lifestyle. High Pitta types will usually be guided towards Shirodhara milk as opposed to Shirodhara oil. This is due to the fact that Pitta is heat and is most easily brought back to balance by being cooled.

Benifits of Shirodhara:
Regular shirodhara enhances blood circulation to the brain, improves memory, nourishes hair and scalp, assists in providing sound sleep and calms the body and mind. Shirodhara is one of the most effective treatments for reducing stress and nervous tension.

  • Ultimate mental and emotional relaxation therapy
  • Beneficial for many diseases connected with the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • Beneficial for many diseases of the nervous system like nerve disorders, facial palsy, paralysis and ptosis (drooping) of the eyelids.
  • Beneficial for curing long standing insomnia and schizophrenia
  • Beneficial for fits in epilepsy when used in conjunction with other medicines
  • Prevents hair lose, premature graying and cracking of hair
  • Relieves headache and burning sensation of the head
  • Nourishes and rejuvenates the body
  • Stimulates the nervous system giving sturdiness to the body
  • Improves digestion
  • Sharpens the sense organs
  • Improves the quality of voice
  • Gives strength to the neck and head
  • Improves the health of the skin
  • Cools the body and relieves pain.
  • Invigorates the body and mind and stimulate cognitive memories
  • Helps relieve fatigue, tension, anxiety, anger, chronic headaches, rheumatism, hypertension, asthma, hair problems and stress
  • Disperses negative electrical impulses that accumulate at the skull and hairline from stress.
  • Renews the sweetness of life
  • Rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines
  • Opens the third eye of lord Shiva by this therapeutic Marma based head massage
  • Activates the pituitary gland
  • Increases spiritual awareness
  • Regulates mood and depression disorders
  • Activates the memory & stimulates the 6 & 7th charka which regulates our breathing patterns.
  • Increases intuition
  • It improves concentration, intelligence, confidence and self-esteem

Contraindications for Shirodhara therapy

  • Full stomach
  • Severe Vata disorder
  • People with severe anxity and combined control issues
  • Low Blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent neck injuiry
  • Alcoholism
  • Brain tumor
  • Abrasions or cuts on head
  • Rashes on forehead or scalp
  • Aversion to oil

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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