Shirodhara is a classical and a well-established Ayurvedic procedure of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil or other liquids on the forehead.
This process stimulates third eye or pituitary gland which awakens your intuitive knowledge.This procedure gives a relaxed expression of awareness that results in a dynamic psychosomatic balance.
Ayurveda – The ancient medical system has various therapies. One of the unusual, unique body treatment is Shirodhara. 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.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychological and physiological effects of Shirodhara in healthy volunteers.
It is done by monitoring the rating of mood and levels of stress, electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalogram (EEG), and selected biochemical markers of stress.
In the Western alternative medicine world, apart from an established meditation practice, I do not know of another therapy that has a similar impact on the nervous system.
The reason is that information on Shirodhara is a bit dispersed. In this article, I accumulated everything which you need to know about Shirodhara therapy.
You’ll learn about who will gain from Shirodhara (and who does not), how it works, how to ensure you get a great Shirodhara and how to prepare a treatment for it.
Who Benefits From Shirodhara?
Shirodhara is an excellent treatment for a compromised nervous system. Shirodhara can help in providing remedies for the symptoms of anxiety, stress, fatigue and high blood pressure.
It alleviates tension, worry, fear, and headache as well as depression. It modulates mood and gives feelings of joy and ease.
The Following Conditions That Can Be Cured By Shirodhara
1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Shirodhara reduces the excess Vata Dosha, which is the primary cause of PTSD. With the guidelines of Ayurveda, Shirodhara contains an appropriate Shirodhara Oil-carrying nervine herbs which will genuinely console the nervous system and help ease the symptoms of PTSD.
2. Insomnia And Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)
The ability of Shirodhara can easily overcome sleeping problems. Research successfully examines that the treatment is effective alone and also when coupled with herbal support.
Shirodhara and Milk combination has also proven effective in treating insomnia. The process excites the pineal gland which produces melatonin, the governor of the wake-sleep cycle.
It chills out an unquiet mind and induces rest. If your insomnia stems from working the night shift and your wake-sleep cycle is out of sync with the natural rhythms of the sun. Shirodhara can serve in removing fatigue, restoring energy and regaining harmony in the Doshas or the constitution.
3. Jet Lag
If you’re traveling mostly by airplane and your daily sleep rhythm is often out of sync, and you are suffering from jet lag,
Shirodhara can help in readjusting your regular pattern of waking and sleeping as well as get rid of fatigue. Vata oil or Bhringaraj oil can easily travel with you and apply it on the head before bed or invest in a portable Shirodhara unit.
Shirodhara has proven an effective method of controlling blood pressure.
Shirodhara is also a great treatment for the 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. If you need some rest, this process is the best way to provide the same. If you are well rested, the process will enhance your clarity and perception.
Shirodhara raises immunity by alleviating stress, worry and balancing the Ayurveda mind-body types of the dish as so that you constitution remains strong.
Shirodhara gives deep rest and renewed energy producing an ageless and youthful countenance. Shirodhara alleviates stress, worry, and excessive thought.
Shirodhara and meditation can provide same utility regarding relaxation. This naturally relaxes and regenerates the face and softens worry lines.
Who Should Not Have Shirodhara?
Shirodhara has some contraindications with the suitability of any dosha or constitution.
It should not be given to women in their third trimester of pregnancy and to those who have a rash or suntan on the forehead or scalp.
Other contraindications admit brain tumor, recent neck injury, abrasions or cuts on the head, fever/chills, acute illness, nausea, vomiting, severe weakness, exhaustion, fainting or spontaneous sweating.
It is strictly prohibited to those if anyone has the aversion to oil.
What Is Shirodhara?
The word Shirodhara breaks down into two meanings: Shiro implies head and Dhara, which means flow. Shirodhara is one of the oldest Ayurvedic therapy.
Warm oil (or other liquid) pelts in a continuous stream over the forehead or ‘AjnaMarma’, an area where nerves are highly centralized. The pressure of the oil onto the forehead produces a vibration.
The oil impregnates the forehead and scalp and impulse into the nervous system. The gentle pressure and consoling warmth of the oil permit the body, mind and nervous system to feel a deep state of rest, similar to meditation as I told you above.
It is a traditional as well as an important part of the Panchakarma cleansing process using mainly Shirodhara oil. It is also secure and efficient as a stand-alone therapy.
How Does Shirodhara Work?
There are some methods to look at how Shirodhara works its magic.
According to Ayurveda, Shirodhara is beneficial for Vata and Pitta dosha. When out of balance, Vata Dosha displays as fear, insecurity, troubles, racing thoughts. Out of balance Pitta dosha displays as wrath, temper, frustration, assessment.
The activities and characters of the liquid used in Shirodhara counter the qualities of the out of balance Doshas.
It consoles, sustains and pacifies the doshas through the application of the liquid to the forehead, scalp, and nervous system.
In 1995 issue, the Spring’s journal of The Ayurvedic Institute ‘Ayurveda Today’, Ayurvedicpractician Ed Danaher explains how Shirodhara affects stress.
Stress, according to Ayurveda, is a state of unbalance of PranaVayu, Sadaka Pitta, and TarpakaKapha. Shirodhara regenerates the functional integrity between these three Doshic Subtypes and thus helps relieve stress.
According to this study, the gentle pressure of the oil pouring on the forehead may also play a role in stimulating rest. In the procedure of Shirodhara, different pressure and vibration are created over the forehead.
The vibration is magnified by the hollow sinus present in the frontal bone. The vibration is then transferred inwards through the liquid medium of Cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF).
This vibration along with less temperature may trigger, the functions of the thalamus and the basal forebrain, which then carries the amount of serotonin and catecholamine to the normal stage stimulates the sleep.
Again, it is written in modern textbooks of physiology that pressure has an outcome on impulse conduction through tactile and thermo receptors.
If the prolonged pressure is enforced to a nerve, impulse conduction in interrupted and portion of the body may go to rest. In Dhara therapy, elongated and continuous pressure due to a falling of the medicated liquid may cause serenity of mind and induce natural sleep.
How To Get A Great Shirodhara?
If you’re new to Shirodhara and would like to receive treatment, ask your therapist to observe these three main points. Search out a qualified Ayurveda practician or trained therapist for the therapy.
1. Observe Silence
During Shirodhara there are no disturbances like no music should be played, cell phones are switched off, and there should be no disruptions and no conversations taking place.Any noise will break up the experience of withdrawing from outside stimuli and feeling mental rest.
2. Be Aware Of The Room’s Temperature
In cooler climates and during the winter seasons of the year the room should be ‘toasty’ warm throughout the treatment. Always keep a heater on some space on hand to make sure the room is warm enough.
During the treatment, the head will be wet with oil so that the client does not get cold during the process and this is an important note. If so, the experience could become unpleasant.
Vata body types can be additionally consoled with a few layers of blankets. Still, In the summer months of the year keep blankets on hand for the person that is susceptible to cold or has pitiful circulated.
Make sure that the temperature of the room is prosperous and obviate cold air conditioned rooms for this process when possible.
3. Choose The Proper Liquid
Shirodhara oil should be cautiously chosen according to one’s constitution and the climate. Take advice from a qualified Ayurveda practician or trained therapist for a proper Shirodhara.
I recommend Banyan Botanicals certified organic Shirodhara oil. This Tri-Doshic combination includes five Ayurvedic herbs steeped into the sesame and sunflower oils.
It is appropriate for all constitutions, and I have already seen and experienced precious relaxation employing this oil.
Sesame and sunflower oil can also be utilized. Sesame is heated and useful Vata Dosha. Sunflower oil is cooling and is good for Pitta Dosha. The two are often blended.
Use precaution while using coconut oil. Coconut oil gives a chilling action on the body and can make the body cold.
It should not be beneficial for those who has a Vata imbalance or a Vata dominant person.
It may be useful for the summer months for someone with a pitta imbalance (too much heat in the system), or it may be fluxed with oils that have a heating action on the body to neutralize it’s cold effects.
Procedure For Being Ready For A Shirodhara Appointment
While scheduling an appointment for Shirodhara, always aware that you may need additional rest for the treatment. Shirodhara cleanses the mind and senses.
Make use of this time and keep off unnecessary stimulation after your treatment. Make differences from large crowds (concerts, cinema halls, malls, large gatherings) and set a reminder to make your day peacefully. This is the time only for mental rest.
Shirodhara has become the outcome of the digestive system, and a full stomach is not suggested, so eat lightly before taking an appointment.
Your hair will be impregnated with oil. Dress fitly and comfortably. Wear a former shirt, something you don’t mind falling oil on it.
It is suggested to leave the oil in your hair for at least a few hours after the treatment. It’s best to give a farewell the oil in your hair for overnight.
Always cover your head throughout the treatment. If the climate is cool, windy or cold, cover with an old warm hat, again something you don’t mind pouring oil on. An older scarf acts well to cover the head and hair in warmer weather. A plastic cap also works well.
1. Rinse Your Hair
If your Shirodara was done with oil and you have long hair, the simplest way to remove the oil is to add the shampoo to your hair before adding water. The shampoo will seize out of the oil so it can be easily rinsed out.
2. Avoid Caffeine For A Few Days
Caffeine creates disharmony in the body.It unbalances all of the Doshas and will have a prompt effect on the nervous system. If you are in need of a pick-me-up, try juice or fresh fruit.
3. Enjoy Some Kitchari
Kitchari is a light and delicious stew that is highly nutritive and also a gentle way to digest. Enjoying Kitchari post-Shirodhara will serve in the cleansing process and help in sustaining the balance of the Doshas.
Tips For Continuous Self-Care
Possibly, the effects of Shirodhara may not be immediately known to some people. Continuation in caring for yourself and over time you will surely notice a change.
In some people, the effects of your Shirodhara were felt immediately. So those individuals follow the below three tips to maintain the peaceful qualities
i) Maintain a Proper Diet And Lifestyle.
ii) Eat well. A diet high in sugar, caffeine, and refined products will finally take its toll on the body and mind. Choose grains like rice, oats and wheat. Enjoy fresh fruit for a snack and eat vegetables daily. Use the best quality of protein and dairy products. Keep away from caffeine.
iii) Maintain A Regular Schedule For Eating And Sleeping
iv) A regular daily routine maintains the health of the Doshas. Wake and sleep with the sun.
Modern lifestyles lead to ill health in many ways. However, the usage of mere and natural methods can significantly improve health and vitality. Refinement therapy is an unparalleled feature of Ayurveda involving the complete cleansing of the body and thereby eliminating vitiated doshas.
This proficiency treats Doshic balances in their advanced phases. Vitiated Doshas were causing blocked channels in a system, which needs purification approach. Shirodhara is one of the great refinings and rejuvenating therapy.
Shirodhara is an oldest Ayurvedic healing, practicing in India for over 5,000 years.
Together they form a concept that aims to bring physical and emotional balance by rejuvenating the spirit and preserving health.
This can be achieved through a relaxing technique in which warmed oil is poured over the forehead for an extended period.
There are specified forms of Shirodhara called Tailadhara, Ksheeradhara, Takradhara, and Jalandhar.
Shirodhara works on the mental sheath or “Manomaya Kosha” as it is related to in Ayurveda. Shirodhara is traditionally used to quieten the nerves, accord Vata constitutions, restore the nerves, release stored emotions, and distil 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 disarrays, headache, excessive thinking, nervousness, and many other conditions which affect commonly persons in today’s modern lifestyle.
Benefits Of Shirodhara
1) Regular Shirodhara raises blood circulation to the brain, amends memory, nourishes hair and scalp, helps in providing sound sleep and quietens the body and mind. Shirodhara is the most efficient treatments for reducing tensions and nervous issues.
2) Best mental and excited relaxation therapy.
3) Gainful for many diseases related to the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat.
4) Beneficial for many diseases of the nervous system like nerve disorders, facial palsy, paralysis and ptosis (drooping) of the eyelids.
5) Helps in healing for long standing insomnia and schizophrenia
6) While using in conjunction with other medicines, it beneficially fits of epilepsy.
7) Prevents hair loss, premature graying and breaking of hair.
8) Relieves a headache and firing sensation of the head.
9) Nourishes and regenerates the body.
10) Stimulates the nervous system provides sturdiness to the body.
11) Keep away from digestion problems.
12) Sharpens the sense organs.
13) Amends the quality of voice.
14) Provides intense to the neck and head.
15) Improves the health of the skin
16) Chills out the body and excuses pain.
17) Reinvigorates the body and mind and energize cognitive memories.
18) Help relieve fatigue, stress, anxiety, anger, chronic headaches, rheumatism, hypertension, asthma, hair problems.
19) Scatters negative electrical impulses that gather at the skull and hairline from stress.
20) Renew the fragrance of life.
21) Regenerates the entire face and dampens worry lines.
22) This therapeutic Marma based head massage is like the opens the third eye of Lord Shiva.
23) Actuates the pituitary gland.
24) Raise spiritual awareness.
25) Modulates mood and depression disorders.
26) Activates the memory & energizes the 6 & 7th chakra, which controls our breathing patterns.
27) Increases suspicion.
28) It improves concentration, intelligence, sureness and self-pride.
Contraindications For Shirodhara Therapy
1) Full stomach.
2) Severe Vata disorder.
3) People with severe anxiety and combined control issues.
4) Low Blood pressure.
6) Recent neck injury.
8) Brain tumor.
9) Abrasions or cuts on the head.
10) Rashes on forehead or scalp.
11) Aversion to oil
Different liquids can be used which depends on upon the conditions being treated. Common liquids are water, various oils, buttermilk, or coco palm water.
There is no full provided information about how Shirodhara might work for treating medical conditions.
Side Effects Of Shirodhara
There is not enough authentic information available to know if there are any safety concerns. It is not studied scientifically.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Shirodhara during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stay on the security side and avoid use.
Can pouring hot oil on the forehead be anything other than hell? Well, I was about to find out.
From the Sanskrit words “Shiraz” (head) and “Dhara” (flow), Shirodhara is the soft, perpetual application of warm oil on the third eye or chakra point just above and between the eyebrows.
When the warm oil is poured on your forehead gently, it gives a deep state of relaxation, comforts the nervous system, stimulates the endocrine system [pituitary gland] and awakens the third eye.”
It was like seeking divine intervention to keep away from tension and help ease physical and mental aches and pains.