What is Ayurvedic Shirodhara Massage?
Ayurvedic Shirodhara Massage is an ancient Ayurvedic technique of pouring oils or liquids over the forehead in a continuous and consistent flow. The warm and herb induced liquids or oil is poured on the forehead, specifically on the ‘third-eye’. This is a chakra point just above and between the eyebrows, also known as the seat of the human consciousness. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, all ailments and diseases are caused due to imbalance in the energy levels in the body. Shirodhara therapy is helpful in soothing and healing an agitated nervous system.
Why should you get it?
Shirodhara has a profound impact on the nervous system. It regulates mood and acts to calm and relaxes your mind. The oil saturates the skin and scalp and has a cleansing effect on your nerves. The nervous centers in the brain control the senses; Shirodhara will make your head region so strong that your body will work smoothly.
What to expect?
In Shirodhara, warm oil is constantly poured over the head for about 25 minutes or more. It reduces fatigue, stress and induces sleep. It initiates a soothing effect on brain cells, stabilizing the mind and gives it a serene and calm feeling. It is a form of restorative therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and all other psychosomatic diseases.
Types of Shirodhara treatments
Different types of liquids are in the treatment of Shirodhara it may consists of various oils, coconut milk, buttermilk, decoctions and milk which a Herbal Infusion are used. The process is almost the same but the treatment differs with different health benefits, below is some of Shirodhara therapy known by different names –
- Taila Dhara – This is also known as “Thyla dhara” which means “flow of oil. Various oils are used in this type of dhara.
- Dugadha Dhara – This is also known as “Ksheerdhara”. When milk is used as the main ingredient in Shirodhara is called “dugadha dhara” means “flow of milk”.
- Jala Dhara – Water or coconut water is used in this dhara, generally for the cure of ailments related to Pitta diseases (important digestive “agnis” or fires of the body) or to remove excess heat from the body.
- Takra Dhara – This is also known as “Thakradhara”, in this buttermilk is used as the main ingredient as pouring of liquid.
- Kwatha Dhara – Decoctions made from various herbs as per condition and bodily defect or dosha of the person are used in this type of dhara.
Medicinal Oils used in Shirodhara
Generally Ksheera Bala Taila is used in Shirodhara. But other oils can be used as per the condition of the person. Below is the list of oils used in Shirodhara with the list of ingredients that are used.
- Ksheera Bala Taila
- Narayana Thailam
- Karpasasthyadi Thailam
- Chandanadi Thailam
- Dhanwantharam Thailam
Health Benefits of Ayurvedic Shirodhara Massage
- Relief from insomnia and sleep disorder – Shirodhara is traditionally known for its ability to reduce sleep problems. The therapy stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin, the regulator of the wake-sleep cycle. It calms an unquiet mind and induces rest.
- Relieves anxiety and mental stress – This therapy helps increase energy in the mind and body, and makes people feel fitter and more active. It has a positive effect on your mood and helps relieve stress and anxiety.
- Reduces headaches and migraine – Shirodhara has a good effect on mood and reduces stress, which can help cope with headaches and migraines. It also helps maintain a relaxed mind and induces good sleep and prevents migraine attacks.
- Reduce and/or treat hair loss – the flow of oil on the scalp will nourish and cure hair loss problems. Regular use of oil on scalp can make your hair follicles stronger and promote new hair growth.
Contraindications of Shirodhara
- Conjunctivitis or glaucoma,
- Scalp or forehead injuries,
- Inflammatory diseases,
- Third trimester of pregnancy,
- Severe weakness,
- Fever/chills or spontaneous sweating,
- Acute illness, nausea or vomiting,
- Any specific herb allergy.