What Is Shirodhara?
Shirodhara is a classic Ayurvedic therapy or the practice of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil or medicated decoctions on the forehead. The therapy induces a relaxed state of awareness that results in a psychosomatic balance. Intense feelings of wellness, mental lucidity, and comprehension are experienced in the Shirodhara treatment.

Shirodhara – Benefits And Importance In Ayurveda
Dr G Om Prakasham
Chairman , Lotus Wellness
Consultant Cardiac Surgeon

What Is Shirodhara?
Shirodhara is a classic Ayurvedic therapy or the practice of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil or medicated decoctions on the forehead. The therapy induces a relaxed state of awareness that results in a psychosomatic balance. Intense feelings of wellness, mental lucidity, and comprehension are experienced in the Shirodhara treatment.

Shirodhara therapy induces a relaxed state in the mind as well as the body; these effects are arbitrated by the brain wave coherence, alpha waves, and downregulation of the sympathetic outflow. The center of the forehead, also known as the third eye, is connected usually to the pineal gland.

Focusing on the third eye with closed eyes during meditation leads to psychosomatic harmony. And similarly, when the oil drips on the forehead, the meditation-like effect is a consequence of stillness of the mind leading to an adaptive response to the basal stress.

As per Ayurveda, Shirodhara is specifically advised when there is an aggravation of Vata and Pitta Doshas in the mind and body. An augmentation of Vata dosha results in insomnia, racing thoughts, anxiety, stress, dryness, hair fall, pain, and aches, whereas an aggravated Pitta dosha causes anger, irritability, frustration, burning sensation, migraines, and premature greying of the hair. Shirodhara is said to be beneficial when these Vata and Pitta imbalances create the above concerns.

In Ayurveda, Shirodhara is traditionally done as a part of the Panchakarma cleansing process; however, it is effortlessly effective as a standalone therapy as well.
There are many questions associated with this age-old Ayurvedic therapy. Let’s answer these questions.

What Are The Different Types Of Shirodhara?
1. Tailadhara –In Tailadhara, Ayurvedic practitioners advise the use of herbal oils by mixing them with herbal extracts or different essential oils. This is beneficial for balancing the Vata dosha in the body.

2. Takradhara – Takra Dhara uses buttermilk infused with special herbs. It is beneficial for balancing the Pitta dosha and helps maintain homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to maintain internal stability despite changes in external conditions.

3. Ksheer Dhara – Ksheer Dhara uses milk infused with herbs. The medicated milk is poured over the head and it is helpful in Vata and Pitta’s predominant headaches, stress, and anxiety, and helps nourish and relax the body.

4. Kwathdhara – Decoctions made with different herbs are used in Kwathdhara. It helps in balancing Vata and Kapha dosha and is considered therapeutic for various other conditions as well.

5. Jala Dhara: In Jala Dhara, Coconut water or normal water is used. It is mainly suggested in cases of ailments due to excess heat in the body.

Which Oils Can Be Used In Shirodhara Treatment?
Some Commonly Used Oils In Shirodhara Are –
1. Ksheera Bala Tailam
2. Chandani Tailam
3. Dhanwantharam Tailam
4. Narayana Tailam
5. Triphaladi Tailam

Why Is Shirodhara Practiced?
Shirodhara relaxes the mind and helps to eliminate mental toxins (ama) by giving a purifying effect and balancing your doshas. It stimulates the vital points on your head, which help boost blood circulation. Massaging the head allows the oil to infuse deep into the scalp, imparting a comforting sensation, which further permeates into the internal peripheral nerves of the forehead.

How Long Is A Shirodhara Treatment?
The Shirodhara treatment is administered for about 35 to 60 minutes in a day. The treatment is usually for a period of around 7 to 14 days.
The duration of the treatment may vary, as it depends on many factors. The Ayurvedic practitioner determines both the duration and the number of days according to the patient’s age, constitution, dosha status, concern, and severity.

How Do You Perform Shirodhara?
The Shirodhara treatment usually follows Abhyanga. The person lies down on the Shirodhara table with their eyes closed and covered.

A stream of warm herbal decoction/oil is poured onto the person’s forehead. Vibrations are created on the forehead by the constant stream of oil. The oil penetrates deep down into the nervous system after saturating the forehead and scalp. The oils used in this procedure improve blood circulation to the brain by the vasodilation of all the channels.

The warm pressure and flow of oil help you to completely rejuvenate and relax. To maintain the rhythmic and continuous flow of oil over your entire forehead, the practitioner rotates the Dhara pot.

After finishing the Dhara, the patient is allowed to take rest for a few minutes, and then a hot water bath can be taken and the hair is cleaned out.

The time and duration of Shirodhara treatment may extend from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the condition of the person. It is important to make sure that the oil does not enter your eyes or ears and is therefore recommended to be performed under the guidance of an experienced therapist.

Can Shirodhara Oil Be Reused?
For the best results of the treatment, the oil should be changed on a daily basis.

Is Shirodhara Good For Hair?
People with aggravated Vata and Pitta Doshas generally face different hair problems such as hair fall, hair thinning, premature greying of hair, etc.

Regular Shirodhara increases the circulation of blood and helps balance the doshas in the body. In this way, it effectively helps to treat hair loss and also promotes hair growth. It also makes your hair soft and luxurious.
What Are The Benefits Of Shirodhara?
• Reduces Fatigue
Shirodhara reduces fatigue and initiates a soothing effect on our brain cells. It is a purifying and rejuvenating therapy designed to eliminate toxins and mental exhaustion as well as relieve stress and any ill effects on the central nervous system.
• Beneficial In Sleep-Related Problems
The treatment has a soothing effect on the hypothalamus and helps regulate pituitary gland activity to induce sleep, thus treating conditions such as insomnia.
• Boosts Blood Circulation
The use of warm herbal oils in Shirodhara helps in vasodilation of the blood vessels, improving blood circulation to the brain.
• Helps Improve Headaches
In Ayurveda, due to stress or anxiety-related episodes, the Pitta dosha obstructs the flow of Vata dosha, consequently causing throbbing pain in the head. The soothing effect of these oils helps manage aggravated doshas and alleviates stress-induced headaches and migraines.
• Lowers Stress, Anxiety, And Depression
Shirodhara can help soothe the hypothalamus, which activates the regulation of the pituitary gland. It also works in reducing elevated serotonin levels and stress hormones such as noradrenaline and adrenaline, to effectively manage stress.
Due to the constant flow of liquids over the head, Shirodhara tranquilizes and stabilizes the mind, so the mind becomes serene and calm. It is a form of restorative therapy for stress, anxiety, depression, and all other psychosomatic diseases.
• Improves Concentration
By nourishing the scalp, Shirodhara helps improve mental clarity, and thought process, and helps to lower stress levels. It also helps prevent neurological disorders, which can cause memory loss and concentration problems.
• Beneficial For Jetlag
It is a wonderful experience for people who suffer from jet lag or insomnia due to frequent flying as this therapy helps reset the daily routine of waking and sleeping due to continuous traveling, relaxes your exhausted body, and decreases fatigue


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