Shirodhara – a Mind Relaxation Therapy

What is Shirodhara ?

Shirodhara or Shiro Dhara is a word comprising of 2 terms, Shiro meaning head, Dhara meaning pouring in stream or sprinkling Thus ShiroDhara means pouring the liquid medicines in stream over the head of the patient (or healthy person) for a stipulated amount of time.

Shirodhara 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.

Shirodhara is a unique form of ancient therapy of pouring oil on the forehead from a specific height and for a specific period continuously and rythmatically allowing the oil to run through the scalp and into the hair.

The concept of shirodhara is mainly concerned with the application of oil though the other liquids are also used for the therapy but they are associated with specific clinical conditions

Duration Of Shirodhara :

Shiro Dhara can be done for a period of 45 minutes to 60 minutes at a stretch (1 sitting) depending on the nature and severity of the disease (for which Dhara is being done) or depending on the constitution of the patient

Shirodhara is usually done for a period of 7 to 14 days or as recommended by the physician. The relief of complaints and betterment in the values of blood pressure is taken as a parameter for fixing and limiting the number of days of treatment to be done at a stretch.

It can also be done for 7, 14, 21 or 28 days or longer period of time in chronic and stubborn cases. Generally a small time gap is provided between 2 schedules and often not continued beyond 3 weeks time.

Shirodhara Treatment: Procedure
  • A flow of medicated oil / Medicated buttermilk/ kashayam is poured continuously on the forehead for 45 to 60 minutes, inducing a mental state similar to trance.
  • Shirodhara is usually practiced in the morning or in evening. The procedure required you to lie down on the massage table with closed eyes.
  • shirodhara is started which involves pouring of about 2 litres luke warm oil continuously as a stream on to the forehead in an oscillating manner.

Types Of Shirodhara

Commonly, oils, coconut water, decoctions, buttermilk and milk processed with other herbs are used in Shirodhara. Due to variation in liquids, its types are decided as follows:

  • Taila Dhara – Ayurved Medicinal Oils are used in this type of dhara.
  • Takra Dhara - Buttermilk is used as the main ingredient of pouring liquid.
  • Kwatha Dhara - Decoctions made from various herbs as per condition and bodily defect or dosha of the person are used in Kwatha Dhara.
  • Ksheerdhara - Milk is used as the main ingredient in Shirodhara is called dugadha dhara.
  • JalaDhara - Coconut water or water is used in cases of ailments due to excess heat in the body or Pitta diseases.

How Does Shirodhara Treatment Work ?

Pouring of warm oils used stimulates and sooth the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of pituitary gland and inducing sleep.

Shirodhara stimulates Marma’s or Vital Points in the head and improves circulation. The warm oils used for Shirodhara also cause vasodilatation of all the channels and thereby improve the blood circulation of brain. Shirodhara also reduces the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and nor adrenaline and thus relaxes mind.

Indications for the Shirodhara treatment :
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.
  • Skin Diseases specially Psoriasis
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic Headaches and Migraines
  • Tinnitus and Hearing loss
  • Headache
  • Migraine, Cluster headache
  • Cerebral palsy, Hemiplegia
  • Insomnia (sleeplessness or difficulties in sleeping)
  • Eye diseases
  • Anxiety or neurosis, Depression, Memory loss
  • Graying of hairs
  • Ménière’s disease or Tinnitus (Ringing sensation in the ears)
  • Psychosomatic diseases

Benefits of Shirodhara - A Body Detox Plan

  • Benefits Shirodhara helps in the relief of mental exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, headache, etc. which are all common problems in today’s hectic lives.
  • It is also highly beneficial for general relaxation, in which case, non medicated oils are used to help revitalize the nervous system and give mental peace.
  • Shiro dhara is also very useful in ailments such as nervous disorders, insomnia, blood pressure, general weakness, , vertigo, sinusitis, eye & skin diseases, greying hair, memory loss, insomnia, tinnitus, epilepsy, diabetic neuropathy, paralysis etc.
  • Other benefits include: Strengthens the central nervous system (CNS), strengthens the sensory organs, reduces stress and anxiety, decreases hypertension, sound sleep, improves concentration, intelligence, confidence and self-esteem.
  • Very Useful in as a ailed treatment Infertility, Sexual Disorders ,Migraine ,Headache