In Sanskrit language Shirodhara is composed of two words “shiro” + “dhara”, shiro means head and dhara means flow. In Ayurveda pouring of a liquid such as decoction, medicated milk and its products, sugarcane juice, medicated oils, etc. on the forehead between the eye brows in a continuous stream for a specific period is called shirah-sheka. It is also known as sirodhara.
Shirodhara is a form of Ayurveda medicine that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead (the 'third eye'). It was developed by vaidyas (practitionars of Ayurveda) in Kerala, India for use in sukhachikitsa (restorative therapy) and can be one of the steps involved in Panchakarma. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiras 'head' and dhara 'flow'. The liquids used in shirodhara depend on what is being treated, but can include oil, milk, buttermilk, coconut water, or even plain water.
Shirodhara has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, Ménière's disease and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis. It is also used non-medicinally at spas for its relaxing properties.
There are specialized forms of shirodhara called thyladhara, ksheeradhara, thakradhara and jaladhara.
Procedure of Shirodhara
After evacuation of bowel &/or urine, a light massage is done to head. After that luke warm liquid or oil, which has been selected is continuously pured for 45mins on the scalp and roots of the hairs. After completion of Shirodhara scalp is cleaned and hairs are wiped with a cotton cloth to remove the extra hair oil. The patient is advised to keep the oily head for next day or two. The patient is handled the remaining hair oil for his daily use or else the same oil can be used in the subsequent Shirodhara.
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.
1. Ultimate mental and emotional relaxation therapy
2. Beneficial for many diseases connected with the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat
3. Beneficial for many diseases of the nervous system like nerve disorders, facial palsy, paralysis and ptosis
(drooping) of the eyelids.
4. Beneficial for curing long standing insomnia and schizophrenia
5. Beneficial for fits in epilepsy when used in conjunction with other medicines
6. Prevents hair lose, premature graying and cracking of hair
7. Relieves headache and burning sensation of the head
8. Nourishes and rejuvenates the body
9. Stimulates the nervous system giving sturdiness to the body
10. Improves digestion
11. Sharpens the sense organs
12. Improves the quality of voice
13. Gives strength to the neck and head
14. Improves the health of the skin
15. Cools the body and relieves pain.
16. Invigorates the body and mind and stimulate cognitive memories
17. Helps relieve fatigue, tension, anxiety, anger, chronic headaches, rheumatism, hypertension, asthma, hair
problems and stress
18. Disperses negative electrical impulses that accumulate at the skull and hairline from stress.
19. Renews the sweetness of life
20. Rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines
21. Opens the third eye
22. Activates the pituitary gland
23. Increases spiritual awareness
24. Regulates mood and depression disorders
25. Activates the memory & stimulates the 6 & 7th charka which regulates our breathing patterns.
26. Increases intuition
27. It improves concentration, intelligence, confidence and self-esteem
Mode of action
1) 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.
2) Continuous pouring of oil on head for a specific period of time induces sleep and has a tranquilizing effect.
3) According to modern medicine local application like ointment pass through the stratum cornium into the blood
vessel and reach the appropriate organ. Thus the oil poured on forehead is absorbed and easily reaches the brain
4) According to ayurveda, Tarpak Kapha and Bhrajak Pitta are basic factors responsible for the nourishment of hairs.
The same concept is given by the presence of stem cell according to the modern science. This procedure of
Shirodhara provides enhancement in the quantity of Tarpak Kapha & Bhrajak Pitta leading to new hair growth &
improving the quality of hairs.
5) Shirodhara leads to increase in the level of Neurotransmitters which provides relief in anxiety & thereby
decreases the hair fall.
6) Shirodhara also leads to relaxation of head & neck muscles thereby increasing the blood supply to the head
which encourages new hair growth with improvement in hair quality.
Continous pouring of hair-oil in Shirodhara induces hormonal balance and consequently the BMR is increased,
giving new feeling of refreshment.
Provide adequate neck and back support for your clients
Conduct the treatment in silence
Make certain the room is warm and quiet
Maintain oil temperature between 95-100 degree Fahrenheit; 98-99 is considered ideal
The stream of oil should be thick and heavy, not thin and light
Use a copper bowl if available as this balancing for all three doshas: vata, pitta, kapha (copper is most effective for vata imbalances which is the cause of imbalance for many Westerners)
Maintain a continuous stream of oil (don’t stop and start)
Move the oil in the pattern indicated for the dosha imbalance (see Recommended Resources)
Protect your floor, neck cradle and massage table from oil splashes.
Buy bulk, organic oil to lower your costs. Note: you may use up to two quarts of oil per treatment. Instead of discarding the used oil, give the oil to the client for self-massage at home.
Get hands-on training and practice on family and friends until you can perform the treatment seamlessly.