Shirodhara – an Ayurvedic therapy to reduce stress
Shirodhara is a classic and a well-renowned therapy based in Ayurveda. It is a practice of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil or medicated decoctions on the center of the forehead. This therapy activates a very relaxed state of awareness that also leads to psychosomatic balance. Shirodhara treatment induces mental lucidity, intense feelings of well-being, and comprehension.
You can experience a very relaxed state of mind and 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 usually connected to the pineal gland.
You try to focus on the third eye during meditation leading to psychosomatic harmony. Also, while practicing this, when the medicated oil drips on the forehead, the medication-like effect is the fallout of the stillness of the mind which further leads to an adaptive response to the basil stress.
Based on Ayurveda Shirodhara is recommended especially when there is an aggravation of Vatta and Pitta Doshas in your mind and body. An augmentation of Vatta dosha leads to symptoms like insomnia, stress, anxiety, racing thoughts, hair fall, dryness, pain, and aches. Whereas, an augmentation of Pitta dosha leads to irritability, anger, burning sensation, frustration, premature graying of hair, and migraines. Shirodhara is considered an excellent solution to the above-mentioned health-related problems and imbalances caused by the Vatta and Pitta doshas.
Not to forget that Shirodhara is traditionally practiced as a part of the Panchakarma treatment in the cleansing process. However, it is also an effortlessly effective as a standalone treatment in Ayurveda.
About Shirodhara at Tattvam In The Hills-
Tattvam In The Hills is one of the best-suited wellness retreats located on the hills near Doddaballapur, just around a 40-minute drive from the Bangalore International Airport. It offers a complete bundle of wellness packages, and Ayurveda spa treatments, including Shirodhara.
It’s a great place to experience peace and tranquility where you can detoxify, nourish, and recharge yourselves, offering a road map of a spiritual path that leads to self-discovery. While the next time you are in Bangalore, allow yourself some personal space and time to visit this exquisite yet a very wholesome place of happiness and healing.
Different Types of Shirodhara-
Ayurvedic practitioners in Tailadhara mostly advise the usage of herbal oils by mixing them with different essential oils or with herbal extracts.
- Ksheer Dhara-
In Ksheer Dhara practitioners advise the usage of milk infused with herbs. The medicated milk is then poured over the head and is considered to be extremely beneficial in Vatta and Pitta’s predominant headaches, stress, and anxiety disorders, and greatly helps in relaxing the mind and body.
- Takra Dhara-
In Takra Dhara practitioners advise the usage of buttermilk infused with special herbs. It is very beneficial in balancing the Pitta dosha and helps in maintaining homeostasis, which means managing internal stability while there are changes in external conditions.
- Kwath Dhara-
Here the practitioners advise the use of Decoctions made with different herbs. It is very helpful in marinating balance in Vatta, and Kapha doshas. It is also very therapeutic in many other health-related conditions.
- Jala Dhara-
In this type of Shirodhara, normal water or coconut water is been used. It is usually opted when in ailments that are caused due to excessive heat in the body.
Oils that are commonly used in the Shirodhara Treatment-
- Chandani Tailam
- Ksheera Bala Tailam
- Narayana Tailam
- Dhanwantharam Tailam
- Triphaladi Tailam
How is Shirodhara performed?
- While Shirodhara is performed, the person is allowed to lie down on the Shirodhara table with his eyes closed and covered. The treatment of Shirodhara follows Abhyanga.
- A stream of warm oil or decoction is then poured on the person’s forehead. Vibration is created by constantly pouring the stream of oil. After the oil gets saturated o the scalp and forehead, it penetrated deep down into the nervous system. The oils used here greatly improve the blood circulation of the brain by vasodilation of all the channels.
- In this process, the warm pressure of oils on your forehead helps you relax and rejuvenate. To maintain a rhythmic flow of oils on your forehead, the practitioners make use of a Dhara pot.
- After the Dhara is finished, the person is made to take a bath with warm water and clean his hair as well.
- The total time to carry out Shirodhara is at least 30 mins to 60 mins depending upon the condition of the person. It is very important here to note that the oil in any case must not enter the ears or eyes as this can be very dangerous. Hence, this should only be done under an expert practitioner.
What is the duration of Shirodhara Treatment?
The Shirodhara treatment is performed for 30 mins to 60 mins in a day for a total period of around 7 to 14 days.
Can oils used in Sirodhara be reused?
For best results, it is essential to change the oils daily.
Is Shirodhara good for the growth of hair?
People who generally have aggravated Vatta and Pitta doshas face a lot of problems with their hair, such as hair fall, premature graying of hair, hair thinning, and so on. Regular Shirodhara leads to balanced doshas of the body and increases blood circulation. In a way, it is effective in the growth of hair, prevents graying, and treats hair loss to a great extent, making your hair luxurious, soft, and shiny.
Benefits of Shirodhara-
- Reduces Fatigugue-
The practice of Shirodhara greatly helps in reducing fatigue from your body and it initiates a soothing effect on your brain cells. It is a very rejuvenating and purifying therapy designed to eradicate toxins and mental exhaustion. It also relieves ill effects and any stress on the central nervous system.
- Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression-
Shirodhara helps in soothing the hypothalamus, which activates the regulation of the pituitary gland. It also works towards reducing the elevated serotonin levels as well as stress hormones such as noradrenaline, to manage stress effectively. Also due to the constant flow of oils on the forehead, Shirodhara stabilizes and tranquilizes the mind, so that it becomes calm and serene. It works as a restorative therapy for stress, anxiety, and depression, and also for all the other psychosomatic disorders.
- Beneficial in sleep-related issues-
The treatment of Shirodhara has a very soothing effect on the hypothalamus and helps in regulating the activity of the pituitary gland that induces sleep, thus treating the conditions of insomnia.
- Helps in improving Headaches-
It is believed in Ayurveda that due to stress and anxiety-related episodes, the Pitta dosha usually obstructs the Vatta dosha leading to throbbing pain in the head. The soothing effect of these oils on the forehead manages aggravated doshas and mitigates stress-induced migraines and headaches.
- Improves Concentration-
With the practice of Shirodhara, the scalp is nourished which initiates and improves mental clarity and thought process that also helps in lowering stress levels. It also greatly helps in preventing neurological disorders , which lead to concentration issues and memory loss.
- Boosts Blood Circulation-
In Shirodhara, the usage of warm herbal oils on the forehead helps in the vasolidation of the blood vessels, which leads to improved blood circulation to the brain.
- Beneficial for Jetlag-
For frequent flyers who often suffer from the problems of insomnia and jetlag, this therapy can be of great use. It helps to reset the daily routine of sleeping and waking up due to continuous traveling, decreases fatigue, and relaxes the exhausted body.
Thus, the purifying effects of Shirodhara balance the doshas of your body. The vital points in the head are stimulated to boost the blood circulation. While massaging the head, oils get infused deeply into the scalp, imparting a comfort sensation, which penetrates the internal peripheral nerves of the forehead, thus relaxing your mind by reducing stress and anxiety.