Health Benefits of Shirodhara - Ancient Ayurvedic Therapy

Health Benefits of Shirodhara - Ancient Ayurvedic Therapy

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 25 Jan 2016 - 12:57


Shirodhara is a rejuvenating Ayurveda therapy that is being practiced in India for more than 5000 years. The therapy is designed to eliminate toxins from the body. Shirodhara has been traditionally used to rejuvenate the nerves, harmonize vata constitution and release stored negative emotions.

The name Shirodhara comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow) and works mainly on the "manomaya kosha" (mental sheath). The shirodhara processinvolves gently pouring the liquids or oils over the forehead with the help of shirodhara equipment.

Health  Benefits of Shirodhara

  • Helps deal with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder): Shirodhara diminishes surplus vatadosha, which is the main dosha out of balance in PTSD. According to Alakananda Ma of the Alandi Ayurveda Gurukulam, shirodhara performed with appropriate oil that contains nervine herbs will deeply ease the nervous system and help relax the symptoms of PTSD.

In the 1995 issue of the journal of TheAyurvedic Institute, ‘Ayurveda Today’, Ayurvedic practitioner Ed Danaher explains how shirodhararelieves stress. According to Ayurveda, stress is a state of imbalance of pranavayu, sadaka pitta, and tarpakakapha. Shirodhara reinstates the functional integrity between these three doshic sub-types and hence helps relieve stress.

  • Shirodhara treats Insomnia: Shirodhara has the power to aid sleeping patterns. Studies have shown that shirodhara treatment along with herbs and milk can deal with sleeping disorder. The process induces the hormone secreted by the pineal gland which produces melatonin: the regulator of the wake-sleep cycle. It calms down a disruptive mind and stimulates rest. Shirodhara aids in getting rid of fatigue, regenerating energy and restoring harmony in the doshas or constitution.
  • Deals with Hypertension: Shirodhara has the ability to reduce blood pressure and also maintain the overall health. It helps enhance mental clarity, well being, calm feeling and immunity. Shirodhara encourages deep relaxation, eases fatigue, balances one’s energy level and renews the body and mind. It gives total relaxation like one get’s from meditation and naturally rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines.
  • Shirodhara treats Hair Loss: Shirodharatreatment has remarkablebenefits on the health of scalp and hair. All the components used in Shirodhara head massage are safe, non-toxic and are healthy to use directly on the scalp, which will help strengthen the scalp tissues and hair follicles.

This works as wonders for anyone who has dandruff, dry scalp, dry or brittle hair and alopecia. Although Ayurveda cannot advance hair growth in bald spots, it can nouris the scalp and strengthen the hair follicles. Therapist Olga Vitoslavska-Arnott, an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle consultant, says: "When the warm oil is being gently poured on your forehead, it induces a deep state of relaxation, soothes the nervous system, stimulates the endocrine system [pituitary gland] and awakens the third eye."

Other Essential Benefits of Shirodhara

  • Strengthens the CNS (central nervous system) and the sensory organs
  • Eradicates imbalances of the head affecting the eyes, ears, nose and neck
  • Helps open up the flow of energy in the body
  • Restores and purifies the body and soul
  • Induces cognitive memories and elevates intuition
  • Helps produce endorphins (neurotransmitter of the body)
  • Infuses a positive approach in life
  • According to ayurveda, the center of the forehead (third eye) is the seat of intuition, spirituality and healing. Shirodhara opens the third eye-increasing spiritual awareness.
  • Cures headache and migraine
  • Positively impacts paralysis patient
  • Prevents premature graying of hair
  • Modifies stress, anxiety, depression disorder and all psychosomatic diseases
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence
  • Repairs the quality of voice
  • Provides ultimate emotional relaxation therapy

Different Types of Shirodhara:

Shirodhara commonly includes oils, coconut water, milk and buttermilk processed with other essential herbs.
The various types of shirodhara therapy include:

  • Tailadhara: In this type, oils such as Ksheerabalataila, chandanadithailam, karpasasthyadithailam, narayanathailam and dhanwantharamthailam are used as the main ingredients. Among all, ksheerabalataila is most commonly used in shirodhara.
  • Takradhara: Buttermilk processed with Indian gooseberry is used in this type of dhara
  • Kwathadhara: Decoctions prepared from different herbs such as liquorice is used in kwathadhara
  • Dugadhadhara: In this type, milk is used as the primary ingredient
  • Jaladhara: Here coconut water is used as the main ingredient to treat ailments caused due to excess heat in the body.

What Equipment is Required for Shirodhara?

  • Shirdhara table
  •  Shirodhara pot or an electric machine

Shirodhara procedure

  • Before commencing the process, the head is massaged with an appropriate oil for about 10 minutes
  • Entire body massage may be required in case of any bodily conditions
  • The person is asked to liedown on his/her back on theshirodhara table with palms facing up
  • A small pillow is placed under the neck for the support
  • The shirodhara equipment is set in such a way that the liquid falls from the pot on the forehead. Oils are commonly used for this purpose
  • This process is performed in a quiet room and can last for about 30 to 60 minutes.

You can try Shirodhara if you have any of the above referred health problems and experience its benefits.




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