Shirodhara massage is a classic Ayurvedic therapy, which includes pouring of warm herbal oil on the forehead in a continuous stream. Ayurvedic Shirodhara therapy is very effective in promoting sound sleep and reducing stress. Shirodhara treatment is one among the Bahiparimarjana chikitsa, or external treatments told in Ayurveda. The term Shirodhara comes from two words “Shira” meaning head and “Dhara” meaning stream.

How Does Shirodhara Massage Treatment Work?

Pouring of warm oils used stimulates and soothes the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of the 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 the brain. Shirodhara also reduces the level of stress hormones such as Adrenaline and Noradrenaline and thus relaxes the mind.

Shirodhara Massage Therapy – Stepwise Procedure

Shirodhara is usually practised in the morning or evening. Depending on the ‘Dravya’ (medicated or non-medicated liquids), it can be called as Tailadhara, Takradhara, Kashayadhara and Jaladhara. Shirodhara is also included as one among the Murdhataila (four special procedures in Ayurveda for the head).

1. Shirodhara massage treatment begins with Abhyangam (Ayurvedic body massage).
2. You need to lie down on the massage table with closed eyes and relax your body.
3. Shirodhara starts with the pouring of about 2 litres lukewarm oil continuously as a stream on to the forehead in an oscillating manner.
4. The time duration of Shirodhara Treatment may extend from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the condition of the patient. It is important to make sure that the oil does not enter eyes or ears and is therefore recommended to be performed by an experienced therapist
5. You may also be given a mild head massage before or during Shirodhara. Shirodhara may also include pouring of buttermilk, decoctions or even water.

Benefits of Shirodhara

The benefits of Shirodhara massage include treatment of Sleep problems, Memory loss, Poor concentration, Chronic headaches, Stress, Depression, Mental tension, Hypertension, Facial Paralysis and Degenerative conditions of the brain. The medicated oils absorbed through the scalp stimulate the hair follicles, and hence Shirodhara is a vital therapy to treat hair problems such as Premature greying of hair or Hair fall.