What is Shirodhara in Ayurveda?
Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic Therapy. The term Shirodhara in Ayurveda comes from two words “Shira” mean head, and “Dhara” means Stream. Shirodhara treatment is an Ayurvedic therapy in which poring of warm herbal oil on the forehead in a continuous stream. The oil saturates the forehead and scalp and penetrates into a nervous system. It is very useful in promoting sound sleep and reducing stress.
The gentle pressure and soothing warmth of the oil allow the mind, body and nervous system to experience a deep state of relaxation. Shirodhara is done as part of the Panchakarma cleansing process using specially prepared shirodhara oil.
How Does Shirodhara in Ayurveda Treatment Work?
According to Ayurveda, shirodhara is beneficial for Vata and Pitta Dosha. When out of balance, Vata dosha exhibits as fear, worry, insecurity, racing thoughts. Out of balance Pitta dosha exhibits as anger, frustration, irritability, judgment.
Shirodhara in Ayurveda therapy, the pouring of warm oils used to stimulates and sooth the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of the pituitary gland and inducing sleep. Shirodhara stimulates the vital points in the head and improves the circulation. Shirodhara also reduces the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenalin and thus relaxes the mind.
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Benefits of Shirodhara Treatment
Benefits of Shirodhara therapy include Treatment of memory loss, poor concentration, sleep problems, chronic headaches, mental tension, stress depression, facial paralysis, hypertension and degenerative condition of the brain.
The herbal oil absorbed through the scalp stimulates the hair follicles, and hence shirodhara is an important therapy to treat the hair problems such as premature greying of hair or hair fall.
- Relaxes Mind
- Promotes Better Sleep
- Improves Concentration
- Nourishes Hair and Scalp
- Reduces Anxiety and Fear
- Reduces Memory Problems
3 Types of Shirodhara
- Sneha Dhara uses herbal oil or ghee.
- Ksheer Dhara uses milk infused with herbs.
- Takra Dhara uses buttermilk infused with suitable herbs.
1. Sneha Dhara
Different herbal oils and ghee used based on his/her wisdom and experience. Different oils can be mixed and use depending on the practical experience and judgment of the patient.
2. Ksheer Dhara
In this type of shirodhara in which medicated milk or milk infuses with the herbs is rhythmically poured on the forehead from a specific height and time allowing the milk to run through the scalp and into the hair.
3. Takra Dhara
Takra-dhara is a type of shirodhara in which herb infused takra or buttermilk is poured from a specific height and for a specific period continuously and rhythmically, allowing the takra to run through the scalp and into the hair.
Side Effects of Shirodhara
Shirodhara in Ayurveda is a safe method. However, precaution needs to be taken to prevent the oil from entering in nose and eyes.