What to Expect During Your First Shirodhara Appointment
At the beginning of your session, we will have you lie down on your back and begin to relax.
Next, we will adjust the Shirodhara machine properly so it is centered over your forehead, which will allow for the warm oil to gently pour in a steady stream on the space between your eyebrows.
The whole process generally lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
What Oils Do You Use for Shirodhara
The oils utilized for Shirodhara will vary, depending on the practitioner.
Sesame oil is very popular because it is considered a neutral oil and it blends well with other essential oils which sometimes used during Shirodhara Treatment.
Some other oils that might be used include:
- Coconut oil
- Ksheerabala oil
- Mahanarayan oil
- Clarified butter (ghee)
In addition to essential oils, practitioners might also add a variety of Ayurvedic herbs.
Be sure to tell your practitioner about any allergies or skin sensitivities you have ahead of the appointment.
Benefits of Shirodhara
Shirodhara is said to have relaxing, soothing, and calming effects on the body and mind.
Research also suggests that shirodhara may help:
- improve sleep quality
- manage insomnia
- lessen anxiety
- reduce stress
More About Shirodhara
Ayurvedic bodywork works to bring the body, mind, and spirit into balance. Though relaxing, ayurvedic bodywork does so much more. It can be used for adjusting lymphatic fluids, easing muscular tension, balancing the doshas, reducing ama, easing stress, and more.
There are many ayurvedic body treatments. You ayurvedic practitioner will help you choose the treatments that are best for you given your lifestyle, state of health, and doshic imbalances. Shirodhara is one such body treatment.
The word Shirodhara is a combination of two words in Sanskrit: ,shiro (head) and dhara (flow). When receiving Shirodhara treatment, warm Ayurvedic oil is poured continuously onto your forehead for approximately thirty minutes.
Benefits of Shirodhara According to Ayurveda
1. Reduces The Impact of Stress
The steady pouring of warm oil prompts your body to enter a state of deep relaxation, and engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that helps reduce energy expenditure, slow your heart rate, and tells the entire body that everything is well.
2. Reduces Anxiety
As the warm oil streams onto your forehead, it activates the anja marma point, which has been known to relieve feelings of anxiety. Shirodhara has long been used by Ayurvedic doctors for treating generalized and specific anxiety disorders.
3. Intuition - Inspiration
Shirodhara stimulates the point between your eyebrows known in yoga as the “third eye.” Stimulation of the third eye can awaken intuition and inspiration. Many eastern traditions describe the third eye as the seat of intuition, the place from which clarity is manifests, and in other traditions, it is “the all seeing eye.” It is that which can see beyond what is available to the five ordinary senses.
4. Improves Sleep Quality
For those who suffer insomnia, or poor sleep in general, Shirodhara may help aid in improvement of sleep, but also the impacts of poor sleep. Many individuals suffering from Insomnia have sought out Ayurveda to find a solution to their affliction.
A small study was performed by Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine that showed shirodhara treatment (using oil) helped improve sleep quality. Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26669255/
5. Helps Reduce The Impacts of Vata Dosha
Vata Dosha can cause sensations of anxiety, worry, restlessness, racing thoughts, inability to focus, reduced attention, and feelings of emptiness. According to Ayurveda, shirodhara treatment one of the most effective means of reducing the impacts of Vata Dosha. The “warm and wet” attributes of shirodhara offset the the attributes of Vata Dosha, which are “cold and dry.”