What is Shirodhara?


Shirodhara as the name suggests in its combining two different terms meaning head (Shira) and flow (Dhara) is an Ayurvedic head massage with natural herbal oils and ointments. This external medication is administered on the head, neck and shoulders as a part of Panchakarma treatment which is an Ayurvedic treatment for detoxification of the body from harmful toxic substances. Shirodhara for ages have been a great source of healing for various disorders and diseases relating to nervous function, hypertension or high blood pressure, insomnia, cloudiness of thought, hair fall and many other diseases related to nervous function and blood circulation. Let us now see in detail how this Ayurveda treatment procedure works for overall healing of our gross disorders or for detoxification of our organic process.

How Shirodhara is administered by Ayurvedic practitioners?

Shirodhara is practiced infallibly and without any exception across the Ayurvedic health care facilities that have a Panchakarma treatment center for the detoxification of the patients in relation to particular disease or health care need. Shirodhara as part of Panchakarma treatment is put to practice besides other detoxification process and though there are lots of similarities in overall process with other Ayurveda treatment procedures used in Panchakarma for head massage like Shiro Abhyanga, Pichu and Shiro Basti, Shirodhara is specific in using a particular oil formulation and the process of administering that oil is typically different from other processes. In Shirodhara oil is poured in rhythmic and timely drops from a specific height and specific period. According to ancient Ayurvedic knowledge the slow and rhythmic flow of Murdha Tail or a type of Ayurvedic oil is to be poured exactly on the third eye position of the forehead for a specific period as directed by the Ayurvedic practitioner according to the particular clinical condition of the patient.

Tridosha and Shirodhara

The much discussed Ayurvedic concept of Tridosha or three primary bodily characteristics or doshas and their different combinations in different individuals is important to determine the particular oil formulation or other liquid like water that would be used in Shirodhara and secondly in regard to the intensity of the process concerning the time and flow, this determination of the body humor and corresponding imbalances and characteristics would play a major role. In Ayurveda whatever be the clinical condition and corresponding demand of treatment without determining and diagnosing the particular dosha or characteristic and corresponding imbalances Shirodhara or any other treatment procedures are futile.

Shirodhara and Panchakarma

Ayurveda believes in treating your physical as well as psychic imbalance to lead it to its natural balance and in doing so the toxic substances or organic as well as inorganic waste that over the time we accumulate plays the role of great obstacle and through Panchakarma actually Ayurveda provides detoxification process to relieve the body of these toxic wastes. Shirodhara as an inseparable part of Panchakarma treatment actually helps to clear the nervous tract and blood circulatory tract in our body, so that with better blood circulation the brain gets greater supply of oxygen. Sufficient supply of oxygen and regulated blood circulation is a key process for our psychic and nervous system to work properly and for that matter for the whole body to work in a synchronized way with the signals from brain and network of nerves.

Benefits of Shirodhara

Detoxification of the blood circulatory channels in the brain and the rejuvenation of the nervous functioning are the primary two objectives of Shirodhara as part of Panchakarma treatment. The great array of immediate health benefits or healing consequences of this process on our health include mental relaxation and smoothening of nervous function, better thinking ability and unclouded thought process, relief from hypertension, high blood pressure and mental stress, helping in treatment of neurological patients, eye care, treatment of sinusitis, hearing impairment, vertigo, insomnia, etc. People suffering from continued hair loss and bad scalp condition find Shirodhara extremely helpful as with this treatment the tissues in the scalp are rejuvenated and through better blood circulation drying and morbid cells can become lively and consequently with time can decrease hair and scalp problem to a great extent.

Three Types of Shirodhara

Shirodhara or gentle flowing of liquid on the third eye portion of the forehead can be administered with three different types of liquid Ayurvedic formulations, like Tail or medicated Ayurvedic oil formulation, Takra or buttermilk and Jala or water. According to the particular liquid solution used in the Shirodhara treatment these three types of treatment processes are named as Tail Dhara, Takra Dhara and Jala Dhara. Let us see the particular Ayurvedic clinical characteristics and benefits of these three procedures of Panchakarma treatment.

  1. Tail Dhara
  2. Remember though here in discussing on Shirodhara we are considering Tail Dhara as a part of it, this process of gently pouring oil flow can be administered on head and other parts of the body according to the clinical condition and Ayurvedic practitioner's advice. The oil or Tail used in this treatment is Ayurvedic oil formulation or medicated oil and depending on the patient's clinical condition and dosha or bodily characteristics it is determined which oil is to use. Apart from all other Shirodhara benefits as discussed earlier Tail Dhara can be hugely beneficial even for paralytic patient.

  3. Takra Dhara
  4. While in Tail Dhara medicated Ayurvedic oil formulation is used as the medium for the flow in this type Shirodhara called Takra Dhara butter milk or Takra is used and in accordance to the determination of bodily humor or dosha and corresponding clinical condition as observed by the Ayurvedic physician. Takra Dhara is particularly beneficial for reducing blood pressure level, treating chronic dryness of mouth and excessive thirst.

  5. Jala Dhara

With all similarity of other Shirodhara treatment in Jala Dhara the medium is jala or water. Jala Dhara has its own health benefits like soothing the nervous functioning and helping to cool down tension and removing stress syndromes. But like all other Shirodhara processes this particular medium is also decided corresponding to the clinical condition of the patient and attending Ayurvedic practitioner.



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