Shirodhara is an ayurvedic massage treatment in which liquids or oils are poured over the forehead with the help of the copper vessel which is known as “Shirodhara equipment.”
It is a therapy that was in practice since ancient times. It is of great help in treating diseases related to stress such as mental fatigue depression, anxiety, etc… Shirodhara can decrease fatigue and initiates a relaxing effect on brain cells.
What is Shirodhara?
The word Shirodhara came from two Sanskrit words (Shiro+dhara), Shiro means ahead, and Dhara means flow. Shirodhara is a massage treatment that involves the use of various liquid oils. Shirodhara is a treatment in which pouring of liquids is performed; the liquids or oil is gently poured over the forehead of a person.
It is more specifically poured on and around the center of both eyes, which is termed as “a third eye” in Ayurveda. It is a Chakra point that is above and between the eyebrows it is believed to be the seat of human consciousness.
In Shirodhara, the oil poured on a forehead that is comfortably warm continues a process that may last about 25 minutes or more. During the treatment, the person feels unexplainable pleasure and cheerfulness, which provide a complete rest to the mind.
What Are The Types of Shirodhara?
Different types of liquids are in the treatment of Shirodhara it may consist of various oils, coconut milk, buttermilk, decoctions, and milk which a Herbal Infusion is used in Shirodhara. The process is almost the same but due to the use of different liquids the treatment differs with different health benefits, below is some of Shirodhara therapy known by different names.
1. Jala Dhara: In this type of treatment only water or coconut water is used, it is generally used for the cure of ailments related to Pitta diseases or to remove excess heat from the body.
2. Dugadha Dhara: This treatment is also known as “Ksheerdhara” in which milk is used as the main ingredient in Shirodhara is called “dugadha dhara” which means “flow of milk”.
3. Taila Dhara: This treatment is also called “Thyla Dhara” which means “flow of oil” various oils are used in this type of dhara.
4. Kwatha Dhara: In this type of treatment decoctions made from various herbs are used. The decoctions are made as per the dosha of the person including the condition and bodily defect of the person.
5. Takra Dhara: This treatment is also known as “Thakradhara” in this buttermilk is used as the main ingredient as the pouring of liquid.
Shirodhara Oil Ingredients & Uses
In general “Ksheera Bala Taila” is used in Shirodhara treatment, but other oils are also used as per the condition and type of the person’s body. Below is the list of oils used in Shirodhara with the list of ingredients used.
What are the Ingredients used in Shirodhara oil?
1. Ksheera Bala Taila
This oil name suggests or is processed for only one time. Generally, this oil is used for external application, as in massage, but this version of the oil can also be taken internally.
Ingredients: Ksheera (cow milk), Bala (sida cordifolia), and Taila (sesame oil) is used
2. Narayana Thailam
This oil is used for the treatment of many neuro-muscular and skeleton-muscular conditions; such as arthritis, neuralgia, etc., It is an important oil that is widely used in Ayurvedic oils; it can be used both as oral or as an external application.
- Patala (Stereospermum suaveolens)
- Agnimantha (Premna mucronata)
- Bilva (Aegle marmelos)
- Shyonaka (Oroxylum Indicum)
- Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum)
- Paribhadra (Erythrina variegate)
- Prasarini (Paedaria foetida)
- Brihati (Solanum Indicum)
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Bala (Sida cordifolia)
- Atibaia (Abutilon Indicum)
- Shvadamshtra (Tibullus Terrestris)
- Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata)
- Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa)
- Taila Sesame oil (Sesame Indicum)
- Shatapushpa (Anethum Sowa)
- Devadaru (Cedrus deodara)
- Goksheera (Cow milk)
- Shatavari rasa (Juice of Asparagus racemosus)
- Mamsi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
- Shaileyaka (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
- Vacha (Acorus calamus)
- Turagagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Chandana (Pterocarpus santalinus)
- Tagara (Valeriana wallichi)
- Kushta (Saussurea lappa)
- Ela (cardamom)
- Mudgaparni (Phaseolus trilobus)
- Mashaparni (Teramnus labialis)
- Prishnaparni (Uraria picta)
- Shalaparni (Desmodium gangeticum)
- Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt)
- Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa)
This oil is used for the treatment of spondylosis, paralysis; facial palsy, and other neuromuscular conditions caused due to Vata imbalance.
Ingredients: masha (black gram), kulattha (dolichos biflorus), kushta (saussurea lappa), sarshapa (mustard), nagara (ginger), rasna (pluchea lanceolata), shatahva (asparagus reaemosus), devadaru (cedrus deodara), karpasa asthi (cotton seed), pippali moola (piper longum), bala (sida cordifolia), chavya (piper chaba), shigru (moringa oleifera), punarnava (boerhaavia diffusa), sesame oil and ajaksheera (goat milk) along with water is used as decoction.
4. Dhanwantharam Thailam
This oil is used for treating injuries, clearing blockages, and restore circulation. It regularizes breathing by breaking down excessive Kapha in the chest. It is helpful in respiratory congestion, aches for lack of sensation pain, and swelling.
Ingredients: balamoola (sida cordifolia),water, paya (cow milk), Yava (barley),kola (Zizyphus jujube),Kulattha (horse gram),Dasamoola ( mixture of ten roots),bilva (aegle marmelos),agnimantha (premna mucronata),shyonaka (oroxylum indicum),patala (stereospermum suaveolens), amla (emblica officinalis),gambhari (gmelina arborea), shatahva (asparagus), kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum),gokshura (tribulus terrestris), brihati (solanum indicum),shalaparni (desmodium gangeticum), saindhava lavana (rock salt),prishnaparni (uraria picta), sariva (hemidesmus indicus),taila oil of (sesamum indicum), vibhitaki (terminalia bellirica),meda (polygonatum cirrhifolium), haritaki (terminalia chebula),mahameda (polygonatum verticillatum),daru (cedrus deodara),manjishta (rubia cordifolia),kakoli (fritillaria roylei), ksheerakakoli (lilium polyphyllum), patra (cinnamomum tamala),chandana (pterocarpus santalinus),kushta (saussurea lappa),tagara (valeriana wallichi), jeevaka (malaxis acuminate),kalanusari (valeriana wallichi), rishabhaka (manilkara hexandra),shaileya (convolvulus pluricaulis),vacha (acorus calamus),agaru (aquilaria agallocha), ashwagandha (withania somnifera),shatavari (asparagus racemosus), punarnava (boerhaavia diffusa),ksheerashukla (ipomoea mauritiana),yashti (licorice),mashaparni (teramnus labialis),mudgaparni (phaseolus trilobus),ela cardamom (elettaria cardamomum),twak cinnamon (cinnamomum camphora).
5. Chandana Thailam
This oil is used for relieving heat exhaustion, burning sensation in the body, vertigo, or dizziness. Besides this, it is also used to apply over the scalp for disorders of hairs and aiding in burning disturbance of the head.
Ingredients: Safed shandan (santalum album),agar (gelidium corneum),talisa patra(abies webbiana),manjishta (rubia cordifolia),haridra (curcuma longa),nagarmotha (cyperus rotundus),kachur (curcuma zedoaria), kateri (solanum surattense),bharangi (clerodendrum serratum), lal chandan (pterocarpus santalinus),vasa patra (adhatoda vasica),khareti (sida cordifolia),giloe (tinospora cordifolia),safed chandan (santalum album),kapur (cinnamomum camphora), laung (syzygium aromaticum),ela (plectranthus amboinicus),kesar (crocus sativus),kasturi (curcuma aromatica)beside this narvi,padam kashtha,shilaras and laksha is also used.
What Is Shirodhara Good For?
- It improves mental status and calm emotion.
- It rejuvenates the face and removes the lines of face.
- It strengthens the head and neck.
- It is helpful for insomnia and schizophrenia patients.
- It improves the quality of voice.
- It is helpful in diseases related to the head, ears, nose, neck, eyes, and throat.
- It controls mood swings and eases depression.
- It provides firmness to the body by stimulating the nervous system.
- It is useful in diseases related to the nervous system such as nerve disorder, paralysis facial palsy, and drooping of eyelids.
- It improves digestion and the overall health of the skin.
- It reduces the headache and burning sensation of the head.
- It improves your spiritual awakening and increases intuition.
- It revitalizes the pituitary glands and cools the body.
Now a day, Shirodhara massage is mostly used in spas for its relaxing properties is mostly used non-medicinally but no one can imagine that it has marvellous benefits.