Treatment Time: 2.5 -3hours
Shirodhara originates from India and has been practiced for over 5000 years and is based on the ancient principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Shirodhara is derived from two Sanskrit words: shiro and dhara. Shiro means head and dhara means to flow. It involves the warm and consistent flow of aromatic oils on the forehead, specifically on the ‘third eye’. The third eye or ajna chakra is said to be the seat of human consciousness. The oils are allowed to flow over the scalp and through the hair, creating blissful sensations. A Shirodhara treatment takes 2.5hrs to carry out.
Shirodhara is a holistic therapy which means when you treat a person you look at the whole person, not just the specific problem they have. Therefore you affect the healing of the whole person on three levels mind, body and soul. To further understand the concept of holistic it is necessary to understand our energy systems. Energy enters our body through seven main energy centres called chakras. These chakras are seen as spinning wheels through which life force energy enters our body. This energy is distributed throughout the body along channels known as nadis. With our busy life styles with pressures, stresses and negative emotions these chakras can become imbalanced and the flow of energy can become restricted. When this happens it can lead to illness in the body. So with all holistic therapies the chakras are worked on which help to release any blockages thus affecting an improvement in the flow of energy to the client.
Shirodhara truly honours the body as a sacred temple and a vehicle for the divine spirit within. The treatment starts with a foot massage. The client’s feet are placed in a bowl of warm water with rose petals and massaged for fifteen minutes. This helps to relax the client and provides a feel good factor.
The feet are then wrapped in a warm towel and the client then relaxes into the chair and an Indian head massage commences. This promotes deep relaxation and calms the senses and offers an instant de-stressing programme for the entire body.
After the Indian head massage the client lies face down on the couch and a body massage is carried out. The client is then turned over and the front of the body is massaged. When the full body massage is complete the client is prepared for the shiordhara treatment.
Dampened cotton wool pads are placed over the client’s eyes and held in place with a cotton head band. A neck pillow is placed around the clients neck and then the client lies back into a comfortable position. The client’s body will be cocooned in warm towels and their head will be positioned under the oil ‘fountain’ which is a metal pot (Dhara pot) and the oil which is held at body temperature will gently flow out and stream gently onto the forehead.
The soothing oils flow in a continuous, rhythmic stream as the pot is oscillated in a figure of eight for approximately 30 minutes. The client is asked to meditate at this stage so as to gain maximum benefits from the treatment. The ajna chakra is the main marma point for all the bodies’ nadis and this is why it has such a profound effect on the client. One is guaranteed to be transported to a calm place in no time! The oils will flow back freely, also nourishing the hair and scalp before they are captured in a basin below. When the oil has finished flowing, the oil on the scalp is massaged into the head and hair for 10 minutes.
All your mental demons – fear, anxiety, anger or irritability – dissolve into an ocean of calm as your mind is lulled into a state of serenity and expanded consciousness.
As the oil strokes the third eye, it has a balancing effect on the deepest recesses of the brain, stimulating the endocrine system, the pituitary and pineal glands (for hormonal upsets) and pleasure neurotransmitters (for depression or emotional insecurity). The procedure is also said to synchronies alpha brain waves, enhancing blood circulation to the brain, improving mental clarity and generally releasing deeply trapped am, or toxins.
The client is then left for a few minutes to relax and assimilate the experience. Best of all, the client will emerge with a heightened state of awareness and a long-lasting sense of peace to equip you for any of life’s challenges. Shirodhara again truly honours the body as a sacred temple and a vehicle for the divine spirit within.
The benefits of Shirodhara are tremendous. Shirodhara restores inner calm. It balances the emotions. It is effective for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It’s good to help with hair loss as the oils nourish the hair and scalp. As Shirodhara calms the mind it can help insomnia. It can help clear headaches as it relieves stress and tension which can be the cause of headaches. It can also help relieve eye, ear, nose and throat problems. It reduces stress and tension levels. It also improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.