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Shirodhara — an Ayurvedic technique to beat stress

Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic healing technique that literally translates into Shiras refering to ‘the head’ and dhara meaning ‘unbroken flow’ in sanskrit.

This ayurvedic therapy involves a stream of oil dropping over your head steadily to bring about an immense feeling of relaxation, calmness and stillness of the mind. Used for the the treatment of conditions such as headaches, nervous disorders, stress, migraines, insomnia and hypertension, shirodhara is based on the principle of invigorating the mind and bringing oneness in the body.

Shirodhara is an ayurvedic technique of pouring liquids or oils over the forehead with the help of Shirodhara equipment. It is an ancient technique used in Indian culture for 5000 years. It is very useful for stress reduction and treating diseases associated with depression, anxiety and mental fatigue. Shirodhara reduces fatigue and initiate a soothing effect on brain cells. It might be working due to the effect of a soothing sensation of poured liquids through peripheral nerves of the skin of the forehead and then they go to the brain with calming and soothing energies, which help to reduce stress and induce sleep. Due to constant flow of liquids over the head, Shirodhara tranquilizes and stabilizes the mind, so the mind becomes serene and calmed. It is a form of restorative therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and all other psychosomatic diseases.

Types of Shirodhara

Commonly, oils, coconut water, decoctions, buttermilk and milk processed with other herbs are used in Shirodhara. Due to variation in liquids, its types are decided as follows:

  1. Taila Dhara (Thyla dhara): Oils are used in this type of dhara.
  2. Takra Dhara (Thakradhara): Buttermilk is used as the main ingredient of pouring liquid.
  3. Kwatha Dhara: Decoctions made from various herbs as per condition and bodily defect or dosha of the person are used in Kwatha Dhara.
  4. Dugadha Dhara (Ksheerdhara): Milk is used as the main ingredient in Shirodhara is called dugadha dhara.
  5. Jala Dhara: Coconut water or water is used in cases of ailments due to excess heat in the body or Pitta diseases.
Benefits of shirodhara

Shirodhara is considered one of the most effective treatments to reduce stress and tension. It also helps to enhance blood circulation to the brain and thereby improve memory, nourishes the hair and scalp, helps beat insomnia and calms the mind and body.

Apart from that, shirodhara treatment is also known to help with:

  • nervous system related conditions such as facial palsy, paralysis, ptosis,
  • insomnia,
  • burning of the eyes
  • premature greying of hair
  • poor digestion and metabolism
  • burning of the eyes

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