Shirodhara Therapy

Shirodhara Therapy

Experience the quantum energy rippling in your body

Shirodhara Therapy is a Traditional Ayurvedic technique which involves gentle head massage and the dripping of a slow stream of warm oil or other liquids onto the forehead, specifically in alignment with the third-eye or Anja Chakra. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow). Commonly used liquids include Medicated Oils, Medicated Milk, Buttermilk, or coconut water. It is usually indicated to treat stress, anxiety, and insomnia and to relax the nervous system. Generally, sesame oil processed with various Indian herbs is used for Shirodhara. However, milk and buttermilk processed with herbs also are used in this treatment depending upon the patient's condition.

Synonyms of shirodhara : Shirodhara Massage, Shiro Seka, Shirashek, Shirothara, Dhara, Parisheka (Shiro-Parisheka )

A typical Shirodhara session would last 30 to 60 minutes and is done for 3, 7, 14, or 28 days. The duration of a session may vary. When the warm oil softly falls onto the forehead the oil saturates the forehead and scalp and penetrates into the nervous system. The pressure of the oil creates a vibration internally which induces rest. ‘The vibration is amplified by the hollow sinus present in the frontal bone. The vibration is then transmitted inwards through the fluid medium of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This vibration along with little temperature may activate the functions of thalamus and the basal fore brain which then brings the amount of serotonin and catecholamine to the normal stage inducing the sleep.

Shirodhara is a purifying and rejuvenating therapy designed to eliminate toxins and mental exhaustion as well as relieve stress and any ill effects on the central nervous system and to treat and cure psychosomatic ailments by inducing relaxation through peripheral nerves to the brain. Shirodhara is a unique form of ancient therapy of pouring oil on the forehead from a specific height and for a specific period continuously and rythmatically allowing the oil to run through the scalp and into the hair. The concept of shirodhara is mainly concerned with the application of oil though the other liquids are also used for the therapy but they are associated with specific clinical conditions.In this traditional Ayurvedic treatment to the head, special attention is paid to the region just between the eyebrows, commonly referred to as the third eye. In Ayurveda the very top of the head is especially important because it is the location of the crown chakra, the area through which the soul is said to enter the body at birth, and leave with death.

From a biological standpoint, this area of the forehead is also home to some of the main endocrine, or master glands, like the pineal gland, the pituitary gland, and the region of the brain in control of these glands, the hypothalamus. Treatments can be deeply therapeutic, and are known to rejuvenate the spirit and reinvigorate the body. The goal is to bring about emotional and physical balance through the methodical application of medicated oil to this center point of the forehead. 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. Shirodhara has also been used to treat a variety of conditions including insomnia, headache, anxiety neurosis, depression, schizophrenia, motor-neurosis, depression, schizophrenia, motor-neuron disease, hypertension, psychosis, neurological disorders, memory loss, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo and Meniere’s Disease.


Why is Shirodhara so Amazing ? 

Shirodhara does massage & activation of Pineal Gland. Shirodhara works by stimulating the Third Eye Chakra and the Crown Chakra, which produce Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) which is a euphoric experience characterized by a static-like tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation and brings balance and harmony in the body.

What to Expect in the Shirodhara Therapy Session:


1) Expect to spend 1 hour in treatment.

2) The treatment room is warm and inviting and you would be will be asked to lie on your backs (in supine position) on the treatment table. Your eyes will be covered, and the lights dimmed. You would be asked to focus on your breath, while soft music plays. Once settled, the treatment will begin.

3) The methodic application of warm, medicated oil begins through an oil pot from which the oil falls at the center of your forehead. The technician will then trace patterns across the forehead with the oil before returning to the third eye once more. A continuous stream of the oil should be poured over the forehead and oscillate or move the pot from one side to other side of forehead, so that stream of the oil goes from left lateral part of forehead to right lateral part of forehead and vice versa.

4) After twenty minutes the scalp will be lightly massaged to awaken the body and the mind, the face will be cleansed and steamed briefly with a warm, lavender scented cloth.

5) You will be given several minutes to awaken and collect yourself before being offered medicated tea and you would be asked to relax for 30 - 45 minutes. 

6) Upon leaving you can expect to feel lifted in their mood and light in their body.

7) You can take bath to clean the oil after the Shirodhara session is over. 

Note : Before Shirodhara session you have to evacuate your bowels. Make sure you do NOT eat too much . Shiradhara is best done in the morning after sunrise. The previous 24 hours , you must eat only vegetarian food. Shirodhara is normally done immediately after a full body exfoliating and lymphatic massage.


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 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.

Generaly, Ksheera bala taila is used in shirodhara, but other oils can be used as per the condition of the person. List of oils used in shirodhara are given below:

1) Ksheera Bala Taila

2) Karpasasthyadi thailam

3) Chandanadi Thailam

4) Dhanwantharam Thailam

5) Narayana Thailam


How can a Shirodhara help you?

Shirodhara is beneficial for all types of psychological and mental disorders. It reduces stress by inducing relaxation and stimulating secretion of more serotonin in the brain. It produces sensations on the head, which pass through the superficial nerves to the brain and brings calmness and relaxation. This calmness and relaxation also results in secretion of more serotonin levels in the brain, which reduces mental stress and helps in depression. In Ayurveda, Shirodharas have traditionally been used to treat the following ailments:

• Chronic Fatigue

• Insomnia

• Mental Exhaustion

• Nervousness or Anxiety

• Stress Relief

• Heart Disease

• Weight gain and Obesity

• Hormonal Imbalances (cortisol, insulin)

• Dysmenorrhea and Pre menopause

• Blood Disorders

• Migraines or Headaches

• Baldness or Premature graying

• Superficial skin disorders of the head and scalp

• Headache

• Migraine

• Cluster headache

• Cerebral palsy

• Hemiplegia

• Insomnia (sleeplessness or difficulties in sleeping)

• Eye diseases

• Anxiety or neurosis

• Depression

• Memory loss

• Graying of hairs

• Ménière’s disease or Tinnitus (Ringing sensation in the ears)

• Psychosomatic diseases

What happens chemically in your brain during Shirodhara that makes you feel so awesome ?

Your brain is the biggest pharmaceutical factory. The best part is that it produces these natural chemicals at the right time at the right dosage and there are NO ill effects. During Shirodhara, the brain releases Pinoline and DMT. 

Pinoline produced by the Pineal Gland resonates to 7.83 hertz or the earth's heartbeat. Pinoline is 6-methoxy-tetra-dydro-beta carboline, or 6-MeO-THBC . 7.83 Hertz, or the frequency of OM is the pulse the DNA uses to replicate, and which has been measured to be emitted from the brains and hands of all successful healers, regardless of belief or faith.

DMT is the spirit molecule that bends space-time. Pineal DMT is the chemical messenger which links body and spirit. Pinoline enables the threshold levels of DMT to become active in the brain.Quantum physics has showed the ancient Indian Yogis knew that where our bodies, our brain and its mind, as inextricably joined with other matter and the mega dipole of universe.

Course of treatment with shirodhara

Treatment course depends on conditions and diseases of the person. Generally, it is recommended for minimum 7 days (a week) and maximum 28 days (4 weeks). After 4 weeks, shirodhara should be skipped for 7 to 15 days and then a new treatment course can be commenced according to the needs and health conditions of the patient.

Caution & Side Effects

Shirodhara is LIKELY SAFE  because it is a procedure in which medicated oils are poured over the head with rhythmic pattern, which provide soothing sensation and relaxing effects. However, some people may experience its sleep inducing effect, which is not actually its side effect, but it is beneficial for patients with insomnia and stress. Its not recommended in following conditions : 

Contraindications of Shirodhara

• Conjunctivitis

• Glaucoma

• Fever

• Scalp or forehead injuries

• Inflammatory diseases



Ashtanga Hridaya, Sutra Sasthana, Chapter 22

Ayurvediya panchakara Vigyan, Chapter 2


Scientific Research on Shirodhara

Shirodhara: A psycho-physiological profile in healthy volunteers. - Dhuri KD, Bodhe PV, Vaidya AB.   (Click to read Research Paper)

Ayurvedic therapy (shirodhara) for insomnia: a case series.- Vinjamury SP, Vinjamury M, der Martirosian C, Miller J. (Click to read research paper) 

The role of psychic factors in pathogenesis of essential hypertension and its management by Shirodhara and Sarpagandha Vati. - Kundu C, Shukla VD, Santwani MA, Bhatt NN. (Click to read Research Paper)