Shirodhara: The Miracle of Ayurveda


Shirodhara is a word comprising of two terms, Shiro meaning head, Dhara meaning pouring in stream or sprinkling. It is basically a procedure wherein streams of medicated lukewarm oil is poured or caressed continuously on the forehead of a patient from a Shirodhara pot set suspended at a specified height right above your forehead. The therapy is one of the favorite ways in Ayurveda to reduce stress and induce a state of deep relaxation. The process also enhances the functioning of the central nervous system.

1. Deeply relaxes mind and body
2. Improves sensitivity of five senses
3. Reduces Vata dosha
4. Improves sleep
5. Recommended for hair care

Shirodhara is much recommended for the following conditions:
1. Headache, burning sensation in the head
2. Insomnia, parasomnias
3. Anxiety disorders
4. Depressive illness
5. Schizophrenia
6. Motor Neuron Diseases
7. Cerebral Ataxia
8. Hypertension
9. Skin Disorders- Psoriasis
10. Psychosis, epilepsy, fainting, confusion, alcoholism etc.

Types of Shirodhara
1. Tailadhara – Beneficial for reducing Vata dosha in the body.
2. Takradhara – Beneficial for reducing Pitta dosha and is good for hypothermia or low body temperature while also maintaining homeostasis which is the body’s ability to maintain internal stability despite changes in external conditions.
3. Ksheeradhara – Helps nourishing and relaxing the body.
4. Kashayadhara – Helps in reducing Vata and Kapha dosa and is considered therapeutic for various other conditions as well.

A pot, with a hole and a yarn wick fitted to it, would be hung over the forehead of the patient lying on a treatment table. The medicated liquid, which may be medicated oil or milk, would be then poured into the pot and would be gradually trickled onto the forehead. During the procedure, oil is caressed over the forehead through 13 steps for a timeframe of 45 minutes in an extremely undisturbed environment. A band would be tied or a rolled towel is placed on the forehead to prevent the oil from dripping into the eyes of the patient. The Dhara is followed by a soothing head massage before the therapy concludes.