Shirodhara or Shiro dhara is a method of relieving stress and avoid many mental illnesses. Stress is a common problem in modern world, with demands from society and profession.
Shiro (shiras in Malayalam) means head and dhara is an unbroken flow (of anything). Shirodhara is the continuous flow of medicated oil through the head. Sesame oil is used in most parts of India, while coconut oil is the main base in Kerala. However there are also other oil based chosen based on the different requirements of the person. The patient will be laid on a special wooden plank on his or her back. A tiny stream of oil continuously oozes out of a vessel with a central hole. The oil falls on the center of the forehead of the person. The oil will be comfortably warm and the process continues for 30 to 45 minutes. The person experiences unexplainable relaxation and brightness.
Shirodhara often comes after full body oil massage (pizhichil or Abhayanga). The environment that the practitioner prepares for the therapy will also be free of any noise and most suited for deep relaxation, which provides complete rest to mind. It allows one to overcome stress related conditions like insomnia, anxiety, chronic headaches, hypertension and asthma. It also strengthens hair and skin of the head.
Shirodhara brings in several benefits including improved blood circulation to the brain, provides nourishments to hair and scalp, reduces nervous tension, and helps in sound sleep. There can also be different conditions of head, throat, eyes, ears and nose. Fits and epilepsy are two main conditions for which shirovasthi is suggested.
It improves the functioning of sense organs and central nervous system. Shirodhara also improves your mood and fights depression.
The choice of medicines depends on the constitution (prakriti) of the person, the season, and the specific conditions of the person.