Shirodhara helps the worries flow away

Meditation is the buzz word in the mental health field right now.  And for good reason.  It provides so much strength and stillness to deal with the hectic whirlwind of our lives.   Sometimes, though, it can be hard.  Do you ever feel that your mind is buzzing so much you can’t even sit down to meditate?  It’s handy to have some help now and then.

An experience that comes very close to a fabulously still meditation session is shirodhara.  This unique treatment, which has been proven to instill that meditative experience of alert-calmness[1], can’t be found in any other therapeutic system.

Shirodhara is the deliberate and continuous pouring of liquid, usually oil, on the forehead.   The gentle pressure and soothing warmth calm the being; having a profound impact on the nervous system, as well as the immune system and the mind.  Shirodhara provides deep relaxation, clarity and calm while boosting energy levels and improving general well-being (see research papers below).

Benefit from shirodhara if you have…

Shirodhara indicationsStudies: Improving sleep quality[2] and helping with insomnia[3], positive psychoneuroimmunologic effects[4], reducing hypertension[5], ADHD[6], menopause[7].

You won’t be able to have a shirodhara treatment if you have a rash or inflammation on the forehead or scalp, a brain tumour, recent neck injury or you are in the third trimester of pregnancy.  Acute conditions such as fever and vomiting are also contraindicated for shirodhara.

Getting the most out of a shirodhara session

  • Book your appointment for a time that you know you’ll be able to take it easy afterwards
  • Don’t come for the treatment in your best silk shirt!
  • Bring a hat for afterwards to keep your head warm
  • Leave the oil in for as long as you can (many benefits of this) and when you come to wash your hair, apply the shampoo before wetting as this removes the oil better.

If you live near The Ayurveda Practice (Hampton, South West London) then you can experience shirodhara here.  Otherwise, check out the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association to find your nearest practitioner or therapist.

Until next time, take care of yourselves.

Kate

 

Author: Kate Siraj, Ayurvedic Practitioner, BSc Ayurveda, MChem (Oxon), MAPA.
© The Ayurveda Practice

[1] A standardized Shirodhara leads to a state of alert calmness similar to the relaxation response observed in meditation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23741161

[2] Shirodhara improves sleep quality and quality of life.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26669255

[3] Shirodhara beneficial for insomnia http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24753997 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131683

[4] Positive psychoneuroimmunologic effects http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19123874

[5] Shirodhara useful in reducing hypertension: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048535

[6] Useful alongside Ayurvedic medicines in improving reaction times in children with ADHD http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131736

[7] Useful alternative to HRT alongside Ayurvedic medicines: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131732

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