Shirodhara treatment is a form of Ayurveda medicine that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead (the ‘third eye’). The name comes from Sanskrit words for head (shiro) and flow (dhara). The treatment was developed in Kerala as a restorative regime.
The liquids can be oil but also buttermilk, coconut water or even plain water – the choice of liquid depends on the ailment that is being treated.
Shirodhara has been used to treat eye diseases, greying of hair, neurological disorders, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, memory loss, tinnitus, vertigo, insomnia, hearing impairment, Ménière’s disease and other conditions. This is a very relaxing treatment and non medicinal.
During the treatment, you lie back with your head hanging slightly lower than your body line, on the edge of a massage table, with cushions supporting your neck so you can be totally relaxed. The sound of soft music and the scent of warm oil fills the room and then the oil is poured slowly in a steady stream from a free-standing bowl directly over the forehead. For about quarter of an hour, or possibly longer, you are lulled into a state of peaceful meditation as the motion of the warm oil soothes you into a state of deep relaxation. When the oil has run from the top vessel into the bottom one, the practitioner can use the oil to gently massage your head, scalp, neck and shoulders.
You are then wrapped in warm towels and enclosed in foil to keep the body warm. The final stage of the shirodhara treatment is a herbal tea and some time to rest.