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04 Apr 2018

All about Shirodhara - The Ayurvedic wonder therapy

Ayurvedic hospital

The wondrous universe of Ayurveda is full of therapeutic marvels that helps you revive, rejuvenate and help you live a more wholesome life, and we at Rajah Ayurveda strongly believe that we should adopt these practices into our daily life on a continuous basis, and not wait to fall sick to do so! Prevention is always better than cure, and helps you get the most out of life.

One key Ayurvedic therapy that is much in demand by our patrons at Rajah Ayurveda is ’Shirodhara’, an ancient treatment that is extremely beneficial for your body, that is both a preventative and curative wonder! Join us in exploring this blissful treatment, and how you can benefit from it!

Origin of the term:

A union of two words: &rquo;shir&rquo; meaning head and ‘dhara‘ meaning to flow, pour or stream, Shirodhara (Shir-oh-daara) involved the pouring of a specially prepared liquid herbal oil in a steady stream over the head of an individual for a certain period of time, anywhere between 30-40 minutes.

What is Shirodhara?

What is Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a unique and powerful ayurvedic therapy that balances and stabilizes the mind. For this treatment, a person lies down on a massage table with their eyes covered. Next, specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured in a thin steady stream directly onto the forehead and sixth. Shirodhara purifies the mind, alleviates anxiety, reduces headaches, and expands awareness. Shirodhara can be administered on its own or as part of a panchakarma detoxification regime.

Shirodhara is traditionally done as part of the Panchakarma cleansing process, however it i perfectly effective as a stand-alone therapy as well.

‘Ajna Marma’ - The Focal point of Shirodhara:

Shirodhara stimulates the Ajna Marma, which is one of most important vital points of the body, or ‘maha-marma’ on the head. It is a key juncture not only for nerves and tissues, but also of the circulation of vital life force, or ‘prana’ . The Ajna Marma is also called the ‘Third-Eye’ Chakra, which is the sixth primary chakra in your body, and is often known as the centre of intuition and foresight.

According to Ayurveda, stimulating the Ajna marma leads to an expansion of awareness, a state of parasympathetic repose, an egoless state, during which we connect deeply with or own selves and subconscious. It is a process in which the innate intelligence of our body is revealed. With your eyes covered, you enter a state of blissful relaxation akin to meditation.


The benefits of Shirodhara on the mind, body and soul are numerous, being an excellent treatment to promote blood circulation, reduce stress, restore damaged nerves, improve memory and cognitive function.

Improved blood circulation: The warm oils used for Shirodhara also cause vasodilatation of allthe channels and thereby improve the blood circulation of the brain.

Deep Relaxation: The gentle pressure and soothing warmth of the oil allow the body, mind and nervous system to experience a deep state of rest, similar to meditation.Shirodhara is also a great treatment for the healthy individual looking to maintain health and enhance well-being, clarity, calm, and immunity. Shirodhara boosts deep relaxation, alleviates fatigue and renews and invigorates the body and mind. It also balances one’s energy level. If you are well rested,the process will enhance your clarity and perception.

Reduced stress and improves sleep: Shirodhara also reduces the level of stress hormones such as Adrenaline and Noradrenaline and thus relaxes the mind. Pouring of warm oils used stimulates and soothes the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the functions of the pituitary gland and inducing sleep. The ability of Shirodhara can easily overcome sleeping problems. Research successfully examines that the treatment is effective alone and also when coupled with herbal support. The process excites the pineal gland which produces melatonin, the governor of the wake-sleep cycle., or the circadian rhythm of the body.

Restore hair vitality: The medicated oils absorbed through the scalp stimulate the hair follicles, and hence Shirodhara is a vital therapy to treat hair problems such as Premature greying of hair or Hair fall

Repair nerve degeneration: Shirodhara has a massive impact on the nervous system. That means, this procedure instantly and directly calms, relaxes and have a purifying effect on the mind and nerves.

Other key benefits of Shirodhara include treatment of Sleep problems, Memory loss, Poor concentration, Chronic headaches, Depression, Mental tension, Hypertension, Facial Paralysis and Degenerative conditions of the brain.

Shirodhara Procedure


1. The person lies down on the massage table with their eyes close, and covered.

2. The Shirodhara process begins with the pouring of the specially medicated lukewarm/room temperature oil continuously as a steady stream on to the forehead in a gentle oscillating manner.

3. This procedure is also often paired with a gentle massage performed parallely on the body, alongside the shirodhara.

4. After finishing the dhara, the patient is allowed to take rest for a few minutes and then a hot water bath is given on the body and special medicated water is used for head bath.

5. The time duration of Shirodhara treatment may extend from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the condition of the receiver. It is important to make sure that the oil does not enter eyes or ears and is therefore recommended to be performed by an experienced therapist

Types of Shirodhara: There are various types of Shirodhara treatments, depending on the health condition of the receiver, as well as the treatment they are seeking. Rajah Ayurveda takes pride in offering all four types of Shirodharas to its patrons, which as as follows:

  • Kashaya dhara (Herbal Decoction) : The Shirodhara that uses medicated herbal decoction is called Kashayadhara, where the type of oil and herbs are chosen depending upon the condition of the receiver, that they would like the treatment for. Learn more bout
  • Thailadhara (Medicated oil) : The Shirodhara that uses medicated oil in the process is called Thailadhara.
  • Ksheerdhara (milk infused with herbs): Ksheerdhara uses medicated milk in its shirodhara process, which is infused with the relevant herbs, like sandalwood, camphor or vetiver roots. The temperature of the milk is kept lukewarm at the beginning of the process, and then maintained as room temperature as it is carried forward.
  • Takra dhara (buttermilk infused with herbs): Takradhara is a type of shirodhara in which herb infused butter milk (or takra), made by mixing equal quantities of a herbal decoction and buttermilk, is poured from a specific height and for a specific time period continuously and rhythmically, allowing the takra to run through the scalp and into the hair.

You can find out more about these individual types of shirodharas in our ‘Treatments’ section. Just simply look up the name of the treatment, and learn more! Click on Treatments

Keep in mind:

Shirodhara should be avoided if a woman is in her third trimester of pregnancy and for those with a rash or sunburn on the forehead or scalp.

With countless benefits for the mind, body, and spirit, it is little wonder that Shirodhara is one of our most in-demand therapies! If you’d like to experience the Rajah Ayurveda Shirodhara experience, do not hesitate to click here and book your treatment now and let us help revive and rejuvenate you!