The Mental Massage
Recent Feedback About Shirodhara
“Heavenly, blissful, total relaxation. The oil pouring on the forehead feels like someone gently pushing the ‘off’ switch allowing me to just ‘be’”
“I can honestly say I have never, ever felt so relaxed as I did after Shirodhara yesterday. It was wonderful, truly wonderful”
“My anxiety has reduced and I felt a real sense of peace for the first time in literally decades. Thank you for introducing me to Shirodhara. What a beautiful experience”
“I feel like I’ve just come back from a two-week holiday! Amazing, thank you!”
“Having Shirodhara has helped me to relax and destress during my IVF treatment and it has been very relaxing”
“I’m sort of lost for words! Incredible experience, everyone should have Shirodhara!”
“I find it difficult to put into words just how incredible it [Shirodhara] is. It feels like you’re floating on a cloud somewhere. I say again, incredible”
What Is Shirodhara?
Shirodhara is the gentle pouring of a continuous stream of warm oil over the forehead for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. It is a deeply relaxing and restoring treatment that has been practiced for thousands of years. Shirodhara is important part of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit words Shiro meaning head and Dhara meaning to pour.
Ayurvedic Medicine and Chinese Medicine intersect at a very fundamental level and indeed many scholars feel that both medicines share a common ancestry that has diversified over the centuries into two distinct but overlapping systems. An example of this intersection can be seen in the relationship between acupuncture points (Chinese Medicine) and energetic meeting points (Ayurveda); Ayurvedic practitioners recognise the area just between and above the eyes as the seat of the ‘third eye’ (or sixth chakra) – in Chinese Medicine this area relates to an important acupuncture point known as Yin Tang (The Hall of the Spirit). Rhythmically pouring oil over this area (and indeed the whole forehead) results in stimulation of the third eye / Yin Tang which we believe yields important benefits.
What Happens During Treatment?
The first step in Shirodhara, in common with acupuncture, is finding out what you want to get out of the treatment. This helps to ensure the treatment is tailored to your specific needs. Once this is established you will be invited to lie comfortably on the heated treatment table and wrapped in soft blankets. A gentle massage of the acupressure points on the face and head will prepare you for the Shirodhara. A copper pot is placed 6 inches above your head and very gently warm oil will begin to gently flow continuously over your forehead and through your hair. As the treatment progresses the oil will be directed in a rhythmical pattern over your entire forehead. As the oil flows you are likely to experience an almost transcendental level of relaxation. Many people drift in and out of sleep. The oil treatment is followed by a Tui’na head, face and foot massage. Tui’na is an important part of Chinese Medicine and is concerned with the stimulation of acupuncture points and channels through the application of specialist massage techniques. It is very gentle and soothing.
Although soft music can be played during treatment, typically (and traditionally) there is no talking during Shirodhara. This silence allows your focus of attention to go inwards. After treatment has finished you will be left quietly to assimilate and consolidate the treatment.
What Equipment Is Used?
Shirodhara is performed in this clinic using a state-of-the art Shirodhara system. The system has been hand-made in California by a small team of master craftsmen using the finest locally sourced woods and materials. It has been designed to ensure the experience of Shirodhara is as relaxing and blissful as possible; the system maintains the oil at the perfect temperature throughout your treatment and ensures its flow and circulation is constant and uninterrupted.
What Are The Benefits Of Shirodhara?
Shirodhara gives a sense of deep relaxation in a way that has few (if any) parallels in the world of massage and body treatments. It helps to reset the mind and increases mental clarity. Over the years there have been a lot of research studies published looking at the efficacy of Shirodhara across variety of different health complaints from depression and anxiety, infertility, migraine, insomnia, chronic pain, and stress. The results reflect patient experiences with this wonderful treatment. Click here, here and here for a selection of research papers on Shirodhara.
Why Should I Choose To Have Shirodhara?
– If you want to soothe your mind and give yourself a break from stress, tension, worry and anxiety
– If you suffer from migraines
– If you have insomnia or difficulty getting or staying asleep
– If you have anxiety or depression
– If you just want a profoundly relaxing and soothing treatment
Many women undergoing IVF and other fertility treatments find Shirodhara very beneficial in helping them to relax. Some practitioners of Shirodhara feel it can help to regulate hormones.
Some people use Shirodhara because they feel it promotes hair growth.
Who Is Shirodhara Suitable For And What I Need to Know
Although Shirodhara is suitable for most adults there are a few situations in which is is not a suitable treatment. If you suffer from schizophrenia or epilepsy this is not a suitable treatment for you. If you have any doubts about whether this is the right treatment for you, contact Samantha.
Because Shirodhara involves pouring oil on your forehead you hair will become oily. Although much of the oil will be squeezed from your hair, it will nevertheless be oily when you leave the clinic and this is something to bear in mind. In Ayurvedic medicine it is very important that the head does not get cold following Shirodhara so you will be given a disposable towel for leaving the clinic. You can of course wash your hair after treatment but some people prefer to leave the oil in their hair for a few hours to moisturise it. Different types of oil can be used during treatment and the selection of oil depends on your constitution and what you are hoping to achieve from treatment. Common oils include sesame and olive.
Treatment time is 75 minutes.