How Shirodhara Therapy Works

Shirodhara: The Ayurvedic Miracle Therapy to Relieve Stress

Physical and mental health are both integral to living a balanced, healthy life. We are all looking for ways to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. But the question is, what can we do to achieve that balance?

Shirodhara, an ancient Ayurvedic therapeutic technique, has incredibly beneficial effects on both your body and mind. It is a curative and preventive wonder, a holistic health approach that originated in India many thousands of years ago.

Shirodhara is a combination the Sanskrit words, “Shira” (head) and “Dhara” (stream). It involves gently pouring liquids in a stream over the head for a fixed period of time.

While the liquids applied depend on the condition that is being treated, they typically include herbal oils and medicated liquids such as milk and buttermilk.

Types of Shirodhara

  1. Sneha Dhara
  2. Ksheer Dhara
  3. Takra Dhara

How Does Shirodhara Work?

Shirodhara stimulates the vital points across your head and scalp by boosting blood circulation. Massaging the head allows the oil to infuse deep into the scalp layer, delivering a calming sensation across the head and scalp, which further passes to the internal peripheral nerves of the forehead. In addition to the massage, it is the warm liquid utilized during the therapy that stimulates vasodilation of the blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow and a decrease in blood pressure. Shirodhara therapy can also help soothe the hypothalamus, which regulates the pituitary gland. It also works to reduce elevated serotonin levels and stress hormones such as noradrenaline and adrenaline, which helps in managing one’s stress levels. By doing all of the above, it can effectively help resolve insomnia issues, and can also prove useful in relieving many psychosomatic ailments such as anxiety, tension and depression.

Benefits of Shirodhara

  1. Stress Relief

    Stress is the human body’s natural reaction to emotional and physical changes that arise from events, or thoughts, that makes you feel angry, frustrated, or nervous. Shirodhara effectively alleviates stress from the mind and body. When an Ayurvedic practitioner pours warm oil and massages the head gently, it brings calmness, facilitates relaxation, and promotes tranquillity. The body then enters a deep state of relaxation, turning on the parasympathetic nervous system mode. This transition in the body conserves your energy, relaxes muscles, dilates blood vessels, and lowers the heart rate. Shirodhara therapy is excellent for treating hypertension and arrhythmia.

  2. Shirodhara For Awakening Intuition

    According to various Ayurvedic scriptures, the point between the eyebrows is the ‘third eye.’ Hinduism considers the third eye to be the sixth chakra, which is the home of intuition. It often signifies a state of enlightenment. By practicing Shirodhara, the healer helps open the third eye, which leads to the uninterrupted flow of ‘prana’ or ‘life force.’ The prana smoothly moves throughout the energy channels and removes the blocks in your mind during the process. It also helps recall events lying deep in your past and seeing them accurately, which previously was inaccessible. The rundown of warm oils brings immense mental clarity, enabling you to move past unresolved traumas, pains, and unfavorable emotional experiences.

  3. Enhanced Sleep Quality

    Today’s fast-paced life unquestionably brings with it a certain level of stress. As a result, people often suffer from insomnia and other sleep-related issues. Being sleep-deprived can be debilitating, lead to exhaustion and lethargy. It has a negative impact on one’s emotional and physical well-being. Shirodhara is effective in countering such issues by reducing cortisol, which is the human body’s primary stress hormone. Reducing one’s cortisol levels helps relieve stress and significantly improves your sleep quality. A combination of space and air elements, as well as an excessive accumulation of Vata within the body, often leads to physical restlessness, chaotic thoughts, scattered attention, and forgetfulness. Ayurveda recommends Shirodhara in such situations as it is an excellent remedy to pacify abnormal Vata dosha in one’s body. With the help of herbal oils, Ayurvedic practitioners balance the Vata’s light, cool, and fluctuating nature. This provides relief from many of the underlying symptoms of a Vata imbalance, including sleep disorders.

Who Should Avoid Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is not suitable for pregnant women who are in the third trimester (7 to 9 months) of their pregnancy, as well as people with a rash or sunburn on the scalp or forehead. The therapy is also not recommended for those allergic to oil.


Some other conditions during which it is advisable to avoid Shirodhara treatments include recent neck injuries, abrasions or cuts on the head, brain tumor, chills or fever, nausea, severe weakness, exhaustion, fainting, acute illness, and glaucoma.

Side Effects of Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a safe, therapeutic treatment that has no recorded side effects. However, it is essential to take the necessary precautions in order to ensure that the oil does not enter your eyes or your ears during the treatment.


It may cause reactions like conjunctivitis, dizziness, glaucoma, allergy, fever, and inflammatory diseases in certain extreme cases. LANA is a certified Ayurvedic clinic with professional therapists- a perfectly safe place to do your Shirodhara treatments.

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