Consider the human body as an inverted tree. The roots are at the top and the branches point downwards.
The head of the human body is the root of this tree. The central portion of the body, the thorax and abdomen, are the trunk. The limbs, both upper and lower, are the branches.
Just as the roots of a tree nurture and control all the activities and well being of the tree, the head is the operational center of the entire body. It controls the function of the brain and spinal cord. It has many marmas or energy points and is the house of the master endocrine gland, the pituitary. It is one of the seats of Vata dosha (Prana Vata in particular) and also houses subdoshas of Kapha dosha (Tarpaka kapha) and Pitta dosha (Sadhaka pitta).
Note for ayurvedic geeks: The seat of Sadhaka Pitta, a subtype of Pitta dosha, is considered the Hridaya which means ‘heart’. But in Ayurveda, hridaya encompasses both the heart and brain. So the head, which houses the brain, also becomes a seat of Sadhaka Pitta.
Through the respective nerve centers in the brain, the head also controls the sense of hearing, smell, taste and sight.
Since the three dosha are represented in the head region, any vitiation in the doshas can cause respective disorders with widespread repercussions in the whole body.
Here Shirodhara through use of various mediums like oils, ghee and buttermilk, pacifies these doshas and works on the entire body indirectly. Shirodhara will make the head region strong so that the entire body works smoothly.
Who Benefits From Shirodhara?
- Shirodhara is a great treatment for a compromised nervous system.
- Shirodhara can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, fatigue and hypertension.
- It relieves tension, worry, fear and headache as well as depression. It regulates mood and gives feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
- Shirodhara treatment is advised for the prevention of many psychosomatic disorders.
- In a healthy individual, prevention of diseases pertaining to the body, mind and sense organs is the foremost indication.
- Shirodhara can also assist with the following conditions:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Shirodhara reduces excess Vata dosha which is a primary factor in PTSD.
- Shirodhara done with an appropriate shirodhara oil containing nervine herbs will deeply soothe the nervous system and help ease the symptoms of PTSD.
- Insomnia and Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)
- Shirodhara is traditionally known for it’s ability to assist with sleep problems.
- Research proves the treatment is effective alone and also when coupled with herbal support.
- Shirodhara with milk has also proven effective in treating insomnia.
- The process stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin, the regulator of the wake-sleep cycle.
- It calms an unquiet mind and induces rest.
- If your insomnia stems from working the night shift and your wake-sleep cycle is out of sync with the natural rhythms of the sun, shirodhara can assist in removing fatigue, restoring energy and re-establishing harmony in the doshas or constitution.
- If you’re a frequent flyer and your daily sleep rhythm is often out of sync and you suffer jet lag, shirodhara can help reset your daily pattern of waking and sleeping as well as remove built up fatigue.
- Travel with a Vata soothing oil or Bhringaraj oil and apply to the head before bed or find a local practitioner to receive the treatment.
- Raktagata Vata is an imbalance of Vata dosha that may be correlated with hypertension. Shirodhara has proven effective in lowering blood pressure.
- Shirodhara is also a great treatment for the healthy individual looking to maintain health and enhance well being, clarity, calm and immunity.
- Shirodhara promotes deep relaxation, relieves fatigue and renews and reinvigorates the body and mind.
- It also balances one’s energy level. If you are in need of rest and relaxation, the process will provide you that. If you are well rested the process will enhance your clarity and perception.
- Shirodhara increases immunity by relieving stress and worry, and balancing the Ayurveda mind-body types or doshas so that your constitution remains strong.
- Shirodhara gives deep rest and renewed energy producing an ageless and youthful countenance.
- Shirodhara relieves stress, worry and excessive thought. It gives total relaxation as if from meditation. This naturally relaxes and rejuvenates the face and softens worry lines.