An ancient Ayurvedic practice of pouring a continuous stream of warm, herbalized oil to the third-eye that runs over the back of the head. However, this is not your ordinary shirodhara. Drawing influences from Tibetan Ayurveda, warm abdominal oil massage, foot reflexology, hand massage, marma, and channeled light are incorporated aiming to achieve deep nervous system detoxification and rejuvenation. Due to its profound capacity to relax the body and mind, I liken it as a return to the warmth and nurture of the womb.
Shirodhara in and of itself is a beautiful process to experience. The continuous warm stream of oil at the third-eye is a gentle reminder to rest our attention at the seat of insight and intuition, at Ajna chakra.
Ayurveda relies on shirodhara to deeply pacify aggravated vata (air and space element,) which can manifest as anxiety, insomnia, mood disorders, etc. Vata is the mover and shaker of the three doshas; when it is aggravated, vata often precipitates further imbalances in the other doshas.
My teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad, shared that in modern society, where the world moves fast, attention easily flits from one thing to the next, and screen time is a phenomenon, shirodhara can be an important, regular, restorative practice to balance out our modern lifestyles.
The benefits often layer, treatment upon treatment. Generally, a series of 3 shirodhara are employed after being guided by an initial consultation. I offer such a series and also recommend the series as a compliment to a guided home Ayurvedic cleanse.
A simple shirodhara usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. I’ve found the Tibetan technique, 1.5 hour treatment of first relaxing other key areas of the body including the abdominal seat of vata, offers a deeper, more restorative treatment than shirodhara alone.
Shirodhara is a not just about technique but is also about the energy, presence, and intention of the practitioner performing the treatment. This is true of all relationships and treatments and is especially true when working around the head. Mindful of these energetics, channeled light healing is incorporated throughout the treatment.