Shirodhara: Sacred Oil Meditation

A distinctive Ayurvedic therapy bridging the physical and spiritual bodies via the third eye.

Shirodhara is a unique Ayurvedic therapy; not found in other alternative health systems.  It was once reserved only for Maharajahs, so this is indeed a ‘royal’ treatment.  Shirodhara involves the gentle pouring of sesame oil over the forehead, carried out as a set of patterns.

This warm oil has the sensation of the caress of a fragrant and warm breeze, soothing away mental aches and pains. The rhythmic and gentle flow makes you float into a world of tranquility and peace, similar to a deep meditation.

The Benefits

Ayurveda offers Shirodhara to:

  • Balance and soothe the nervous system of depressed, over-stressed, mentally tired or anxious people
  • Restore blissful sleep
  • Enhance blood circulation to the brain
  • Nourish the scalp and hair
  • Increase vitality of body and mind; and
  • Ease stress-related diseases

The Process

When a person receives Shirodhara,  they lie down on their back, face up, on a massage table with their neck adjusted to a comfortable position. To protect the eyes from liquid, a band is placed on the brow line. Warm liquid is then poured in a steady stream, with a regulated thickness, from a suspended clay or copper vessel at a height according to the client’s needs.

Depending on the specific purpose of the treatment, the liquid used in this therapy is usually herbal sesame oil (a natural mood enhancer, which helps to release serotonin); however medicated oils, buttermilk or milk can also be used.  Our treatment lasts for 45 minutes, and ideally would be repeated every day or at least once a week, depending on the gravity of the condition.  For best results, the number of recommended sessions is either 3, 7 or 14.  This treatment can continue until the client is well again.

The Spiritual Body

The wonder of Shirodhara is that it is a unique therapy that works on both the spiritual body and the physical body, including the network of energy centres known as ‘Chakras’ and the transient energy channels connecting them. Chakras are the energy wheels which act as gateways between the physical and spiritual realms; they’re the meeting place of the body, mind and soul, and they correspond in the body to various physical organs, glands, plexuses, and nerve centers. Our seven chakras are situated along the spine, beginning from the base of the spine with the root chakra, moving along to the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat and brow chakras, and finishing at the top of the head with the crown chakra. When these chakras become unbalanced or blocked the flow of ‘Prana’ becomes weak. Prana is the non-physical life energy responsible for our ‘aliveness’. The blocking of Prana affects thought processes and body functions and can lead to illness. As an example, constant negativity, fear and anxiety can lead to depression.

The Traditional Purpose

In India, traditionally, Shirodhara is used to alleviate problems like:

  • Memory loss;
  • Neurological disorders;
  • Diseases of the senses like sinusitis;
  • Eye disease;
  • Vertigo;
  • Tinnitus; and
  • Neurological disorders.

Shirodhara is possibly one of the most effective remedies for nervous tension and reducing stress.