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Shirodhara: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Shirodhara, a form of treatment, is a word which comprises of two terms ‘shiro’ meaning head and ‘dhara’ meaning pouring in stream or sprinkling. It is an ancient Ayurvedic healing practice which has been performed in India for about the last 5000 years. This treatment has immense impact on the nervous system. It immediately acts to calm and relax your mind and has a cleansing effect on the nerves.

Shirodhara is extremely beneficial for people suffering from imbalance of Vata and Pitta. A person suffers from feelings of fear, insecurity and worry when his/her Vata is out of balance. Imbalance of Pitta can cause a person to become angry, frustrated, irritated and even cause him to lose the sense of right and wrong. Shirodhara involves the use of such liquids that help to counter the negative effects of the out-of-balance doshas or conditions. The liquid soothes and pacifies the doshas when applied to the forehead, scalp and nervous system.

Shirodhara not only helps to reduce stress and soothe the nervous system but it has other beneficial effects as well. It can treat insomnia, bring relief from migraines, lowers high blood pressure, decreases hair loss, reduces stress and even helps to increase mental focus and concentration.

How is the treatment done?

Shirodhara provides optimum results when it is done in the morning or in the evening. Shirodhara may begin with Ayurvedic body massage or abhyangam after a person lies down with his/her eyes closed. After this, the procedure involves the pouring of about 2 liters of luke-warm oil over the forehead. The oil is poured continuously as a stream and in an oscillating manner. Care should be taken to ensure that the oil does not enter the eyes or ears. The entire procedure may last for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the condition of the patient. A therapist may also give a patient a light head massage before or during the procedure.

Oil is poured over the forehead as this area has a large number of nerve endings and therefore is highly sensitive. Vibrations are created on the forehead by the pressure of the oil. The oil penetrates into the nervous system after saturating the forehead and scalp. The oils used in this procedure improve blood circulation to the brain by vasodilating all the channels. It also helps to reduce the level of stress hormones like adrenaline and nor adrenaline and therefore provides respite from anxiety and related disorders. The entire procedure enables the body, mind and nervous system to experience a state of deep rest, similar to the state a person arrives at after meditation.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person suffering from anxiety disorder, stress, hypertension, fatigue, tension, worry, head ache and depression can opt for this Ayurvedic treatment. Furthermore, shirodhara oils mixed with nervine herbs can be useful for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. A person suffering from insomnia is also eligible for this treatment as the process helps to stimulate the pineal gland which produces the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. A person suffering from high blood pressure will also find this treatment to be beneficial.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Women in the final phases of pregnancy should not opt for this treatment. A person who has an aversion to oil is not eligible for this treatment. Other people who are not eligible include people suffering from brain tumor, neck injury, cuts or abrasions on the forehead or fever. People with some acute illness or suffering from nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, fatigue or spontaneous sweating are not eligible for this treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Shirodhara is a very beneficial treatment and there are no serious side-effects associated with the treatment. However, some people may experience a feeling of heaviness in the head. Some people can get a bit dizzy while the chances of giddiness may increase for people if they had kept their eyes open during the treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

People, who have undergone this treatment, will have to remove the oil from their hair. It is better to add shampoo to hair first and then use water to wash the hair. This is because the shampoo will stick to the hair and ensure that is properly cleaned. Caffeine should be avoided for a few days after the treatment as caffeine has a negative effect on the nervous system. A person should use warm water for bathing and drinking purposes. A person should also go for a light diet and avoid eating oily food.

How long does it take to recover?

Shirodhara treatment lasts for about 30 minutes to 60 minutes and it provides immediate relief. A person does not require any such time to recover from the treatment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The Shirodhara treatment can cost anything between Rs 1200 and Rs 6000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Shirodhara provides relief from nervous disorders and may also help to reduce blood pressure, induce sleep and reduce hair loss. However, this is an Ayurvedic treatment that produces immediate results. But a person can get affected by anxiety or stress or sleep disorders after a certain time after completing the treatment. The results are, hence, not permanent and a person may have to opt for the treatment again. Permanent results may be obtained by undergoing this treatment over a long period of time.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic therapy that has been practiced for centuries in India. It is a unique treatment of using medicated oil or milk on the forehead of an individual to cure him/her of certain conditions. There is, therefore, no alternative to this treatment.

Popular Questions & Answers

Is Shirodhara treatment for hair loss? I am looking for a treatment where my hair loss should be stopped permanently.

BHMS, PGDPC, MS (Psychology)
Homeopath, Nashik
Yes Sure, But you also require to Take Homeopathic medicine 1) Phosphorus 200.4 pills at morning. For 15 days 2) Arnica 30.4 pills at night for 15 days 3) apply Jaborandi hair oildaily for 1 month.
1 person found this helpful

What are benefits of shirodhara and pancha karma? I am feeling mentally and physically weakness. What to do?

M.D. Consultant Pathologist, CCEBDM Diabetes, PGDS Sexology USA, CCMTD Thyroid, ACDMC Heart Disease, CCMH Hypertension, ECG
Sexologist, Sri Ganganagar
Shirodhara can be one of the steps involved in panchkarma. It relieves symptoms of anxiety ,stress ,fatigue and hypertension. Panchkarma.
1 person found this helpful

Dr. Have advice for basti and shirodhara karma for my stomach problems. I want to know after basti karma my stomach issue will get solve and is there any side effect of basti karma. Kindly reply.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Jaipur
No side effects of basti karma. I myself is treating patients with panchkarma procedures like basti. With excellent results.
1 person found this helpful

My mom 52 years old. She is suffering from anxiety disorder. Whole day she thinks she is going to die. No allopathy medicine suit her and she allergic to medicine. Now we are going to ayurveda and they suggest us for shirodhara treatment for one week. We are in dilemma what should we do now.

Homeopath, Delhi
Hi Anxiety disorders are usually quite troublesome for the patient as well as for family members as it is impossible for them to make the patient understand the reality. Its almost impossible for anyone to make the patient relax. Patient continuou...

I am suffering from severe memory loss. I have gone under gone shirodhara in delhi but they only looted money and result were nil. Please give me list of qualified doctors which have good experience in delhi or uttam nagar region.

Homeopath, Sindhudurg
hi take anacardium 1m 4pills weekly once. bramhi Q 20drops 3times daily k.p.6x . 4pills 3times daily gyan plus 10 drops 3times daily for 1month and revert back for further treatment. you can order medicines from me on lybrate if not available in y...
2 people found this helpful

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