Nevada City Spa, Nevada City Massage, Nevada City Ayurveda, Ayurveda California, Shirodhara

What is Shirodhara?

The word “Shirodhara”  (sheer-oh-DAR-a) means “head flowing” in Ayurveda’s Sanskrit language of origin. It is a deeply relaxing therapy that effects the body, mind and spirit in a profoundly healing way. A stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead and scalp, then is settled at a point at the middle of the brow (the third eye) for a duration of 15 – 30 minutes. Shirodhara is the most popular therapy in a long list of Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments.
Shirodhara is a cornerstone Ayurvedic treatment. It’s extraordinary not only for the sublime peace and calm that it produces in those who receive it, but in the ways that modern science has confirmed the multiple benefits it gives to the mind and body. At VitalLiving Ayurveda, we’ve administered more Shirodhara to clients for the first time than we can count.  The treatment never fails to surprise and amaze newcomers to Ayurveda.  Hearing about it never gets old. People generally say that it’s like being in the deepest state of meditation that you can imagine. You’re not asleep, but you’re not awake. And you feel wonderful. Some are mystified by it – but all are impressed.


Shirodhara stimulates what’s called a marma point over the third eye (and the pituitary gland), releasing neurotransmitters and neurohormones that allow the body to relax and heal at the deepest level. A marma point, in the Ayurvedic Science, is a vital energy point on the surface of the body. The ajna marma, between the brows, is central to all brain function and governs the endocrine glands,. On a more subtle level, it regulates the quality of consciousness. Accessing this marma point through therapeutic administration of Shirodhara offers deep healing and balancing.
The very simple application of a steady stream of warm oil to the middle of the forehead recharges the body, brings clarity to the mind, increases focus, concentration, memory and cognitive function, and helps to normalize emotional balance. Tension around the spine is relieved, which helps to calm and clear the mind. Shirodhara facilitates the release of serotonin and can elevate alpha and theta brain wave activity. A series of treatments can have a profound effect in treating a number of neurological and psychological conditions.


Besides relaxation and stress reduction, Shirodhara has been proven to offer relief from headaches, migraines and insomnia, improves sleep quality, reduces anxiety, stimulates better decision making, increases clarity and focus, quickens recovery from jetlag and helps to deeply pacify and nourish the nervous system. Shirodhara is an excellent treatment for routine maintenance of the mind, harmonizing brain wave activity that is disrupted by technology and modern living.
Traditionally, Shirodhara is indicated for diseases of the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose, throat and nervous system. It has been shown to have beneficial effects on asthma, cholesterol management, enlarged prostate, ulcers, rheumatism and diabetes. It is also indicated for alcoholism and addiction, mental overstimulation, and mental stress and strain, among other things. Shirodhara has the added benefit of rejuvenating the whole body, relieving exhaustion, and restoring the luster of the skin.
In today’s modern world of constant distraction, insomnia, emotional and hormonal imbalance, chronic disease, overstimulation and overwhelm, this treatment, combined with Ayurvedic Routines, Lifestyle and Remedies offers wonderful benefits. The science of Ayurveda imparts simple and natural methods to tune the mind, body and spirit to health and vitality!
Ayurveda is the ancient eastern Life Science that has the whole world talking. Its’ rising western popularity (think Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Andrew Weil, Oprah) is well deserved. Ayurveda offers keys to self-care that prevent disease and aging, and heals where Western Medicine cannot. Ayurvedic remedies, Lifestyle and therapies offer profound balance and wellness. This is a revolution in the understanding of health and longevity that’s here to stay.
Ayurveda.  There’s a Science to Living Well.™


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