Shirodhara Head Massage Treatment and Benefits

Shirodhara head massage is extremely relaxing, rejuvenating, and enhancing the function of the central nervous system. It can be used to treat a variety of diseases including eye diseases, sinusitis, and memory loss.

Shirodhara head massage is a classic Ayurveda therapy that involves pouring warm herbal oil on the forehead in a continuous flow. It has proved to be very beneficial for people suffering from imbalances in Vata and Pitta.

Ayurveda head massage treatment is very effective for promoting good sleep and reducing stress. This is one of the most sacred therapies and helps to awaken the intuitive knowledge of your body.

What is Shirodhara Head Massage?

The head massage is a unique and powerful Ayurveda therapy that balances and stabilizes the mind. It’s treatment is one of Bahiparimarjana chikitsa, which is what Ayurveda calls external treatment.

This is one of the most sacred therapies and helps to awaken the intuitive knowledge of your body.

It purifies the mind, reduces anxiety, reduces headaches, and enhances awareness. It can be used alone or as part of the Panchakarma detox system.


Shiro –> Head

Dhara –> Flow of stream

Hence from the above association, we can say that the word means a form of treatment in which, hot herbal Ayurveda oil is poured on the forehead.

When Vata is out of balance, it appears as fear, insecurity, worry, or racing thoughts; when Pitta is out of balance, it appears as anger, irritability, frustration, or judgment.

The role and quality of the liquid used in the treatment are opposite to that of unbalanced dosha. By applying liquid to the forehead, scalp, and nervous system, it can soothe, nourish, and soothe dosha.

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What is the Procedure of the Shirodhara Treatment?

It usually practiced in the morning or evening. Depending on “Dravya” (medicinal or non-medicinal liquid), it can be called Tailadhara, Takradhara, Kashayadhara, and Jaladhara Shirodhara.

What is the Procedure of the Shirodhara Treatment
What is the Procedure of the Head Massage Treatment?

It is also a member of Murdhataila (there are 4 special methods for the head in Ayurveda).

The massage treatment starts with Abhyangam (Ayurveda full body massage). You need to close your eyes and lie on the massage table to relax your body.

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Put a pot with a hole and a yarn core on it and hang it on the forehead of the patient lying on the treatment table. Pour the liquid medicine (maybe medicine oil or milk) into the pot and gradually drip into the head.

Place a strap or a rolled towel on the forehead to prevent grease from dripping into the patient’s eyes. There will be about 45 – 60 minutes of treatment a day.

The head massage therapy can help calm and restore nerves, release stored emotions, purify the mind, eliminate fatigue, relieve anxiety, insomnia, chronic headaches, nervousness, etc.

What is Ajna Marma and How is it related to the head massage treatment therapy?

It stimulates Ajna Marma, which is one of the most important life points of the human body, namely the “maha-marma” of the head. This is not only a critical point for nerves and tissues but also a vital point for vitality or “breathing” cycles.

What is Ajna Marma and how is Shirodhara related to it
What is Ajna Marma and How is it related to the head massage treatment therapy?

Ajna Marma is also known as the “third eye” chakra. It is the sixth main chakra in your body and is often called the center of intuition and vision.

According to Ayurveda, stimulating Ajna Marma, which leads to an expansion of consciousness, a parasympathetic resting state, a selfless state, during which we are deeply connected to the self or subconscious.

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This process reveals the innate wisdom of our bodies. Cover your eyes and you will enter a state of happiness and relaxation similar to meditation.

What are the different types of Shirodhara Head Massage?

There are many types of the traditional head massage therapy, depending on the recipient’s health and the treatment.

S.noType Significance
1KsheerdharaKsheerdhara used medicated milk in the Shirodhara process and infused related herbs such as sandalwood, camphor, or vetiver.   The temperature of the milk is kept neither cold nor hot at the beginning of the process and then kept at room temperature as the temperature rises.
2KashayadharaShirodhara using medicated herbal oil is called Kashayadhara, where the type of oil and herbs depends on the recipient’s condition and they want to treat it.
3ThailadharaShirodhara that involves the medicated oil in this process is called Thailadhara.
4TakradharaTakradhara is a type of Shirodhara in which buttermilk (or Takara) infused by mixing a certain amount of herbal oil and buttermilk with equal amounts of herbs.   This is poured continuously and rhythmically from a specific height for a specific period into the hair so that Takra runs through the scalp.
Types of the traditional head massage therapy

How does the Shirodhara Head Massage Treatment work?

Pour the warm oil used to stimulate and soothe the hypothalamus, thereby regulating the function of the pituitary gland and inducing sleep. It stimulates Marma points or life points on the head and improves blood circulation.

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The warm oil used in the treatment causes vasodilation of all channels, thereby improving blood circulation to the brain.

It also lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body (such as epinephrine and norepinephrine), which makes people relax.

What are the best oils used for the treatment?

The oil used in the treatment will vary from person to person. The oil is selected by a professionally trained Ayurveda therapist based on the dosha size of the person they are treating.

What are the best oils used for Shirodhara treatment
What are the best oils used for the treatment?

Banyan Botanicals also sells a blend of three oils that anyone can use. It is appropriately named Shirodhara Oil.

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This organic mixture contains five Indian herbs, which are poured into sesame oil and sunflower oil (ashwagandha, shatavari, bhringaraj, skullcap, and brahmi).

Sesame oil is known for its healing properties and is beneficial to anyone who recognizes the type of Vata dosha.

Sunflower oil is a cooling agent and is ideal for people who recognize the type of Pitta dosha. Coconut oil is also cooling, but it can be considered too cold, it is best to use it only in summer or hot season.

What are the imbalances caused by the Vata and Pitta Doshas?

Each person has a certain body type and is impacted by three doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Mishrit doshas.

What are the imbalances caused by the Vata and Pitta Doshas
What are the imbalances caused by the Vata and Pitta Doshas?

Let’s look into certain imbalances in the body due to Vata and Pitta doshas.

Imbalances due to Vata Dosha

Vata dosha imbalances include feeling fear, worry, experiencing insecurity, and unnecessary blabbering. 

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Imbalances due to Pitta Dosha

Pitta dosha imbalances include extroverted anger or inner turmoil, easy frustration, irritability, and impaired judgment. 

What are the Benefits of the Shirodhara Head Massage?

It’s benefits to the mind, body, & soul are countless. It is an excellent treatment for promoting blood circulation, reducing stress, restoring damaged nerves, improving memory and cognitive function.

What are the Benefits of the Shirodhara Head Massage
What are the Benefits of the Head Massage Treatment?

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Improvement in Blood Circulation

The warm oil used in Shirodhara also causes dilation of all the vascular nerves and veins, thereby improving blood circulation to the brain.

Deep Relaxation

The gentle pressure of oil and the soothing sense of warmness cause the body, mind, and nervous system to experience a deep resting state, similar to meditation.

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The head massage is also an ideal therapy for healthy people to maintain health, improve health, calmness, and immunity. It promotes deep relaxation, reduces fatigue, rejuvenates, and restores vitality.

It can also balance a person’s energy level. If you rest well, the process will enhance your clarity and perception.

Reduced Stress and Insomnia

The head massage can also reduce the levels of stress hormones (such as epinephrine and norepinephrine), thus relaxing your mind. It can help easily overcome sleep problems.

The study successfully checked whether the therapy was effectively alone and in combination with herbal support.

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This process stimulates the pineal gland, which produces melatonin, which is the regulator that wakes up the sleep cycle, or the body’s cardiac rhythm.

Restore Hair Vitality

The medicinal oil absorbed through the scalp stimulates the hair follicles, so it is an important treatment for hair problems (such as premature hair whitening or falling).

Repair Nerve Degeneration

It has a huge influence on the nervous system. This means that this process can immediately calm people, relax and purify the mind and nerves.

Some other benefits apart from the above-noted benefits of the head massage are:

  1. Relieves Migraine Headaches
  2. Aids Mental Focus and Concentration
  3. Lowers High Blood Pressure
  4. Facial Paralysis and Degenerative conditions of the brain.
  5. Promotes intuition by clearing the mind

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What are the ailments treated by Shirodhara Head Massage?

Following are the list of ailments that find its cure and due relief is provided to the patient who takes the Head Massage treatment.

  1. Insomnia
  2. Psoriasis
  3. Hypertension
  4. Chronic Headaches and Migraines
  5. Memory loss
  6. Tinnitus and Hearing loss
  7. Jet lag
  8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  9. Indigestion
  10. Fatigue

What are the Side effects associated with the treatment?

It is usually a safe method. However, precautions need to be taken to prevent oil from getting into the eyes or nose.

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If a woman has a rash or sunburn on the forehead or scalp during the second trimester of pregnancy, it should be avoided.

Other unqualified people include people with brain tumors, neck injuries, forehead cuts, or scrapes or fever. People with certain acute diseases or suffering from nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fatigue, or spontaneous sweating are not eligible for this treatment.


In this article, we have tried to shed light on Shirodhara head massage treatment, what are its possible benefits and for whom this treatment is not meant for. It is an amazing, unique head massage therapy from the ancient Ayurveda.

It has a profound effect on the nervous system. This means that treatment can directly and immediately calm people, relax, and have a cleansing effect on the mind and nerves.

It has countless advantages that are beneficial to body, mind, and spirit, so it is undoubtedly one of the therapies we need most!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the Shirodhara scalp massage?

Shirodhara (Shiro-Head; Dhara- Flow) is a unique form of ancient therapy where pouring oil on the forehead from a specific height for a specific period continuously and rhythmically allowing the oil to run through the scalp and into the hair.

Is Shirodhara good for hair?

It shows several benefits to improve mental health. Since the oils are absorbed through the scalp it also helps to manage some scalp or hair conditions including hair-fall, dry scalp, dandruff, etc.

What is Shirodhara good for?

It is a purifying and rejuvenating therapy designed to eliminate toxins and mental exhaustion as well as relieve stress and any ill effects. It is also helpful for patients after stroke. This therapy helps to enhance the functions of the central nervous system as a whole.

How long is a Shirodhara treatment?

Generally, sesame oil processed with various Indian herbs is used for Shirodhara. However, milk and buttermilk processed with herbs also are used in this treatment depending upon the patient’s condition. A typical Shirodhara session would last 30 to 60 minutes and is done for 3, 7, 14, or 28 days.

How can we do Shirodhara at home?

Fold a cloth, known in Ayurveda as pichu, and soak in the warm oil of your choice for a few minutes. Lie down and press the pichu firmly on the marma point (also known as the third eye) in the center of your forehead. Rest for 15 minutes. Wipe away excess oil.