Inspired living

Relax with Shirodhara

Young woman getting shirodhara treatment done

Credit: Getty Images

Recently, while holidaying in Malaysia, I walked by an Ayurvedic clinic and started chatting with the owner. My skin is always something I’ve been fanatical with – probably because it’s always given me so much trouble. When the owner recommended I try Shirodhara, I didn’t need much convincing. I’ve always been fascinated with Ayurveda and if it could help my skin, then why not?

So what is Shirodhara? Shirodhara is part of Panchakarma treatment – which is essentially an Ayurvedic detox process. Essentially, Shirodhara involves constantly pouring liquids over one’s forehead for about 40 minutes.

What’s the point, you ask? The process of pouring liquids over the forehead stimulates the 3rd eye or anja chakra. The process soothes the nerves around the scalp and brain to help aid relaxation – and boy, does it ever!

For the process, I climbed up onto the special Ayurvedic treatment table which is a rather impressive and ornate looking wooden table with drainage facilities. After lying down, my eyes were covered – which works to stop anything getting in the eyes and aids further relaxation. Liquid was then poured into the cooper shirodhara pot which hangs above your head. The pot slowly swings back and forth like a pendulum and gently trickles a steady stream of milk over your head. It might not sound like it, but the soft spray of liquid across my forehead was so soothing I must have fallen asleep within the first few minutes.

Shirodhara can assist people suffering from depression, headaches, vertigo, dizziness, insomnia, skin conditions and a range of other ailments. A lot of these conditions are caused by stress and therefore related to the mind. By aiding relaxation and stimulating the 3rd eye, shirodhara aims to restore balance in the body and mind.

Different liquids are chosen according to the condition being treated. I wanted a glowing complexion so milk was the best choice in this case. Other liquids that are used include oil, coconut oil or even water.

The verdict
I’m hooked. Accompanied by the Ayurvedic facial I had just before Shirodhara (which involved all sorts of things being placed on my face include delicious, fresh papaya) and the scrub and facial mask I was given to use after the treatment, I’ve noticed a visible change in my skin. I’m now looking out for an Ayurvedic clinic in Sydney for my next treatment (good thing there are plenty out there!).  Can anyone recommend a practitioner?


Veronica Joseph

Veronica Joseph is an accredited yoga teacher who loves to share her yogic journey from travels in India, cleansing techniques, her favourite poses and their benefits and tips to remember when practising.