The word ‘Shirodhara’ comes from the Sanskrit words 'Shiras' - 'head' and 'Dhara' - 'flow' or ‘stream’. The liquids used in shirodhara depend on what is being treated, but can include oil, milk, coconut water, or even plain water.
It is a beautiful, deeply relaxing treatment that consists of pouring a stream of either warm oil or any relaxing and beneficial liquid over the forehead. Shirodhara is a powerful treatment for relieving mental stress and nervous tension. Shirodhara works first and foremost on the mental sheath.
Shirodhara has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, graying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment and certain types of skin diseases. It is also used non-medicinally at spas for its relaxing properties.
There are specialized forms of shirodhara called thyladhara, ksheeradhara, thakradhara and jaladhara.