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Shirodhara: Ayurveda for Anxiety

If you practice Ayurveda, you will learn that oils are ubiquitous in the therapeutic treatments that prevail. This is because oils find their way into every “doorway” of the human body. One such oil application is shirodhara, known for its ability to assuage anxiety, eliminate toxins and mental exhaustion, and relieve stress.


In Ayurveda, Shiro (head) and Dhara (flow) is a powerful panacea that eases the suffering of the mind. You lie on a table known as a droni while a therapist rhythmically pours a stream of warm, herbalized oil on the third eye area of the forehead from a hanging pure copper valve-controlled pot. Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

The stress of anxiety caused by vata dosha (excess air and space) can cause debilitating effects such as the inability to focus and concentrate, insomnia, nervousness, and obsessive thoughts. Shirodhara sends a wave of calm over the nervous system. Various base oils (often sesame oil) carry the intelligence of herbs like brahmi, sandalwood, bhringaraj, and lavender, which evoke a sense of calm and equilibrium.

It is a truly sacred experience that everyone should be fortunate enough to experience.


Who should experience shirodhara? The answer is EVERYONE! Even those of us who don’t suffer from anxiety can benefit from shirodhara. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game is to actively participate in your self-care by availing yourself of the Ayurvedic therapy of shirodhara to prevent imbalances. And shirodhara is just downright delicious! Just one shirodhara treatment can elicit a vital sense of well-being and peacefulness.

The practitioner might recommend three consecutive shirodhara treatments for individuals with anxiety to provide a deeply nourishing and healing experience.

Shirodhara can also help alleviate

  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Mental fatigue from “burnout” at work
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Imbalances where there has been a severe impact on the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.


Shirodhara is an excellent complement to the practice of meditation as it helps to further calm and steady the mind. And if we feel more calm, steady, and at ease, won’t that have far-reaching effects in all areas of our lives?


You can experience shirodhara at Shankara Ayurveda Wellness at the Art of Living Retreat Center.  There, you can experience a number of Ayurveda retreats to bring you to the experience of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. With Shankara, an Ayurveda retreat is not just theoretical—the time-tested cleanses, educational programs, and Ayurveda treatments dive deep into the Ayurveda experience and provide you all the tools you need for the healing, health, and wellness you deserve. Learn what works for your body and emerge feeling lighter, well-rested, and ready to take on the world.


Ayurveda Wellness Escapes

Whether you want to de-stress alone, or reconnect and rejuvenate with a family member, friend, or group, our wellness getaways are designed to soothe the body, mind, and spirit.