According to International Headache society, 46% of people worldwide have an active headache disorder which demands a safe and secure treatment. There are innumerable analgesics or pain killers available in the market if you have headache but no treatments are researched upon to prevent the headache. Ayurveda has existed for more than 5000 years and it continues to still exist which itself says that the science that manages to prevent the disease is only Ayurveda.

What is Shirodhara in Ayurveda?

Shirodhara is made up of two words, ‘Shiro’ which means head and ‘Dhara’ which means a flow or stream. In Ayurveda, Shirodhara is a therapeutic procedure wherein a continuous stream of warm medicated oil, milk or buttermilk is poured over the forehead rhythmically. It is the best ayurvedic treatment for Migraine or headache. The continuous flow of medicated oil over the forehead stimulates the third eye centre. Behind the third eye of middle of the forehead, lies pineal gland. Pineal gland is responsible for secreting serotonin and melatonin which are happy hormones. The stream pouring over forehead stimulates the pineal gland and more hormones are secreted. This makes Shirodhara a prime treatment for anxiety, stress, depression, Insomnia.

Shirodhara Treatment for Migraine

Which Medicines are Used in Shirodhara?

The medicine used in Shirodhara depends on Prakriti (constitution) of an individual and aggravated Doshas. It can pacify Vatta and Pitta balance very easily. For Migraine patients, following forms of Shirodhara are commonly used at our Migraine clinic in Faridabad.

1. Taila Dhara: This is the most common and most effective type of Shirodhara used when it comes to treatment of chronic headaches. Here a warm medicated oil like Chanda Bala, Bala Ashwagandha is poured onto the forehead. It balances Vatta and Pitta which are two commonly aggravated doshas in vascular headaches. This treatment also brings relaxation to the mind and reduces stress.

2. Ksheera Dhara: This type of Shirodhara involves the use of warm medicated milk instead of oil. Various herbs like Ashwagandha, Shatavari are prepared in milk and used for Dhara. This gives strength to the nerves and reduces stress induced headaches.

3. Takra Dhara: This type of Shirodhara involves the use of medicated buttermilk instead of oil. Takra Dhara is believed to be particular effective for promoting relaxation

4. Kwatha Dhara: This involves the use of herbal decoctions as the liquid is poured onto the forehead. It is also used in Vatik Shirashool or many types of headaches.

Benefits of Shirodhara

Shirodhara stimulates and massages the pineal gland. It causes a tingling sensation on the forehead that moves down the neck and upper spine. All types of psychological and mental disorders can benefit from Shirodhara.

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety: The warmth of the oil and gentle pressure of oil calms the nervous system and promotes relaxation.

2. Promotes Better Sleep: Shirodhara increases the secretion of melatonin which is a sleep hormone

3. Relieves Headaches and Migraines: The calming and soothing effect of Shirodhara is the most effective way to relieve the intense headache

4. Balances Hormones: The endocrine system is controlled by Pituitary gland located in brain hence with shirodhara over head stimulates the gland and ensures its proper functioning. This balances the hormones in the body which can be a cause of severe headaches.

5. Improves Hair and Scalp Health: With Shirodhara, the blood circulation improves and so the hair roots also become strong.

Are there any Studies which State that Shirodhara can Treat Migraine?

There are many research papers in international journals, controlled studies, case studies which have time and again studied the effectiveness of Shirodhara in treating headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety and stress. There are studies that have evaluated the psychological and physiological effects of Shirodhara by monitoring the rating of mood and levels of stress, ECG, EEG and selected biochemical markers of stress. The results have been very positive in these studies.

Acharya Charaka has mentioned that Manah Santap which means stress is the primary cause of head disorders especially the headaches. Shirodhara is the best treatment for stress headaches, tension headaches, migraine, vascular headache, trigeminal neuralgia. The pain of Migraine is not only debilitating but it can keep increasing if not treated. So, Shirodhara turns out be a non-invasive procedure in treating head disorders. There is lot that goes into deciding the best medicine for Shirodhara by a qualified Ayurveda practitioner. You should always get it done after consultation with a best ayurvedic doctor near you.