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Ayurveda Blog




Today stress and fatigue are like household commodities. Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical/mental equilibrium. A stressful event triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol to surge through the body. Though the clinical efficacy of Shirodhara is proved, the nature of its action is complex. The body, mind and spirit are intimately related.

Imbalance of prana, Udana and vyana vata , sadhaka pitta and tarpaka Kapha can produce stress. Shirodhara restablishes integrity between these subtypes of dosha, thus helps in the management of stress.

Shirodhara in managing stress

Shirodhara is a process in which medicated oils , milk, kwatha or buttermilk is poured in a continuous stream on the forehead for particular fixed time.

It is effective procedure indicated for psychogenic disorder. Relieves stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia through natural serotonin, dopamine and melatonin release.

Helps mental focus and concentration.

Deeply relaxes mind and body.

Improves sleep pattern.

Pacify restlessness, irritability, nervousness,fear and excessive thinking,improves mental focus and concentration.

Mode of action of shirodhara in managing stress

Continuous pouring of medicated oil produce a constant pressure and vibration which is amplied by hollow sinus present in frontal bone. The vibration is then transmitted inward through medium of CSF. This vibration along with little temperature may activate the functions of thalamus and basal forebrain which then brings the amount of serotonin and catecholamine to the normal stage. Pressure also has an effect on impulse conduction. If prolonged pressure is applied to a nerve, impulse conduction is interrupted and part of body relaxes.

Medicated oil poured on forehead may be absorbed, producing tranquilizing effect by reaching the brain cortex. The chemical constituent of medicated oil may act as a neurotransmitter as deficiency of certain neurotransmitter can be checked hypothetically if oil percolate in to brain cortex

This act as a soothing effect for brain and produces sleep.

Effect on autonomous nervous system

It may also have alpha adrenergic blocking effects and can thus block certain action of adrenaline and nor adrenaline.

Effect on endocrine system

The effect of Shirodhara on hormone secretion can also be postulated considering the effect on hypothalamus as hypothalamus is the main controller of the endocrine system. The hypothalamus neurons which secrete regulatory hormones are themselves under control of specialized monoaminergic, neurotransmitters neurons which arise in the midbrain. These later releases dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin.

Regulation of emotional and behavioral pattern

In turn, these midbrain nuclei are under the control of visceral brain and are responsive to stress and emotional disturbances.

Together with the limbic system and hypothalamus regulate aggression, pain, pleasure and other behavioral patterns of sexual arousal.

Ultimately it can be postulated that Shirodhara may be having some effect on hypothalamus resulting in a decrease of most of the psychic and somatic disorders.