Obviously I also love to experience therapies, as much as I love giving, being on the receiving end is right up there with my favourite things to do on holiday. Not only adding to inspiration for my own work, as much as helping to switch off and relax.
Being spoilt for choice in Kerala for treatments in the 'Panchakarma' centers (Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation clinics). I sampled most of the menu on offer ; ), but by far the Shriodhara treatment has been one of the most amazing therapies I have ever experienced...
Shirodhara comes from the Sanskrit word of Shiro (head) and dhara (flow) and the treatment is the pouring of warm oils over the forehead.
To receive it, you lie face up on a special treatment couch, normally a beautiful wooden one, in which your head rests in a comfy 'pot', which helps to collect the oil.
The practitioner places a band of soft cotton on the eyes and lower forehead, you are then treated to the delight of 20 minutes of heaven! ... The warm oil is poured slowly and rhythmically from side to side over the forehead/ third eye area from a specific point.
The oil is usually sesame oil or coconut oil, I tried them both! The heated texture of them feels comforting and smooth and you feel it slowly dripping down your head, almost like a hand slowly stroking your hair.
I was told that the benefits of the treatment include; relieving tension, anxiety, stress, fatigue, easing depression and regulating moods, having a profound impact on the nervous system.
Personally I found that whilst experiencing the treatment I went into a very, very deep state of relaxation, very similar to meditation, I loved it! It reminded me of the feeling you get with reflexology, I imagine as both work on the nervous system.
The hours after the treatment you feel very calm and your hair has had the treat of its life, my sun bleached straw hair was transformed!
If you ever get the chance to experience Shirodhara I'd say go for it! Unfortunately I'm not able to carry around a wooded Ayurvedic treatment bed to my mobile treatments 🤣 so I won't be training in this one for now, but I'm definitely a panchakarma addict for life!