Dhara is a very popular treatment in Ayurveda and is very effective in treatment of tension, mental stress, headaches, insomnia and can also improve memory power. Shirodhara is a unique treatment where specific medicated oils are used to bathe the head in a regular stream for a definite period. It is an effective therapy for mental relaxation and cures insomnia, stress, depression, decreased mental agility etc.
When medicated buttermilk replaces oil (sneha), the therapy is called Takradhara. If medicated milk is used instead of medicated oil, then the process is called. To begin with, some oil suited to the patient's dosha condition is applied on the crown. This is a prerequisite in almost all oil treatments. A headband (vartti) is tied just above the ear level to prevent oil from flowing into the eyes. The patient is then made to lie on his back on the droni with the head rested properly. The position of the head should be such that the steam from the vessel falls at the center of the forehead. The therapist then fills the vessel. When the oil that trickles down the wick starts to fall on the patient's forehead, the therapist moves the vessel to and fro gently to ensure that the oil covers the entire region between the temples which he gently massages the area with his other hand.
The duration of a dhara is usually between 25 and 75 minutes. However, if the disease is very severe, it may take longer, a dhara is generally good for diseases due to a disorder of the tridosha. Herbal oil, tender coconut water milk, ghee, dhanyamlam (a mixture of cereals and citrus fruits) or buttermilk may be used for various kinds of dharas. The treatment is indicated for insanity .severe illnesses due to disorder of the vata, chronic cold, sinusitits, diseases of the eys, ears and so on.
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