Ayurvedic Head Massage Or Shiro Abhyanga

Ayurvedic Head Massage and Its Benefits

Have you ever thought about an easy way to relax after hectic work? Or are you worried about uncontrolled hair loss or premature greying of the hair? The Ancient Ayurvedic classics have a simple solution to all these named Shiro Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Head Massage)

Here are all the things you must know about this magical procedure.

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    What is Shiro abhyanga Or Ayurvedic Head Massage

    Shiro abhyanga is an Ayurvedic therapeutic procedure in which medicated oil is applied to the head and then a massage for a specific period. 

    The word “Shiro” means “head’ and “Abhyanga” means “massage”. Thus Shiro Abhyanga means Ayurvedic head massage using oils.

    It is included under the category of Murdha Taila by Acharyas. The therapy can be practiced as a part of the daily and seasonal regimen and for managing diseases.

    It is better to do an ayurvedic head massage for 7-21 days for 10-15 minutes or as advised by the physician. It is an external therapy that provides oleation to the body.

    Importance of Ayurvedic Head Massage

    The head is referred to as uttamanga in Ayurveda.

    According to traditional Ayurvedic theory, the human body is like an inverted tree. The thorax and abdomen make up the tree’s trunk, the extremities branches, and the head, its root. Like a tree’s roots support and guide its growth, the head serves as the body’s control center. Therefore, one can protect the entire body by caring for the head.

    There is an explanation in the Ayurvedic texts that all of the indriyas (sense organs) and prana (the life force directing all actions) are located in the head. As a result, the head is regarded as the human body’s best organ.

    The brain is located in the head and is responsible for all motor and sensory functions in the human body. Therefore massaging the head helps in the pacification of mental and physical illness as well as a preventive measure.

    Diseases treated with Shiro abhyanga or Ayurvedic Head Massage

    Ayurvedic physicians advise ayurvedic head massages for all diseases above the shoulder. It is beneficial for both psychological and physical illnesses. The following are the ailments treated with an ayurvedic head massage

    • Shiro rogas caused by vata vitiation.
    • Pakshagata (hemiplegia).
    • Anidra (insomnia).
    • Arditam (facial paralysis).
    • Cervical spondylosis.
    • Dryness and itching of the head.
    • Hair loss.
    • Diseases of the eye.
    • Psychosomatic diseases.
    • Immature greying of hair.
    • Baldness.

    Benefits of  Ayurvedic Head massage

    Siro abhyanga is an external therapy that is non-invasive, safe, and affordable to patients. The benefits can be shortlisted as follows:

    • It brings the vata dosha to an optimum level
    • It gives clarity to the sense organs
    • It can be administered daily.
    • Provides sound sleep
    • Provide a coolant effect on the brain.
    • Promotes hair growth
    • Prevent premature greying of hair and hair fall.
    • Prevent dryness and itching of the scalp.
    • Promotes longevity
    • Enhances blood and nutritional supply to the brain
    • Relieves stress and keeps the mind calm.

    It is a safe, non-invasive, cost-effective treatment with no side effects.

    The procedure of Ayurvedic Head Massage

    Even though it is a simple external therapy, perform this therapy only with a physician’s consultation. Decide the duration of the procedure and the oil used under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician.

    It is better to carry out a physical examination before the procedure.

    There are two types of head massage procedures: pretreatment, treatment, and post-treatment regimen.

    Pre-treatment regimen.

    Select the oil in madhyamapaka according to the patient’s climate, constitution and disease.

    The oil is heated using a double boil method. Give maximum to keep the oil temperature at an optimum level I,e, lukewarm.

    The patient is advised to shave their head or make it short if possible.


    • The patient must be seated comfortably on a chair or droni in a comfortable position.
    • The lukewarm oil must be applied to the head, first in the anterior fontanelle and then the whole scalp.
    • Start massaging the scalp and head and move down to the neck, upper back and shoulders.

    The ayurvedic head massage performs in nine different ways on the vertex, occipital and temporal regions.

    1. Smearing the oil – Pour the lukewarm oil over the head. It is spread over the head by dividing the hair using fingers, or cotton dipped in oil.
    2. Gharsana Hasta – Massaging the whole head by moving the hand’s palmar surface from before backwards. Massage the complete area of the scalp in this way.
    3. Mridvanguli Tadana – Move the Fingers of both hands simultaneously as if picking up tufts of hair.
    4. Dwi Hasta Tadana – Gentle strokes are performed on the scalp using the palmar surface of both hands simultaneously and alternatively.
    5. Taranga Hasta – Gentle strokes are placed on the scalp by the rapid rocking movement of both palms simultaneously.
    6. Anguli Kridana Hasta – Gentle strokes are placed on the scalp by simultaneously rocking movement of the little finger and thumb palmar surface.
    7. Mridu Musti Tadana – Gentle strokes are applied on the head with a closed fist through the ulnar border simultaneously and alternatively.
    8. Shabdanguli Kreedana – In this technique, hands are clasped together with little fingers folded. Stroking is done with loose hands by the other fingers producing a bubbling sound.
    9. Ghatita Hasta – In this technique, the flat of the palm is placed on the client’s head and moulded in the shape of a scalp. Then, gentle and firm pressure is exerted on the head.

    Post-treatment regimen.

    • After the procedure, the oil dripped down must be removed using a cotton cloth.
    • The individual must rest for 15 minutes in a comfortable position.
    • The individual can take a bath in lukewarm water.
    • Apply rasnadi choornam on the head after the bath. 

    Best oils for Ayurvedic Head Massage

    Oil selection depends on the patient’s season, constitution and disease. Coconut oil and sesame oil are used commonly by individuals daily. If the procedure is therapeutic, then the oil selection must be under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician. The oils indicated for head massage are:

    • Sesame oil.
    • Coconut oil.
    • Ksheerabala 101 thailam.
    • Lakshadi tailam.
    • Mahamasha thailam.
    • Karpasasyadi thailam.
    • Balaswagandhadi thailam.
    • Kuntalakadi thailam.
    • Triphaladi thailam.
    • Dhurdhurapatradi thailam.
    • Neelibhringadi thailam.
    • Bala thailam.
    • Balaguluchyadi thailam.
    • Bhringamalakadi tailam.

    Things to consider during Shiro abhyanga

    • Give utmost care while performing this procedure. 
    • Select oil only after consulting a physician.
    • The oil must be lukewarm and maintain a uniform temperature throughout the procedure.
    • Trim the nails of the therapist and ensure that the therapist does not have any infectious diseases.
    • Avoid applying too much pressure while massaging the head, as it can cause headaches and other complications.
    • Avoid strenuous work, exercise, and sun exposure immediately after the procedure.
    • Avoid head massage if the individual is suffering from vitiation of kapha dosha.

    Siro abhyanga is a safe and non-invasive therapy accessible even to the common people. Practice head massages daily and see the magic by yourself.

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