The Tea on Health - Shirodhara
Summertime is all about relaxation and Ayurveda wants to compliment that relaxation. Many diseases and conditions can be correlated to chronic stress and anxiety. Ayurveda focuses on the health of individuals through body, mind, and spirit. This practice looks at all aspects of life when considering a healing protocol. It’s important to focus on diet, exercise, and sleep, but the mind when plagued with the problems of life can override all of the best intentions you’ve been abiding by. Mental health is a significant influence in the food choices we make, the hours we sleep (or don’t sleep), and the motivation we have for exercise. It’s important to take the care and diligence to address issues that burden our mind, just as much as the maintenance we dedicate to our physical body.
Several of the treatments in Ayurveda focus on relieving stress and anxiety. One of the best treatments for relaxation and a gentle detox is an abhyanga. An abhyanga is similar to a massage, except the body is treated with warm medicated oil that goes into the skin and lubricates the body internally, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the lymphatic system to clear the nodes. The lymphatic system is our primary defense against disease and illness. During this treatment I often see women with puffy lymph nodes in the armpit area. This can be due to tight fitting clothes, underwires and other kinds of restriction in the chest. I treat the area with a breast balm and circulate the system with long strokes to move the lymph from the area. Having an abhyanga is a good way to understand how you can treat yourself daily to make sure your lymphatic system is consistently circulating. During an abhyanga you will also receive treatment to the abdomen, which stimulates the liver and pancreas. These organs work hard 24/7 and the gentle circulating movement helps reduce their workload and encourage toxins to be excreted by the body. I recommend an abhyangha every two weeks during acute times of stress, and monthly for overall maintenance to avoid illness, while lubricating and supporting the body with a gentle detox.
A shirodhara is another treatment that focuses on reducing stress and anxiety by dripping a continuous flow of medicated oil on the forehead. The oil usually consists of brahmi and several other herbs. Brahmi is an herb that calms the nervous system, helps improve memory, strengthens clarity and mental focus, as well as nourishes the scalp and hair. This treatment helps with sleep and a feeling of relaxation. It is very grounding and supports the reduction of vata in the body. Vata is composed of air and ethers and when an accumulation exists in the body a person can feel dizzy, spacey, and imbalanced. This treatment is indicated in cases of high vata, anxiety, headache, hypertension, insomnia, depression, stress, and much more. Shirodhara is most effective when done in a series of treatments. Sessions can be done up to three times in a week for acute presentations, once a week, once a month, or less frequently for maintenance.
These treatments can be scheduled in Brownsville or Albany for $60 each. Ayurveda although 5,000 years old, is having a resurgence of popularity and success as pharmaceutical treatments for stress, anxiety, depression, and many other conditions struggle to give clients the peace and relaxation they need to function in a demanding society. Besides physical treatments on the body, herbs can be incorporated in a protocol to support a feeling of well-being, reduced anxiety, and increase clarity and mental focus. Please call to make an appointment for treatment or to discuss your unique health needs 310-614-3669. I am a licensed ayurvedic practitioner that graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences and trained in Los Angeles, as well as India.