Taking a 5000 year old therapeutic institution and making it their own for the 21st century visitor, Royal Marine Hotel talk about their take on Shirodhara!
What is Shirodhara?
It’s a 90-minute treatment that’s been performed in India for more than 5000 years. It’s basically pouring warm oil on the ‘third eye’ continuously, which is very comforting. It relaxes the emotions, calms the mind, improves sleep, and induces a profound sense of peace and wellbeing. It starts with a foot soak, and then we add an Indian Head Massage with sesame seed oil through the hair. When that’s finished the client lies face down and we put eucalyptus oil under their head so they can inhale it. Then we do a full body massage paying particular attention to the back using sesame seed oil which is more rich and nourishing than other oils. We massage a rose and frankincense cream into the hands and feet as well. We also clean and massage the face with a rose cleanser. All of this is before the Shirodhara treatment itself, which is around 20 minutes.
Where is it from?
The Shirodhara treatment is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy from India, but we have added in the scented oils to make it one of our signature treatments.
What is it supposed to do?
It’s a purifying and rejuvenating therapy designed to eliminate toxins and mental exhaustion. It’s about relaxing the mind in particular; most of us have our minds going at 100 miles an hour so it really focuses on relieving that stress as well as body tension. It also balances the emotions, calms the mind, improves sleep, and relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety.
What do you do to enhance the treatment?
We start with a foot soak infused with rose and frankincense oil as well as rose petals, which is a lovely way to start the treatment.
Is there anything you recommend clients do before or after the treatment to get the most out of it?
Like with any massage the body uses up a lot of energy getting rid of toxins, so afterwards it is very important not to do a lot – just relax and do nothing. If you can, leave the oils on overnight, including the oil that’s in your hair – it can be a little greasy, but afterwards it feels amazing! You might have to wash it twice to make sure you get all of the oil out.
Who is it particularly good for?
Anyone suffering from stress, mental anxiety, sleep problems, or just in need of slowing down their mind for a little while!
Is there anyone who shouldn’t have it?
It is best to avoid it during pregnancy as it might be a bit much. If you have a serious illness, then as with any massage it should be mentioned beforehand or you may need a doctor’s note. However there are no specific contraindications.
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