The client lies on a specially designed table. A wide mouthed vessel with a small hole at the bottom is hung above the head of the client, so that the wick hanging from the vessel is about two inches above the forehead. The special medicinal oil, milk, or buttermilk, etc, that is poured into the vessel is made to flow in a continuous stream through the wick on to the upper part of the forehead. The eyes are protected with cotton pads to prevent oil from dripping into them. The warm oil or other medium used, is collected, kept at a constant warm temperature, and re-circulated, and the process continues for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the Dosha. On completion of the flow of oil, the client is allowed to rest for a few minutes, before the residual oil is wiped from the hair. The client can then dress and go home and it is recommended to rest quietly for at least a few hours.
Shirodhara works primarily on the mental sheath or "manomaya kosha" as it is referred to in Ayurveda. Shirodhara is traditionally used to calm the nerves, harmonize vata constitutions, restore the nerves, release stored emotions, and purify the mind. In Ayurvedic Medicine, it is considered an important tool in the pursuit of higher states of consciousness. Shirodhara has been traditionally shown to help with fatigue, mental exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, some mental disorders, headache, excessive thinking, nervousness, and many other conditions commonly affecting persons in today?s active lifestyle.
Endometriosis According to Ayurveda
Endometriosis is primarily a Kapha problem due to the increasing buildup of cells and overgrowing much like a tumor (11). Endometriosis can also be thought of as a Pitta problem because of the involvement of blood, hormones, and menstruation as well as the inflammatory nature of the disease (14). Vata is also involved in a number of ways. One is the painful nature of endometriosis which places Vata at the center of the imbalance. Then, there is the involvement of Apana Vayu in the downward movement of menstrual flow and also the involvement of vata in the circulation of blood. Perhaps the most obvious sign of the role of Vata is the displacement of endometrial cells from their original location in the uterus to places outside. Therefore, endometriosis is a Sannipatika condition involving all three doshas although the proportion of each may vary to a certain extent according to the individual patient.
Of the three sources found, one strongly emphasizes the role of pitta in the etiology of endometriosis and another considers vata as the main cause through the involvement of the mind (12-14). I personally consider it a condition of Vata pushing Pitta pushing Kapha out of balance. My rationale for this is the very definition of endometriosis which is the growth of endometrial cells outside the uterus. This to me, places Vata at the base of the problem. Also, if we consider the modern medicine's theory of retrograde menstruation, we can see the involvement or rather the obstruction of Apana Vayu which holds Pitta (blood) and causes it to move up and around. Pitta then becomes vitiated causing heavy bleeding and inflammation. This pitta vitiation creates an irritation which induces kapha to enter to provide comfort by coating the irritated area. The kapha influence then causes a buildup of cells and overgrowth. Thus, the Sannipatika nature of the disease.