Shirodhara is a form of Ayurveda therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead and can be one of the steps involved in Panchakarma. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow).
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.