Category Archives: Definitions

What is Shirodhara?

Shirodhara is a form of Ayurvedic therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead and can be one of the steps involved in Pancha Karma. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow). The liquids used in shirodhara depend on what is being treated, but can include oil, milk, buttermilk, coconut water, or even plain water. Shirodhara has been used to treat a variety of conditions including eye diseases, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, greying of hair, neurological disorders, memory loss, insomnia, hearing impairment, tinnitus, vertigo, Ménière’s disease and certain types of skin diseases like psoriasis. It is also used non-medicinally at spas for its relaxing properties. (Defiinition courtesy of Wikipedia.)

What is Abhyanga Massage and Body Therapy?

Abhyanga is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with large amounts of warm oil. The oil is often pre-medicated with herbs for specific conditions.[1] Abhyanga can be done as part of the steps of Pancha Karma therapy, especially during the first, pre-treatment stage, Purva Karma, or as its own therapy.… Continue Reading

What is Dough Basti?

Basti is the Sanskrit word for “container.” A dough basti is essentially a dam created by the therapist from gram or chick pea flour that contains medicinal oil or milk or ghee. The dam is molded and placed over a specific region of the body for approximately 30 minutes. Traditionally, the bastis are placed over… Continue Reading

What is Pancha Karma?

Pancha Karma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments”. Recommended as a retreat whenever possible, Pancha Karma purifies the tissues at a very deep level. It involves daily massages and oil baths, herbal enemas and nasal and colonic administrations. It is a very individualized and pleasurable experience. Pancha Karma promises the… Continue Reading

What is Marma Therapy?

Marma therapy is an ancient Indian practice whose focus is the manipulation of subtle energy (prana) in the body for the purposes of supporting the healing process. Marma therapy is based on the utilization of 107 points in the body which are considered to be access points to body, mind and consciousness. Knowledge of Marma… Continue Reading