Shirodhara is a luxuriant and easy way to achieve instant calm and rejuvenation. It derives from two Sanskrit words: shiro and dhara. Shiro means head and dhara means to flow. It involves the warm and consistent flow of aromatic oils on the forehead, specifically on the ‘third eye’. This is the chakra point just above and between the eyebrows. It is said to be the seat of human consciousness. The oils are allowed to flow over the scalp and through the hair, creating a blissful sensation.
Lying on your back, your body will be cocooned in warmed towels and your head will be positioned under the oil ‘fountain’ – a metal bottle with a slow-flowing spout from which the oils will stream gently onto the forehead. The soothing and fragrant oils flow in a continuous, rhythmic stream for approximately 30 minutes – you’re guaranteed to be transported to a calm place in no time! The herbal oils will flow back freely, also nourishing the hair and scalp before they are captured in a basin below.
All your mental demons – fear, anxiety, anger or irritability – dissolve into an ocean of calm as your mind is lulled into a state of serenity and expanded consciousness.
As the oil strokes the third eye, it has a balancing effect on the deepest recesses of the brain, stimulating the endocrine system, the pituitary and pineal glands (for hormonal upsets) and pleasure neurotransmitters (for depression or emotional insecurity). The procedure is also said to synchronise alpha brain waves, enhancing blood circulation to the brain, improving mental clarity and generally releasing deeply trapped ama, or toxins.
You are then left for a few minutes to relax and assimilate the experience. Best of all, you’ll emerge with a heightened state of awareness and a long-lasting sense of peace to equip you for any of life’s challenges. Shirodhara truly honours the body as a sacred temple and a vehicle for the divine spirit within.
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Infant Massage is an age-old tradition that has been passed down from mother to child since the beginning of time.
Benefits of Infant Massage for Baby
- Infant-Parent attachment or “bonding”
- Helps baby feel loved
- Promotes better sleep
- Facilitates body awareness
- Boosts immune system
- Sensory stimulation
- Improves skin condition
- Improves blood circulation
- Helps digestion
- Balances respiration
- Relief for teething pains
- Help waste elimination
- Helps build parents’ and baby’s self-esteem
- Helps you learn about your baby (their needs and desires)
- Relaxes parents
- Pleasurable experience
- Stimulates production of oxytocin (Oxytocin is a hormone which can be produced by both male and female persons during massage. It is useful as a pain reliever and has a calming effect on the person.)
Benefits of Infant Massage for Parents
- Caregivers report feeling more comfortable and confident in their ability to care for baby.
- Parents learn to understand and respond to baby’s cues.
- Parents learn techniques to comfort, calm and soothe their babies.
- Provides an additional avenue for close and nurturing contact.
- Infant Massage is one of the most natural and pleasant methods of providing this important early nurturing and an amazing tool for helping parents become closer to their babies.
Infant Massage provides these benefits in 4 distinct ways:
Stimulates all the systems of the body including the:
- Nervous system
- Circulatory system
- Respiratory System
- Elimination System
- Immune System
Stimulates the release of oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone (is released in both parent and child), prolactin (promoting milk production in the mother) and other endorphins.
- Helps relieve tension built up from all the stimulation in the baby’s environment
- Helps babies handle sensory stimulation and respond in a relaxed manner
- Helps babies sleep better
- Helps regulate sleep/wake cycle
- Touch combined with vocalization helps reduce pain levels up to 80%
- Helps tone digestive tract
- Helps alleviate gas and promote elimination
- Releases hormones for food absorption.
- Releases endorphins, natural pain killers, to ease emotional distress
“Bonding is a unique relationship between two people. It is specific and endures through time.”M. Klaus
-Bonding and Attachment
- Infant massage draws on all the elements of bonding and attachment
- Eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin, body scent, vocalization, taste, responsiveness
- Hormones stimulated by infant massage promote bonding and attachment between parent and baby
Aromatherapy is an exploration of creativity as well as technical knowledge. Creative expression comes from knowing the characteristics of oils and envisioning new combinations of scents. The scientific aspect of aromatherapy comes from knowing the subtle differences in essential oils that are attributable to thousands of aroma chemicals, and how these chemical constituents affect the human body. The aromatic properties of natural essential oils are a catalyst for change in the human mind and body.
Essential oil aromas stimulate the part of the brain that affects emotion. The shape of an essential oil molecule is like a key that opens lock-like structure in the olfactory nerve receptors in our nostrils. The impression of the aroma is sent directly and immediately to the limbic system where memories are stored and pleasure and emotions are perceived. When stimulated, the limbic system releases chemicals that affect the central nervous system. Inhaling essential oils can help us attain a pleasurable emotional balance. A balanced emotional state in turn can have a therapeutic effect on physical problems.
Essential oils are quickly absorbed through the skin, traveling around individual cells and into hair follicles, where the oils enter the sebaceous glands and mingle with the skin’s natural emollients. The chemical properties of the oils can be cleansing, deodorizing, toning, or balancing. Essential oils add an aesthetic dimension to the healing effects of massage therapy, compresses, facial steams and body and foot baths. Because they’re so concentrated, essential oils must be diluted so they compose 2%-3% of the blend either in a carrier vegetable oil, such as sweet almond and jojoba, bath water or body care product.
A diffused aroma creates a mysterious presence in a room, then wafts away like a wish or prayer. The essential oils can be thought of as the quintessential spirit of plants, captured in a jar. Essential oils have positive effects on every level of being. Their unique properties enhance the mind, body and spirit. Aromatherapy is the creative and scientific application of essential oils to create beneficial changes in our lives on aesthetic, therapeutic and mystical levels.
A massage involves the rubbing and manipulating of muscles, tendons, skin and ligaments. A full body massage offers multiple benefits, both physically and psychologically.
A massage can help reduce your stress level. Massage may also help manage or reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. While no studies have proven that a massage will reduce symptoms of depression, some people feel that their symptoms are decrease after a full body massage.
A full body massage can also relieve any pain and stiffness the body may have. A full body massage may release endorphins, which act as a pain reliever. Massage sometimes helps relieve migraine pain too. Muscles that are tired, overused or otherwise sore are able to relax and soften through the massage.
A full body massage may increase your immune system’s function, and help improve your skin! The massage can also encourage tissue regeneration, which may help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
So help yourself out and get a massage today!