In a world where sleep has become such a precious commodity, could the prescription for better slumber be shirodhara instead of a tablet?


“I believe that sleep is the next big health issue, and that Ayurvedic massage Shirodhara is a natural complement to sleep,” Ruchi says. “People who don’t necessarily have asleep disorder tell me, ‘I’m really noticing a lot of benefits from Shirodhara. I’m even sleeping better.’ I hear it all the time, so it makes sense to me.”

From snoring clients to post-massage testimonials, anecdotal evidence abounds. But does Shirodhara massage therapy have an actual, demonstrable impact on sleep? Although answers remain ambiguous, both Ayurvedic physicians and massage therapists are asking the question. And for some people, at least, that means the massage table could be the next best place to search for missing Zs.

“Sleep is something I’ve always had an issue with,” says a client. “Not only did I have a lot of anxiety, but I’m also a night owl. I wasn’t sleepy at 9 or 10 o’clock. I was sleepy at 1 o’clock. So, I’d have a lot of trouble falling asleep. I’d just lie there, and my anxiety would kick in. 

”When she was a girl, she suffered from an undiagnosed anxiety disorder that routinely kept her up at night. By treating her anxiety and improving her sleep hygiene, the client was able to resolve her sleep issues. 

Sleep Setbacks

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. According to a 2018 study of more than 10,000 people, the body's ability to function declines if sleep isn't in the seven- to the eight-hour range. Unfortunately, According to a study conducted by a consumer product giant, nearly 93% of Indians are sleep-deprived. The changing lifestyle and intrusion of modern gadgets have only aggravated the situation. 

Inadequate sleep is associated with an increased risk of mental distress, as well as numerous chronic health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. 

Sleep isn’t just nice, then. It’s a necessity. Sleep is the time when our body is repairing itself; if you’re not getting enough deep sleep, then you’re compromising your ability to repair the damage that’s been done to your body. Sleep deprivation also can interfere with memory, impair immune function, and interrupt the body’s production and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters. Of course, everyone experiences sleep disruption at some point. When sleeplessness lasts for longer than a few days, however, what began as a sleep disturbance instead becomes a sleep disorder.

Although prescription sleep medication can be helpful for short-term sleep fragmentation, it can also have significant negative side effects like falling and daytime sedation 

Therefore Vaidya Ruchi Gulati at Sukh Ayurveda prefers integrative therapies whenever possible—including Shirodhara. “I think Shirodhara can be a very valuable part of a comprehensive care plan esp Pain or stress is the cause.”

Happy Ayurveda!