From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Ayurvedic Massage Therapy” in the June 2009 issue. Article summary: The ancient wisdom of India’s health-care system—Ayurveda, with its focus on balancing the body’s energies—is available to today’s massage therapist. True Ayurvedic massage relies on medicated and aromatic oils, flours for dry massage and powders of various herbs, and various types of Ayurvedic massage are employed, depending on the client’s condition.

by Bonnie Canavino

Shirodhara is the pinnacle of wellness treatments, dating back to the first millennium BCE. This treatment comes from the ancient medical practice known as Ayurveda. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiras (head) and dhara (flow). Shirodhara is used to treat a variety of conditions, from eye diseases to insomnia, and has found its way into Western spas for its relaxing properties.

This marvelous treatment is natural for a spa setting because of its benefits, including grounding and soothing the mind, nutritionally healing and beautifying the body, as well as renewing and helping the spirit shed its pain.

The one-hour treatment starts with a calming herbal foot soak and a cup of customized tea for the client to begin to unwind. The client is then led to the treatment table, where a brisk massage to the hands and feet is performed. The deep Ayurveda therapy begins with warm, rejuvenating shirodhara oil poured onto the forehead in a continuous stream to melt stress and tension away. The treatment ends with an Indian scalp, ear and neck massage to ease pressure from the head. The remaining aromatic oil is then offered to the guest to continue the therapy at home by soaking in the tub for continual relaxation.

Shirodara is a combination wellness therapy of superior herbal blended oil and touch, making this a unique and effective spa treatment for wellness today.

Bonnie Canavino is president, as well as developer and designer, of the Red Cherry Group, which manufactures two organic spa brands: Amrit Organic and spa specifics. She has 25 years of private industry career growth along with public industry management training, all in the beauty business. For more information, visit