I was lucky enough to have a Canyon Ranch Spa onboard my cruise ship recently, so I took the opportunity to embark on a spa adventure that I am excited to share with you.
Canyon Ranch has many beautiful locations and is well known for its' celebrity clientele and upscale services. The cruise ship versions of the spa was equally beautiful and offered all of the spas signature treatments.
First of all, you might be asking what is a Shirodhara treatment anyway? It's a relaxation-focused treatment that has been used for thousands of years in India. The Ayurveda technique traditionally uses warm herb-infused oils on the skin and hair, and let me tell you- it's like a little taste of heaven!
The experience starts out similar to a massage or a facial- where you lie face up on a table (either a massage table or a specially designed table that has a trough system near the head that drains the oil). Typically you'll be in a darkened room, with relaxing scents and music surrounding you, which is wonderful in and of itself!
Your head is tilted back slightly, usually over a rolled towel to aid in the process and avoid oil making it's way down your face. The technician will then began a small stream of warmed oil dripping from a specially designed pot, that is hung a few inches above your head. The stream of warm oil will hit your 'third eye' or the center of the forehead, and drip its way back into your hair and scalp.
The warm oil is designed to promote healthy blood flow to the face and scalp, which will relax the muscles and nerves almost instantly. I felt as though my senses were heightened and I could really FEEL the oil make it's way past every nerve ending on my scalp. For those of you who love having your hair washed at the salon, this is like the version dreams were made of.
"I could really FEEL the oil make it's way past every nerve ending on my scalp"
For about 20 minutes the oil stream slowly drips over your head, but you'll wish it never stopped! Once the oil does stop running, your scalp will tingle with a cooling sensation that is also refreshing and energizing. The technique is said to relieve headaches and tension, as well as boost energy.
Next, your therapist will massage the oil into the scalp and hair for another 20 or so minutes... again heaven. Depending on the practice of the particular spa you are at, you may also get an arm and foot massage while the oil soaks into your hair.
After the treatment is over- you'll be a greased up ball of relaxation. Some people choose to leave the oil in the hair for a few hours, while others will want to shower right away. (I showered FYI, and needed several helpings of shampoo to rid all of the oil out of my hair)
I felt very relaxed throughout the day following my Shirodhara, and I didn't have a single headache during my cruise, which is very rare for me! Although I am sure being in a stress free environment helped a little with that too!
Overall I loved my experience, and would definitely do it again. If you have the chance- try it at least once. xo