Give Yourself the Gift of Silence Through Ayurveda & Shirodhara
By Jennifer Aarons, director of spa operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, NJ
In today’s very hectic world, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of silence in our daily lives. Most of us are always on the go, moving from one activity or obligation to the next, without taking time to reflect. But, silence can offer a profound impact on the way we think, our daily actions, our relationships, our goals, and even our health. There are several ways to achieve silence, and when treated as a gift, we are more likely to embrace it as something that will make us happier. I, personally, can’t think of a better way to attain happiness than through a relaxing shirodhara spa treatment.
Described by many as having a deep and penetrating massage on the mind, shirodhara is an Ayurvedic treatment that deeply relaxes the nervous system and helps to heal by calming imbalances in the mind and disturbances in emotions. But first, to understand shirodhara, it’s important to understand the science from which it was developed, Ayurveda. Better known as the science of life, Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing, where health is described as the balanced and dynamic integration between one’s environment, body, mind, and spirit.
At Borgata, we begin the shirodhara with a rhythmic massage of the back using dosha-specific oils. Dosha refers to one of three mind-body types—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—that, according to Ayurveda, express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. The guest then turns over onto their back for continued massage of the feet and hands, before ending with a stream of warm herbal-infused oil on the center of the client’s forehead, also known as the “third eye” in Ayurveda.
Done in absolute silence, the shirodhara is designed to take the client into deep relaxation, and thus a balanced state of rest in mind and body. By calming the nervous system, this treatment helps to induce silence by melting away the chatter of the mind, while also slowing down brain waves to provide better brain function and mood stability. Additional benefits of the shirodhara include improved concentration, sharpened senses, increased blood circulation, nourished hair and scalp, and relief from mental stress, among others. During Wellness Week, guests can book a 50-minute shirodhara treatment at The Water Club’s Immersion Spa for $125.
There are several easy ways to incorporate Ayurveda and shirodhara in your daily life. Here are just a few:
- Of course, one great way is to head to the spa for the real deal, as outlined above!
- Infuse the air in your home or office with dosha-specific scents from candles or diffusers.
- Apply dosha-specific oils to your body after a morning shower.
- Drink balancing Ayurvedic teas to assist in creating a peaceful day.
When your mind, body, and spirit are balanced, then you are at peace in silence. You can determine your dosha by visiting The Chopra Center for Wellbeing’s website and taking their free dosha quiz, which not only identifies your specific mind-body type, but also recommends particular products to complement it.
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The Power of Touch: 8 Tips to Embrace the Healing Benefits of Touch
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Jennifer Aarons is the director of spa operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, overseeing daily operations for Spa Toccare at Borgata and Immersion Spa at The Water Club, including 47 treatment rooms, a full-service salon and barbershop, two fully-equipped fitness centers, and six pools.