“The Science behind the Mind-Therapy ‘Blissful Mind Massage’ ”
Known in India for millennia as ‘Shirodhara’, this ancient Ayurvedic therapy is the latest must-have treatment at spas and wellness centers to relieve stress, anxiety, pain, sleep disorders, restlessness and even infertility.
Blissful Mind Massage is a highly effective mind-nourishing therapy with a healing track record of 5000 years. The therapeutic ritual consists of pouring a warm medicated oil over the forehead with rhythmic movements for about 45 minutes. The effect is said to stimulate the third eye and bring the mind into a meditative state which turns on a self-healing response that restores imbalances in the body at the cellular level.
Americans are embracing the benefits of regular practice of meditation, mindfulness, yoga and breathing exercises for general health and happiness, as prescriptions from MDs for these therapies to patients with anxiety, stress, depression, ADD, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, pain and sleeping disorders are becoming more mainstream.
But is there scientific truth behind Blissful Mind Massage and other mind-nourishing therapies?
Clinical studies are proving that the positive outcomes are indeed linked to the stimulation of the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands, which are responsible for many important functions in the body. These three major glands of the endocrine system are situated in the part of the brain where Eastern traditions have long believed the third eye resides.
The hypothalamus is the link between the endocrine and nervous systems. It helps stimulate or inhibit heart rate and blood pressure, body temperature, fluid and electrolyte balance, appetite and body weight, production of substances that influence the pituitary gland to release hormones and sleep cycles, among others. The pituitary gland secretes hormones that help control body processes such as growth, blood pressure, aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, breast milk production, sex organ functions, thyroid gland function, the conversion of food into energy (metabolism), water balance, temperature regulation and pain relief. And the pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin, which has two primary functions—to help control biological rhythm and regulate certain reproductive hormones. Aiding in the proper development and functioning of the ovaries and testes.
All of the above imbalances are among the ones Ayurveda treats with Blissful Mind Massage (shirodhara), meditation and yoga. It is no wonder, then, that these ancient therapies are on the rise at spas and wellness centers as alternative remedies to many hormonal imbalances.