As always, the big iron gate is just slightly ajar; a welcoming gesture. I enter the garden, admiring the big handmade swing hanging from a high tree branch, green vines entwined around each rope, and Mee, the lovely Thai lady eagerly awaiting my arrival, rushes out with the most divine smile and slips a pair of fresh slippers on my feet.
She ushers me inside and my senses are divinely blessed by the aroma of beautiful oils infusing the air and the sweetest of music. I sit on the couch and before too long, my Ayurveda doctor, Dr Sushil, appears, full of energy as usual and wearing his navy-blue apron.
Always very attentive, he asks, “How are you today, Sandra … ?” I find it easy to be open with him and tell him exactly how I am. Any guardedness I may have with other people naturally dissolves in his presence. He asks if I am ready and goes to prepare the herbal oil. I lie on the table on my back, and he returns.
“Move up the table a little … Just a little … A little more …A little more … That’s it.” All the while, my head rests in his hands. He covers my eyes with a cloth and begins pressing very hard on my closed eyes, followed by various other points on my face and head. Then I feel the warm herbal oil start to drip down onto my head from what I call his “golden cauldron”, which hangs above me. The oil starts to trickle around my hairline towards the back of my head and it amazes me how it never once runs down over my face. By the end of the session, my entire scalp and hair will be drenched in warm oil but even now I am already drifting away, deeply relaxing. The relaxation is divine and as the session continues I am sometimes semi-conscious and often completely somewhere else …
I awaken to find my head being gently lifted up from the table as Dr Sushil carefully places a blue cap on my head; this is to contain the oil, which is to be left on for two hours following the treatment. I become more conscious as I hear him removing his gloves. “Okay, Sandra, I want you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and loosen your body, and when you feel the frequency, send it to—” He names various parts of my body and then leaves the room for several minutes.
In all, I had twelve shirodhara treatments (Indian head massages) whilst in Thailand. The first time I walked through Dr Sushil’s gate, I was carrying a heavy energetic load. He informed me that his approach was to open the chakras from the heart up, and that the herbs he chose to mix into the warm oil depended on each patient’s condition. Numerous times after he left the room, my body would start to shake and quiver as the energies shifted in me. Fortunately, I was familiar with this from breathwork sessions back in Australia, so I knew it was a good thing and would bring about wonderful transformation – to stay. As the sessions progressed, the shaking lessened and eventually there was just a deep sense of relaxation and inner stillness. Sometimes, I could feel Mother India in me … or perhaps I was in her … I loved that feeling of being transported to India. A feeling of happiness would start to well up from deep within my heart area, filling me with pure joy. This is a natural feeling that comes from within: an elixir from the eternal wellspring of life that dwells within us all.
The shiniest gem of insight Dr Sushil gifted me with came in my second session. He asked me what kind of work I’d done. I told him I’d always worked in the “caring professions” and that in both my working life and personal life I’d always focused on caring for others and often left my own needs unattended to. He told me he thought this was the case, and that over many years I had given away too much of my positive energy and taken other people’s negativity into my body and repressed it. He explained that in my sessions we would be removing it … just a little at a time. I was overjoyed to hear his recognition of this old pattern of mine. I had long suspected this of myself and believed it to be one of the underlying elements contributing to my health issues. I had tried various different ways to heal this, but the truth was I didn’t yet know how to resolve it on the deepest level. His recognition gave me a boost in self-confidence that changed my whole vibration in a very positive way.
By the end of my twelve sessions I felt so much happier and lighter energetically – and that hasn’t changed; in fact, the lightness and joy coming from within continue to expand. For me, shirodhara has proven to be a fabulous way to clear out old, stagnant energies and make space for the life force to flow freely through me once again. I have also found that my ability to sleep deeply and for many hours at a stretch has returned after many years; and my dreams have also been returning after a long absence.
I know many of you out there with health challenges will be able to relate to the fact that unhealthy energetic exchanges in your relationships (both professional and personal) are a contributing factor. There are many ways to heal, and many skilled practitioners who have a deep desire to help, so always keep looking for what will work for you, and hold dearly to your determination to overcome your challenges.
You can find Dr Sushil by googling Ayur Wellness Spa Centre Doi Saket. If you would like to sign up for my book, The Frequency of Freedom, to be released later this year, click here.