Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | April 6, 2009

How to Give a Shirodhara Part 2:

How to Give a Shirodhara Part 2:

When we are speaking of a traditional Shirodhara the first requirement is for the proper table called a Dharapati or Droni.  The making of a proper droni has many requirements starting with the selection of a suitable wood.  In Ayurveda the wood itself it considered to be a part of the healing process. There are many trees that can be used but one of the best is a droni made from wood of the Neem tree which is also used as an herbal remedy in Ayurveda for inflammatory skin conditions, itching and other skin conditions.  On average the droni must be about 80cm wide and 2.5 to 3 meters in length

In the pictures shown you can see the progression from the raw pieces of wood to the nearly finished state.  This process that can take several days when crafted by hand.  These pictures are from a small factory in southern India where I was able to see the process from beginning to end.  There are many kinds of dronis available in India ranging from all kinds of wood and also fiber dronis which are far lighter.  On the last point I have seen some dronis in doctor’s offices that would take four very strong men to pick up because they are that heavy.  I own a fiber droni that I shipped back from India for the reason of portability since I need to take it to the Body Wisdom Massage School when teaching Shirodhara.  Otherwise I would much prefer to have a wooden droni for their increased stability and the beauty and healing properties of the wood.

You will notice when looking at the pictures below that there is a little ledge near the top of the droni.  This is to separate the flow of oil so that when the oil is poured on the head that it drains off and into the collecting basin and not down the table and along side the patient’s (guests) body.  The collecting basin has a hole in the center and the oil then drains out the hole and into a collecting pot where it is then transferred back up to the Shirodhara pot but more on the technique itself in a future post.  You will notice that the dronis are built with the sides higher than the center and there is always some contouring to allow drainage to the sides.  This is to allow the oil when a localized dhara (pouring of oil) is being performed or many other oily treatments like Abhyanga (massage with oil), Pizhichil (dripping of oil on the body) to drain off the body, down the sides and out a hole in the bottom of the table or collected again from the sides and reused.  For these and many other treatments like Udwarthanam (dry power massage) the clean up is quite easy compared to any other method.

Here are a few pictures that I have taken in Kerala of the process.  I consider them all to be my copyrighted work, (please do not steal).  Enjoy … !!

The Raw Materials for Droni

The Raw Materials for Droni

Chipping out the Basic Pattern

Chipping out the Basic Pattern

Sculpting the Droni with Hand Tools

Sculpting the Droni with Hand Tools

Almost Done

Almost Done

Example of one type of completed Droni

Example of one type of completed Droni

In my next post (#3) I will talk about the rest of the necessary traditional equipment and set up Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “Shirodhara Pot and Stand”

Since I will be referring to Ayurvedic constitution in future posts you may want to discover your Ayurvedic constitution by visiting this site and taking their ‘dosha test”.

Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #1: “Intro.”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2:
“The Droni (table)”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “Shirodhara Pot and Stand”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #4 “Preparations of Medicines”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #5 “Final Preparations for Treatment”
Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #6 “Traditional Shirodhara Technique”

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post

rhett


Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available

Find out about the Body Wisdom Career Track Program and our list of Program Electives and CEU Programs

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Responses

  1. […] Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #1 Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2 […]

  2. […] to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #1: “Intro.” Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2: “The Droni (table)” Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “Shirodhara Pot and […]

  3. […] on where we are at the moment. Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #1: “Intro.” Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #2: “The Droni (table)” Link to How to Give a Shirodhara Part #3 “Shirodhara Pot and […]

  4. Rhett,
    I haven’t had a lot of time yet to explore your blog information, but what I have been able to read is FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for the incredible wealth of knowledge you are allowing us. Wow. Makes me even more convinced that finding Body Wisdom was the perfect link for my life.
    ~So grateful,
    Rhonda

  5. […] Go here to see the original:  How to Give a Shirodhara Part 2: […]

  6. I am in the process of desiging and building a Droni table for one of your past students. We both live in Chicago and sourcing materials has become a problem. Do you have a source for timber suitable for the tops, they basically need to be 32″ wide by 8 feet long and 3-4″, is Mahogany usable?? its the only thing I can find, and is in the Neem family of trees. Also as far a finish what oils do you use for the final polish, I’m worried about making any mistakes.

    any help would be appreciated, I would like to be able to make High quality pieces for the domestic market.

    Respectfully

    Brandon


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