Home Health & Wellness Experience The Best Shirodhara in San Francisco: Burke Williams’ Ayurvedic Treatment Series
Burke Williams Spa Auve Daily

Burke Williams Day Spa brings an ancient Ayurvedic tradition to modern times with a treatment that creates spiritual clarity – a perfect antidote for the fall season.

Burke Williams Spa Auve Daily

The phrase “living in tune with nature” has a precise meaning in Ayurveda: it refers to a state of harmony between three doshas – your mind, your body and the environment. As the summer season begins to wind down, the rigors of the fall season will quickly set in. Naturally, back to school and work routines bring new challenges for our mind and bodies.

One of Ancient India’s best-kept secrets, Ayurvedic massage, holds the key to bringing balance at the start of a new season. And Burke Williams Day Spa, San Francisco’s luxury spa destination, has brought the ancient practice into modern times with a menu of three innovative body treatments designed to bring balance to the spiritual body. Using traditional herbal blends and warm aromatheraputic essential oils, these body treatments create a sense of bliss and contentment –  fitting antidotes for the upcoming fall season.

We had the pleasure of indulging in the Shirodhara treatment (translation:   “head-flow”). This ancient tradition brings profound, flowing clarity to the spirit.


The name, Shirodhara, comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow). It is a form of Ayurveda therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead.

HOW IT WORKS: Your therapist will begin by asking you to select an herbal massage oil from three natural aromas, specific to the mind-body constitution, or dosha. Your natural senses will will choose the right one for you.  Next is a blissful massage with the warm herbal oil ending with the Shirodhara, a constant and gentle stream of oil poured over the third eye, also known as your “spiritual eye”, to create an intense state of happiness and mental clarity.

THE RESULT:  This treatment lives up to its name.  Surely, your head will experience a soothing sense of calm, as the warm oil flows over your third eye.  This deeply soothing, traditional treatment calms the central nervous system and integrates the mind and body to achieve a heightened state of awareness, relaxation and contentment.

NOTE:   A lot of oil is used in this treatment.  It is quite an amazing feeling to be covered in oil from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  You may wish to plan a few additional hours at Burke Williams Day Spa, followed by a relaxing evening at home.  If you choose to wash the oil from your hair, be sure to shampoo before wetting the hair in order to lift the oil from the hair.

AFTER YOUR TREATMENT:  Take some time to sit back, relax, and take in the experience.  It’s a good idea to spend some time in the quiet room and absorb all of the profound effects of the Shirodhara.  After you’ve reset your energy, indulge in the steam room, the sauna, or the jacuzzi to round out your experience.

Burke Williams Day Spa Auve Daily


Ananda “Bliss” – Rhythmic – Hydrating – Vitality

Traditional Ayurvedic practice focuses on the 5 energy channels of the head, feet and hands. Ayurvedic herbs are applied to the five points followed by a nourishing, rhythmic flowing massage with heated theraputic oils. Special emphasis is placed on the Marma points, the vital energy points that move electromagnetic energy through the body. Finally the traditional Ayurvedic Balancing Bowl is used on the feet to balance the doshas and remove excess heat or energy from the body.

Balancing Bowl Enhancement: “Balance” – Realign – Uplifting – Peace

Made from three of earth’s metals, the Balancing Bowl contains specific properties to balance vital subtle energies within the body. Addressing the needs of the three doshas, silver balances Pitta, copper balances Kapha and brass balances Vata.  Performed with any of our massage treatments, this Ayurvedic enhancement will leave the guest relaxed with a profound sense of contentment.