Pizhichil is a preparatory procedure of Panchakarma which has the advantage of producing the effects of Snehana and Swedana at the same time. Pizhichil has its origin in Kerala Ayurveda. Pizhichil is a procedure by which the body is made to perspire by means of pouring warm medicated oil in a specific manner.
The patient is made to sit on a dhara table with legs extended. A cotton swab after soaking in suitable oil is applied over the scalp. Then Karnapurana (application of oil in the ears) is done. The rolled cotton cloth has to be tied above the ears, around the head at the level of forehead.Ears should be plugged with cotton and oil is applied all over the body. Gentle massage is performed by two masseurs attending on either sides of the patient.
The oil used for Pizhichil is to be heated by keeping the vessel on a hot water bath. The temperature of the oil must be comfortable to the patient. Then piece of cloth is to be dipped in the warm oil and squeezed over body with right hand. Simultaneously gentle massage is done with left hand. The oil should flow in uniform stream from the thumb facing downwards from a height 12 to 20 cms. or as per the condition of the disease./ patient. This process is continued in seven positions given below.
Basically only 3 positions are described- Sitting, Supine and Prone, but practically 7 positions are followed.
- Left lateral
- Right lateral
After Pizhichil, body of the patient is to be massaged gently and oil is to be wiped off with clean towel over the scalp and body.Then fresh oil is applied all over the body and covered with blanket or cotton cloth. Rest is advised for few minutes followed by hot water bath.
The duration of Pizhichil varies from 45 -60 minutes and usually performed 7,14 or 21 days according to the condition of the patient/ disease.
Pizhichil is performed for Neuromuscular disorders like Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Peripheral Neuropathy, Muscular and Ligamentous injuries. It is also effective in Orthopaedic & Rheumatological problems like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Other degenerative joint