Pizhichill / Kaya seka

Kaya Seka or Sarvanga Dhara or Pizhichil is a special treatment procedure followed by traditional vaidyas (physicians) of Kerala. The word Pizhichil in Malayalam language literally means “ squeezing”. Here the whole body is bathed in streams of lukewarm medicated oil with simultaneous soft massage. This Ayurveda’s Royal Treatment is famously called as the “treatment for aristocrats”, because the treatment was especially offered to the kings in ancient times.

In this treatment, the cloths measuring about 1.5 square feet are soaked in warm medicated oil and then squeezed on to the person’s body from a height of 20 to 24 cms, so that oil flows in a continuous single stream along the thumb, in a downward direction. The pieces of cloth are periodically soaked in a vessel containing warm oil. Gentle massage is given following the path of the oil stream. Two to four trained therapists under the supervision of a physician perform the treatment. The patient should be made to adopt the seven standard positions, so that no area of the body is left uncovered. After the completion of the procedure, the person is made to take rest, by covering the body with a thick blanket for 30 minutes, before taking a bath in hot water.

Pizichill / Kaya Seka According to Ayurveda

Pizhichil is a treatment procedure in which the herbal oils and or ghee are poured over the body of the patient in monitored streams for a fixed duration of time. It is a type of Parisheka Sweda (steaming or sweat inducing treatment in which hot or warm liquids are poured or sprinkled or showered over the body in streams).

Thus, Kaya Seka or Pizhichil is a type of Sarvanga dhara (hot fomentation given by pouring hot or warm medicated liquids over the body in the form of shower or stream) in which herbal oils or ghee or a combination of both is used for stream pouring. In Pizhichil, along with pouring of the stream of oil, simultaneous massage is done to enhance benefits of the treatment.