Pizhichil (Thaila Dhara)

The process of pouring warm medicated ayurvedic oil by squeezing an oil dipped cloth onto the body is called Pizhichil. It is also known as Thaila Dhara and oil bath. The word “Pizhichil” means squeezing. It is a subtype of ayurvedic Snehana (Oleation) therapy, a panchakarma therapy. However, it also provides benefits of Swedana (sudation). Ideally, it is a combination therapy of oleation and sudation.

According to ayurvedic principles, pizhichil reduces Vata aggravation and strengthens the body. The benefits of pizhichil massage include its uses in the management of Vata Disorders including hemiplegia, paralysis, osteoarthritis, muscular pain and joint stiffness.


  1. Vata disorders
  2. Hemiplegia
  3. Paralysis
  4. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  5. Osteoarthritis
  6. Fibromyalgia and muscular pain and stiffness
  7. Hypertension
  8. Nervine weakness
  9. Anxiety
  10. Depression

The procedure is very relaxing and soothing to the mind. Therefore, it can also be used in patients with depression. This procedure is also indicated for general relaxation, physical exhaustion and mental fatigue.

Oils used in Pizhichil (Thaila Dhara)

  1. Chandanbala Laxadi Oil
  2. Ksheerabala Oil
  3. Dhanwantharam Oil
  4. Shatavari Oil
  5. Yashtimadhu Oil

These five oils are the best for Thaila Dhara or pizhichil.

Oil Requirement: For Pizhichil therapy, 3 to 4 liters oil is required.

Pizhichil (Thaila Dhara) Benefits

  1. Thaila Dhara (Pizhichil) provides stability to the body and mind.
  2. Improves attentiveness.
  3. Softens the skin.
  4. Increases physical strength.
  5. Reduces the effects of aging.
  6. Provides nourishment to the skin and reduces skin dryness.
  7. Increases longevity.
  8. Reduces stress and improves sleep quality.
  9. Imparts a firmness to the different organs of the body.
  10. Improves muscle tone and restores vitality.
  11. Overall, it improves blood circulation and plays a role in skin detoxification too.
  12. It pacifies Vata Dosha.
  13. Improves desire for eating.
  14. Have aphrodisiac property.

Pizhichil massage reduces pain, inflammation, stiffness and skin dryness. It also gives relief from muscular spasm. So, it is beneficial for pain disorders relating to joint and muscles. It also reduces skin dryness. Therefore, it is helpful for people suffering from excessive skin dryness. It reduces skin irritation and exerts a soothing action on the skin. It is advised for the management of vata disorders. According to ayurveda, excess vata cause dryness for which oleation therapy is the best treatment. Because it reduces RUKSHA (Dry) quality of Vata Dosha.


In general, Pizhichil massage benefits to reduce fatigue. It provides relaxation sensation to the mind and restores physical strength and mental vitality. It is commonly used for relaxation and rejuvenation purposes in many ayurvedic centers across the world.

Rejuvenates the Skin

Pizhichil plays a role in skin detoxification. It removes dead skin cells and toxins. It nourishes the skin pores and improves skin tone. It stimulates blood circulation that benefits for improving skin appearance. It also stimulates skin cell regeneration and provides moisturizing effects to the skin.

Vata Disorders

In most cases, it is indicated in paralytic disorders, muscular aches and joint disorders. In all these cases, it reduces vata aggravation and provides relief from symptoms including weakness, inflammation, stiffness and pain. In paralytic disorders, it stimulates the nerve cells and strengthens the muscles.  So, it improves neuromuscular functions and provides benefits in paralysis.


Pizhichil is not suitable for the following health conditions:

  • Before, during and after Nasya and Vasti (ayurvedic enema)
  • Pregnancy
  • Thirst
  • Kapha Aggravation
  • Obesity or excessive fatty tissue
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Acute abdomen
  • Ascites
  • Diarrhea
  • Acute Fever

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