Pizhichil and Sarvangadhara are technically the same. Pizhichil literally means squeezing. Here a warm medicated oil is squeezed onto the patients body from a piece of cloth that is periodically soaked in a vessel containing the oil. In Sarvangadhara, oil is streamed onto the patients body from pitchers. Pizhichil requires a lesser quantity of oil when compared to Sarvangadhara.
The oil used for Pizhichil is kept in two vessels, one on either side of the patient seated on the Droni with legs outstretched. Two pieces of linen, 15 to 18 inches square, folded to the size of the palm are used for soaking in the oil and squeezing it over the body. In this therapy also two masseurs positioned on either side of the Droni perform the treatment simultaneously.
Before beginning Pizhichil, a suitable medicinal oil is applied to the head and body of the patient. In some cases, a Talam is also applied on the head and wrapped over with medicinal leaves.
The masseurs usually begin by squeezing oil onto the shoulders and then down the arms of the patient who sits in an upright position. Each masseur uses one hand to stream the oil while massaging with the other.
Ayurveda recommends Pizhichil for diseases caused by a vitiation of the Vata humour— Pakshaghata (Hemiplegia), other health problems like paralyses and muscle spasms and any degenerative diseases that affect the muscles.