What is Pichu?
A method of padding or sponging with oil, Pichu is a rejuvenating and healing procedure in which a cloth or gauze pad soaked in warm medicated oil is placed on the affected areas such as painful joints, muscle spasm or on the crown of the head (Shiro Pichu). Medicated ghee (clarified butter) is used in certain conditions.
Shiro Pichu is one of the four main Murdhni Taila (head oil applications), the other three being Shiro Abhyanga, Shiro Dhara and Shiro Vasti. As the head houses several vital organs, these procedures in Ayurveda are aimed at protecting and fortifying this vital part of the physiology, to promote mental and physical wellbeing. This therapy has an extremely soothing and healing effect on the head and structures within. Your doctor will assess your condition and choose a medicated oil according to your Dosha and disease condition.
Why is it Best?
- Pichu is useful in painful conditions and degenerative conditions of joints, bone, muscle, etc.
- Arthritis, sciatica, neck or back pain, gout, osteoporosis,
- Spondylosis, spondylitis, intervertebral disc prolapse, paraspinal spasms,
- Post fracture healing, post trauma/injury healing,
- Ligament tears,
- Paralysis, paresthesia, tremors,
- Stiffness of joints, etc.
Shiro Pichu is beneficial in Vata disorders of the head, diseases due to impairment in cranial nerves, psychological and psychosomatic diseases. It is prescribed in almost all conditions including
- Mental stress, fatigue,
- Headache, migraines,
- Insomnia, anxiety, depression,
- Memory loss, poor attention or concentration,
- Diseases of sense organ dysfunction,
- Hair fall, split ends, dandruff, scalp conditions, premature greying of hair,
- Paralysis, hemiplegia, facial palsy,
- Ophthalmic conditions,
- Burning sensations of the scalp etc.
Benefits for You:
- Pichu therapy allows for the medicated herbal oil to be in contact with the body for a longer time. This results in the essence of the oil being absorbed into the body through the skin.
- It soothes the bones, muscles, nerves, joints and invigorates the skin.
- It enhances blood circulation, reduces stress and fatigue and enriches the quality of sleep.
- It relieves pain, swelling, stiffness, tremors, and tingling sensations.
- Shiro Pichu is effective for hair health, making hair grow stronger, thicker and more luxurious and preventing premature greying, dandruff, dry scalp, etc.
- Similar to Shiro Abhyanga, it has a profound effect on the brain and nervous system; it improves sleep, prevents memory loss, improves concentration and the functioning of the Indriyas (sense organs).
- Special medicated oils are utilized in specific disease conditions.
The Process on the Spots
The patient is asked to lie down on the treatment table. (Shiro Pichu is done in a seated position). The cotton pad (Pichu) is chosen according to the area to be covered and is soaked with the warm medicated oil or ghee. It is then placed carefully over the affected part. As the pad of oil cools, it is soaked with warm oil throughout the procedure, to maintain a uniform temperature. This process is continued for a specific time. (In some cases a band of cloth is tied to keep the Pichu in place for a few hours). Following this, the Pichu is removed and a light massage is given to the regions and surrounding area. Pichu therapy is most often followed by Sweda (except Shiro Pichu), such as Pinda Sweda, Shastika Shali Pinda Sweda, Nadi Sweda etc. It is often repeated daily for 7 days or more, depending on the disease condition.