What is Hijama (Wet Cupping)?
Hijama is an ancient bloodletting technique utilised in many parts of the Middle East, China and Europe. To be more specific this traditional technique is utilised within the Middles East off the advice given by the Greatest Prophet of Islam.
“Indeed, the best of remedies you have is hijama (cupping)” – Saheeh Al Bukhari.
Hijama traditionally has been used by many within the management of a broad range of conditions; blood diseases such as hypertension, rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, physical conditions such as Sciatica, Neck & Back pain, Headaches & Migraine and also Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
How does Hijama (Wet Cupping) work?
Hijama involves the application of cups through vacuum to certain points on your body. Once cups are in position blood is drawn into the cups through small skin incisions made prior. The aim of Hijama is to extract stagnated or congested blood from certain points around your body. The theory is that such blood could slow down the delivery of much needed oxygen, mineral electrolytes, vitamins, enzymes, immune system cells & antibodies to your cells, tissues and organs. With stagnated or congested blood present in your body; your cells, tissues and organs may not function at the best and so latter become progressively weak, inefficient or easily overcome by Bacteria, Infection etc.
Who is not suitable for Hijama?
- Children below the age of 10 years old
- Adults above the age of 70 years old
- People using blood thinning or Anti-Clotting medication such as Aspirin, Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Apixaban (Eliquis), Heparin (various), Warfarin (Coumadin) etc
- Pregnant women & women Breast feeding (during and 6 months after feeding ceased)
- People recovering from surgery
- People suffering from a lack of red blood cells (Anemia)
- People with a history of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart attacks and Asthma attacks.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Does it hurt?
Pain tolerance differs from person to person though you can be reassured that with the hundreds of people we have serviced to date that we have had no client unable to tolerate the procedure. Some patients say it tickles and others compare it to the flick of an elastic rubber band.
Are there any side effects?
One should understand that Hijama will lead to circular bruises or discolourations for a few days (on avg 4-5 days) where the cups were applied, which are, in effect, large ‘hickies’. Other possible minor side effects are slight light-headedness post cupping therapy; this is similar to the sensation one feels after having had blood taken by a doctor, as cupping therapy encourages blood flow to the cupped region (hyperaemia); one may therefore feel warmer and hotter as a result of vasodilatation (widening of blood vessel) taking place and slight sweating may occur. There is a sound scientific rationale for this and there is no cause for concern.
How many Treatments are needed?
This is a difficult question to answer as no literature has been published with regards to treatment frequency and diseases. We can only suggest you base treatments on subjective outcomes i.e how you feel the days/weeks following your Hijama treatment. Most people will return once per month and others every 3 months, 6 months or 12 months routinely.
What should I do before Hijama?
- Fast at least 2-3 hours before your treatment ‘’Cupping on an empty stomach is best. In it is a cure and blessing.” (Sahih Sunan Ibn Maajah 3487)
- The person undergoing Hijama is encouraged to perform Ghusl (ritual bath) or shower before the treatment.
“Abdullah bin Az-Zubair reported that Aisha (ra) told him that the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform ghusl for four things Major ritual impurity, Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer, After washing the dead and before Cupping”. (Abu Dawud)
Drink plenty of water – Aim for 6 – 8 standard cups prior to treatment
Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing – may need to roll up your clothes
Let your therapist know of any medication you are on and your Medical history
What should I do after Hijama?
- Eat some dates (3 small) or drink some honey (1 Tbsp) with water (1 cup) to bring your energy levels back up.
- Rest over the next 24 hours and avoid any strenuous exercise (GYM/SPORT/MANUAL LABOR).
- Hijama tends to make people feel very relaxed and sleepy following treatment. it is important to stay active and alert for at least 3-4 hours to follow your treatment. This is the period for you to drive home, monitor your wounds for no further bleeding and ensure your vitals remain normal (i.e Blood Pressure (110-140/70-90, better 120/80), Heart Rate (60 – 100 beats per minute) , Body Temperature (36.5 – 37.2 degrees) and Rate of Breathing (12 – 16 breaths per minute))
- Avoid marital sexual relations for 24 hours after hijama.
- Drink lots of water to help detox your body and remove any unwanted toxins (6-8 cups per day thereafter).
- Avoid eating meat and dairy for 24hours, this will help with healing processes. Also better to avoid packaged and processed foods following Hijama as they place a heavy burden on our body’s detoxification system generally.
- Oil around the places where you have been cupped with olive or black seed oil as often as possible, this will also help with the healing process and sooth any itchiness or irritation you may experience.
- Take a warm shower but avoid using any soaps and shower gel on the area/s that have been cupped for 24 hours to avoid irritation. if your skin is sensitive than avoid for 48 hours.
Cupping in the Media?
Sonny Bill Williams undertakes regular Hijama treatment.:
Olympics and other Athletes using Cupping: