By Dr. Mrs. Shahnaz Sikander Jangda – Doctor, Workshop leader and professional Hijamah therapist
Origin of Cupping
Cupping is a method of treatment method that can be traced back to ancient times; it was developed in the process of struggle against diseases. It is an important component in non-drug therapies.
Aim of Cupping
The aim of cupping is to extract harmful blood from the body. The Arabic name for cupping is Al-Hijamah. It was widely practised by the Prophet (sa) and his companions; the method is still alive in many countries, especially Asia and the Middle East. In the UK, the practice of cupping has a long history, with one of the leading medical journal, “The Lancet”, being named after it.
Principles of Cupping
At the time of the Prophet (sa), the Arabs viewed disease as a disturbed area in the equilibrium of body fluids. The Greeks believe that illness is caused by harmful and dirty blood, which must be removed in order for the disease to heal completely.
The whole process of cupping can take about 10 to 15 minutes and should be done on empty stomach. There are two types of cupping: dry and wet. The Prophet (sa) practised wet cupping and recommended this as the best treatment. Wet cupping (Hijamah) is the process of using vacuum at different points on the body. The skin is lacerated with blade, so that unclean blood is drawn into a cup.
Cupping in the Light of the Prophet’s (saw) Guidance
Numerous Ahadeeth highlight the importance of cupping. Some are as follows:
The Messenger (sa) said: “Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping.” (Bukhari) He also said: “I did not pass by any group of angels on the night of Isra (night ascension), but all of them said to me: O Muhammad (sa); order your Ummah with Hijamah.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Cupping as a Preventive Treatment
Cupping can also be utilized as a preventative maintenance for the body. It cleans the body’s cardiovascular system, so diseases never get a chance to develop. Where disease already exists, cupping cleans the system to help it fight better and recover from it.
Benefits of Cupping
Cupping successfully treats the following conditions:
- Blood disorders.
- Rheumatic diseases like arthritis, sciatica, back pain, migraines and vomiting.
- Depression, insomnia and other psychological disorders.
- Lung diseases.
- Digestive system disorders.
- Skin problems.
It gives a feeling of deep pleasure and relaxation, so it can be used by a healthy person for general physical and mental wellbeing.
Cupping is also recommended for pain relief, varicose veins, deep tissue massage, and it results in up to 50% improvement in fertility levels. An investigation into the effect of cupping therapy as a treatment for anterior knee pain and its potential role in health promotion was done with the results revealing major improvements. Moreover, a recent systematic review included five trials on the effects of wet cupping on musculoskeletal problems. Its finding suggested that wet cupping is effective for treating lower back pain.
Al-Hijamah, or cupping, is a wonderful therapy packed with enormous benefits of the Prophetic Sunnah and an excellent method for detoxifying the body of harmful substances; this is a medical advantage which should be utilized to its very best.