What is Hijama?
Hijama therapy is distinctive from the well-known practice of ‘cupping’ as it is governed by specific times when it should be done as well as specific points on the body that enhances health, detoxifies the body and builds up immunity. Hijama is an Arabic word meaning ‘sucking or vacuum’. Originally Hijama was known as ‘cupping’ because of the use of cups as therapeutic tools. The horn or cup was heated to create a negative pressure and this was mostly used to draw out blood and pus, but later, it was found to be effective in treating other diseases and over time developed into a therapeutic method.
Benefits of Hijama Therapy
The strengthening and stimulating effects of Hijama therapy make it successful in treating the following conditions: cellulite, weight loss, fatigue, period pain, constipation and diarrhoea, headaches, back pain, arthritis, injuries, asthma, anaemia, depression and emotional problems, atrophy, sciatica, common cold and flu, skin problems, emotional problems, depression and much more.
Hijama and Cancer
Although there is no documented evidence that hijama cures cancer, it is known to dramatically improve the condition of the patient. Some practitioners use it to rebalance energy in the body that has been blocked by certain tumours. Hijama is effective for undoing the damage done to patients by conventional therapies of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. During chemotherapy the immune system is depleted and Hijama helps repair the immune system and strengthens it to withstand further attack.
Immunity, detox, muscles spasms
medicine tells us that all pain is due to stagnation of blood and Qi. The cups
used in Hijama create a wonderful pulling power that reduces pain and enhances
the mobilization of the immune system, stagnated blood and Qi. Hijama therapy
is effective in treating some clinical manifestations of external pathogens
that are fighting at the level of the skin. Symptoms like high fever, a cough
with thin yellow phlegm, wheezing and thirst are helped with Hijama. It also
relieves the symptoms associated with stagnation of body systems and fluids
that can be the result of lack of movement, injury, stress, lack of blood, Qi
or the invasion of cold into the body and joints. Hijama can be applied to
specific dysfunctional points of the body like what is done in acupuncture.
After a short time the patient will feel warmth and pain will be reduced.Hijama
treatment releases toxins with minimal additional stress to internal organs and
it directly de-acidifies tissues, enhances blood circulation, stimulates the
immune system and reduces stress as it releases chemicals in the brain that
reduce stress and depression. It also facilitates a sufficient flow of
nutrition to the affected tissues and stimulates the flow of blood and lymph
and so improves blood and lymph flow, and activates the function of the organs.
Hijama on the corresponding organ points is used to treat disorders such as
liver and kidney problems, respiratory diseases, digestive disorders and some
gynaecological disorders. It can also be used to treat muscle spasms especially
in the back. It is useful in treating painful joints, stomach ache, vomiting
and diarrhoea. Since Hijama stimulates the flow of blood it helps to treat
blood stagnation, poor circulation, and asthmatic conditions.
Katase from Osaka University maintained that Hijama influences the composition
of blood as it increases red and white blood cells and changes acid blood into
alkaline or neutral blood thereby leading to the purification of blood. It also
purifies the body of accumulated irritants that cause inflammation. Recent
studies indicate that having Hijama done at specific points on the back
increases immunity by increasing the white blood cell counts. In addition to
enhancing the body’s defences, Hijama regulates blood circulation throughout
the entire body. The pull of low pressure Hijama therapy activates the blood
vessels within the muscles. The expansion of the blood vessels in the muscles
facilitates the flow of blood and has a remarkable effect on stiff shoulder. Pain relief, intestinal disorders
relieves pain, especially that which is related to headache, menstrual cramps,
dental pain, tennis elbow, muscle pain, low back pain and sciatica. Many
rheumatic disorders simply disappear after just a few sessions. By supplying
more oxygen, hormones and essential enzymes to local tissues and joints, Hijama
keeps local tissues warm, thus increasing elasticity and flexibility in muscles
and joints. It relieves muscle spasms and stiffness in muscular tissue and is
effective for chronic joint rheumatism as it facilitates the flow of blood to
the joints. It also removes congested blood and solves problems that can not be
solved with acupuncture. It has been found that Hijama along with acupuncture
is an effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Hijama
is also recommended for the treatment of lung diseases, especially chronic
cough, pleurisy, bronchial congestion and asthma. Dry Hijama stimulates the
insides of the stomach and spleen, facilitating their movement and secretion of
digestive fluids and thus, strengthens the power of digestion, the absorption
of nourishment and the power of secretion. It relieves chronic gastroenteritis
Beauty, hair loss, weight loss, anxiety
Hijama is beneficial in beauty therapy as it promotes the production of hormones, encourages blood flow and body fluid movement in the bowels and internal organs. In this way toxins are removed and this is important because toxins speed up the aging process and cause other negative conditions. Hijama therapy is also known to stimulate hair growth through direct physical stimuli on hair roots and the expansion of blood vessels of the skin through the pull of low pressure. Hijama therapy is like massage and is effective against anxiety and worry. Hence, insomnia is treated with Hijama in conjunction with massage.
Hijama therapy is known to treat stones, abscesses and urine retention. Cups can be applied to the lumber region to treat urine retention. The skin disorders that are well-known to be treated by Hijama are: boils, abscess, herpes, acne, cellulite and urticaria. Sometimes acupuncture is used in conjunction with Hijama. Hijama also improves skin respiration and promotes gaseous exchange within cells. It promotes metabolism within skin tissues and accelerates the functions of both sweat and sebaceous glands leading to the secretion of salts, sebaceous material and the excretion of sweat.
How It Is Done
For thousands of years Hijama practitioners have distinguished two forms of Hijama; Dry and Wet. In Dry Hijama no blood is removed from the body. A cup is simply drained of air and applied to the skin causing the skin to swell. In Wet Hijama the process begins the same as for Dry Hijama and is followed by several light scratches on the surface of the skin so as to collect blood. Hijama can be applied to specific points of the body like what is done in acupuncture or to affected areas.
Hijama should not be performed on open wounds or around skin ulcers as well as on irritated skin or over allergic skin or where any skin lesions are present. It should be avoided in elderly people with thin, delicate skin. It is best not to perform Hijama on great vessels, or on patients with serious heart disease. It should never be done directly on the main varicose veins.
Hijama In The Modern World
These days, people are looking to alternative therapies to deal with health problems. Public awareness and education have also changed which means that Hijama, is seen as a respectable alternative therapy. The education of the alternative therapist has taken on a new meaning in the modern world as many alternative therapy organizations have established self-regulatory bodies, ensuring high educational standards and enjoying better understanding and recognition of the health system and general public. It is clear that if Hijama therapy is taught and used properly on its own or along with various other therapies, it can have a positive influence and speed up the body’s natural healing process.
Hijama Throughout History
ancient Egyptian papyri as well as in Hippocratic writings contain studies
about Hijama. Hijama spread to the Greeks and Romans from
to be popular throughout the Middle Ages. It was a common practice among the
indigenous populations of the Egypt and Americas Africa as well as
traditional Asian healers. Hijama therapy reached its peak as a therapeutic
tool during the beginning of the nineteenth century but by the end of that
century it had virtually died out. Through thousands of years of clinical
experience, the applications of Hijama have greatly widened and now it is used
to treat a large assortment of diseases.
European history most of the general population was treated by Hijama
practitioners in the house and often rows of patients were treated
simultaneously in special ‘bleeding houses’. In the 16th and 17th centuries
Hijama therapy remerged with the rise of public steam baths and bath attendants
were responsible for performing Hijama. It was mostly done in a sauna and was
often preceded by massage. Despite the rise of scientific medicine, this rich
tradition of healers and dependence on herbal medicine and simple equipment
survives. Hijama was used consistently throughout
Europe in hospitals
from very early times and it was practiced by skilled doctors.
Hijama in Religion
Ibn Abdullah was born in Makkah in the year 570, during the period of history
Europeans call the Middle Ages. He recommended the use of Hijama therapy as a
means of preventive medicine and curing many ailments. “Hijama is one of the best ways for human
beings to cure themselves.”
specified certain places on the body that should have this as a preventive
treatment even if the individual is well. He specified the timing of this
treatment and recommended it on the 17th, 19th, and 21st of the lunar calendar.
It is these specific timings and places on the body that renders Hijama
different from cupping. This is to do with the gravity of the moon to do with
the body elimination of toxins. He also
mentioned that Hijama should be done at the back of the neck, and between the
two shoulder blades as this is where toxins accumulate and this place connects
the brain to the rest of the body bringing oxygen into the brain and helping
the body to repair itself.
Benefits of Hijama Therapy
The strengthening and stimulating effects of Hijama therapy make it successful in treating the following conditions: fatigue, period pain, constipation and diarrhea, headaches, back pain, arthritis, injuries, asthma, anemia, depression and emotional problems, atrophy, sciatica, common cold and flu, skin problems, emotional problems, depression and much more. Traditional medicine tells us that all pain is due to stagnation of blood and Qi (body energy) pronounced as "chee".