W E T C U P P I N G
Cupping is an ancient natural treatment which was applied in many different cultures. It has been practiced for multiple thousands of years as a healing method. (History of Cupping)
What is wet cupping?
The specifically selected cupping spots are important junction points or knots with regard to blood and energy flow in the body. The main targets of the therapy are blood flow (Hemodynamic) and tension (tonus) in metabolic processes and energy status in the reflex zones and in the target spot.
Through wet cupping or hijama the toxins collected on the tissue area will removed, and thus local congestions of blood and lymph will be eliminated. Consequently flow of blood and lymph within that microcirculation will be enhanced. In other words the obstacles clogging the blood flow at that local region are thrown out from the body. The result is a more effective blood circulation and metabolic activities at the cupped spot.
Consequently the tissue will be provided with more nutrients and oxygen, as a result of which muscle tenseness and edema will be relieved. The patient will feel lighter, more flexible, and pain free at that segment of the body. Moreover since the immune system will also be stronger, your body will become more resistant. Eventually increased blood circulation will lead to healing.
Things you should consider before and after the cupping:
You shouldn’t take any blood clotting medication and eat cherries. You shouldn’t eat anything for 3 hours before cupping. After a wet cupping (hijama) treatment, you shouldn’t sleep for at least 3 hours. You shouldn’t have shower or bath and eat milk and meat products for at least 12 hours. You should drink at least a liter of water after the therapy so that the dissolved slags can be removed from your body.
Since we have a very busy schedule especially for hijama treatment, we would like you to take some waiting hours into account. For that reason, your appointments are binding. If you cannot make it to an appointment please inform us at least 24 hours beforehand.
How is Wet Cupping (Hijama) Applied?
First the targeted skin area is disinfected. Secondly with the help of a hijama cup, vacuum is applied on the area for 3 minutes. This allows an increase in circulation. In addition suction makes the area numb, therefore this first suction serves as a natural (without any chemicals) local anesthesia as well. As a result of this local numbness, the scratches will only feel like tiny prickings.
Next, the cup is removed, and with the help of a scalpel blade or a blood fleam, the targeted skin area is lightly scratched multiple times with 1 cm gaps in between. Then a new cup is placed over the scratches and vacuum is applied. Blood coming out of the skin through the scratches collects in the cup. The whole therapy takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Which Body Sites can Wet Cupping be applied on?
Wet cupping can be applied on shoulders, between the shoulders, on your back, at the back of your head (without shaving), and on any aching or in pain body site as well as on skin areas in close proximity to the inner organs which cause health problems.
Bloodletting versus Hijama – A Comparison
Medically, hijama cannot be compared to bloodletting (blood donation) because in hijama blood is not withdrawn from the veins directly as in the cases of bloodletting treatment or blood donation. Hence boodletting and hijama are completely different techniques.
In bloodletting, blood is withdrawn from a vein in the body, whereas in hijama the blood is collected by a vacuum system from the tissues of various body regions and not directly from a single vein.
With the help of hijama, together with congestions in tissues that cause health problems, also the toxins accumulated over the years at those regions are extracted from the body. Therefore hijama can also be thought of as a cleansing process which free your body of accumulated toxins. The blood flow to aching muscles and inner organs of your body is facilitated and pains or aches are relieved.
Wet Cupping in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Both wet and dry (without blood extraction) cupping treatment have been used in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, aches and pains occur only when the natural flow of inner energy Chi gets blocked. Chi is an energy that flows through our whole body and that way, keeps us alive. If this energy is blocked somewhere, we feel pain. Cupping treatment regulates Chi flow and brings it back to its healthy state. Furthermore exclusively through wet cupping the congestion causing the block is removed.
Wet Cupping (Hijama) in Islam
The prophet Hz. Muhammed (S.A.V.) once said „ If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping (hijama)”. As it can be understood from the hadith, he had personally hijama treatment numerous times and also advised everyone else to have it. Since hijama is prophet’s Sunnah, if you have the treatment from experts like doctors or certified practioners, you will both benefit from its medical effects and joy of receiving a treatment which is greatly accepted by Islam.
Some Hadiths about Hijama:
“Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5371)].
“If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy then it is cupping (hijama).” [Saheeh Sunan abi Dawud (3857), Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3476)].
“I did not pass by an angel from the angels on the night journey except that they all said to me: Upon you is cupping (hijama), O Muhammad.” [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3477)].
History of Cupping (Hijama)
The practice of cupping or in general the use of cupping glasses is a very old therapy method, which is even older than bloodletting or leech therapy. Historically, the first drawings depicting cupping were found on the seals of doctors or healers in Mesopotamian. It is estimated that these seals date back to 3300 B.C., so it can be confidently stated that cupping is at least a 5300 year old therapy.
Later, similar seals were also found in Greece, where Telesphorus was believed to be the God of Cupping. He was also one of the sons of Asklepios, the God of Healing. Back then cupping symbols were signs of famous doctors and healers who were using primarily cupping therapy to cure their patients.
In the civilizations following the ancient Greece, cupping therapy was continued to be applied. For instance in the texts of ancient Egypt, Kahun Papyri, (app. 1800 B.C.) cupping was also described. In addition, in Ajurveda which is the oldest medical text from India (1500 B.C.), cupping is mentioned.
Hippocrates from Kos (460 B.C.) is known as the greatest healer of ancient times. He described the technique of cupping therapy in detail. According to him, cupping could be used to remove the disease causing substances locally or at least push them away from the problem zone, towards far away organs.
Regarding the scarification (scratching, cutting) he advised „use a knife with round edges, not so slim, since if the cut is too small, it’s highly probable that the sticky and viscous fluid will not be able to come out completely.”
By the so called sticky and viscous fluid, he meant the congested blood slag that accumulates in wet cupping, which in many cases is really sticky and viscous. According to Hippocrates, the shared essence of all diseases was the faulty mixing of bodily fluids due to an unhealthy life style and diet.
Avicenna, a Muslim philosopher and doctor (980 – 1037), was a brilliant healer and thinker who had great contributions to medicine, philosophy, and astronomy. At his time, he had already figured out that there were favorable and unfavorable times for hijama. According to his calculations of moon phases, he was able to foretell the times when blood flow was fastest and thus wet cupping would function most effectively.
In 11th century, there were Arabic medical schools, teaching cupping therapy to their students.
Afterwards, unfortunately the art of cupping passed to false and incompetent hands, assistant army doctors (lowest rank officers of military medicine), bathers, and even farriers. The therapy received a negative reputation just like bloodletting due to its overuse as a panacea (cure-all medicine).
Paracelsus (1493-1541), one of founders of the modern pharmaceutical chemistry, once stated “Where nature creates a pain, it wants to get rid of the hazardous substances there. If it cannot do it by itself, I make a hole there on the skin and let these hazardous substances out.”
Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836) was a famous doctor of his time. Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland were among his patients. He also consulted the royal family of Frederich William III. Later he became the head doctor and director of Charite (Teaching Hospital) in Berlin. Through his life, he constantly tried to unify the traditional natural medical practices with scientific knowledge, and once shared his complaint concerning cupping therapy that it couldn’t receive the attention and respect it deserved.
In 19th and 20th centuries cupping was practiced worldwide. In Russia, during both of the world wars, the soldiers were treated with cupping therapy. It was very common to have cupping after the sauna sessions in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Finland.
In many east European countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, cupping therapy was very popular. However there was a period when the practice fell into false, incompetent hands and lost its popularity.
Only after the Austrian physiologist and doctor Bernhard Aschner‘s (1883 Wien-1960 New York) works, cupping was actual again. For the treatments of rheumatism and arthrosis he preferred to use natural medical practices. His works such as Aschner Fibel or Constitution Therapy are still actual.
Today, knowing the exact positions of reflex zones (the connections of certain skin spots with inner organs), cupping (hijama) can be based on a scientific fundament that requires the finger-tip sensitivity of an artist.
We state that the here mentioned natural therapies are not scientifically and/or by medical schools recognized. There are no scientifically approved evidence by medical authorities for their effects.