It is Not like Bloodletting or Blood Donation. It is not invasive that it cuts veins or nerves. We only scratch the superficial layer of skin (Epidermis), more like a paper cut. Sick and healthy individuals can get Hijama but only healthy individuals can donate blood. The amount of blood released during Hijama is 50 ml average from the capillary circulation, while blood donation will draw about 500 ml of blood from the venous circulation.

The source and type of blood is completely different. When the cup is placed on the target point, and vacuum effect (negative pressure) is applied on the skin surface, a few milliliters of blood, are sucked out of the shallow incisions from the micro-circualtion. The cupped area will only bleed as much as it needs to, ridding the body of toxic substances. Hijama differs from blood donation, bleeding or bloodletting because Hijama filters and clears capillary blood and interstitial fluids.

As soon as the body has expelled stagnant, unhealthy blood, the cupped area will stop bleeding itself. Painful points tend bleed a little more blood and darker blood than healthy points. The human body is amazingly intelligent and has an innate ability to heal itself right after. The incisions themselves hurt much much less than a blood test. The unhealthy fluids and blood are drawn, but there is no pain to minimal pain, you don’t feel the flow of blood during Hijama.

General Bloodletting is either Venous or Arterial using a needle. Hijama, on the other hand, is a controlled local scarification that removes stagnant blood from the micro-circulation (blood capillaries, lymphatic capillaries, venules, arterioles) and in the tissues surrounding body organs but not directly from the blood in veins or arteries.

Multiple studies has found different blood composition for Hijama’s blood, when compared to venous blood. Hijama’s blood has higher concentration of, Aged and deformed red blood cells, Histamine, Uric Acid, Prostaglandins, Bradykinin (mediates inflammation by causing vasodilation, increasing vascular permeability, and by stimulating the synthesis of prostaglandins), Cancerous cells, Heavy Metals, Lactic Acid, interstitial fluids etc.. This is why we use the term Wet Cupping (Hijama) versus Blood Hijama. This because the removed fluids are not necessarily only blood, It could be pus, phlegm, interstitial fluid, lymphatic fluid, edema.. In a unique way, Hijama increases the process of tissue oxygenation and stimulates local tissue metabolism. 

To provide a related example, In the case of Hypertension, many people believe that Hijama reduces high blood pressure by reducing blood volume. This is obviously incorrect and should not be the case. By creating incision and negative pressure, Hijama naturally promotes the release of Nitric Oxide, which in turn relaxes blood vessels, acts as a vasodilator, improves blood flow, eases up sore muscles; specially muscular and joint pain bi-syndrome, firms up erection and reduces arterial stiffness. If someone suffers from migraine or fibromyalgia, donating blood will not improve their outcome. However when they receive Hijama, they usually report a significant difference in their pain and energy levels.

Hijama versus Massage

Massage pushes down, compresses, vibrates.. Hijama creates a vacuum effect that pulls up the tissues, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and ligaments toward the outside surface of the body. Thus, it loosens, separates, detaches and stretches stiff tissues and sore muscles, within tolerance, to restore their original elasticity and function. Yet, Hijama does not create a congestive build up in the underlying structure as it proceeds through the incisions to drain the underneath buildup.

Hijama versus Dry cupping

Hijama is clinically superior to dry cupping as it removes Causative Pathological Substances CPS, in order to restore healthy physiology. Dry cupping therapy depends on dilution and redistribution of CPS to new sites before the body can finally remove it in a limited capacity.

Hijama Versus Wet Cupping

The term “Hijama” has traditionally been used as a more technical and definitive form of wet cupping. Hijama, when compared to Wet Cupping, emphasizes a healing combination of the soul and body. It refers to refined therapeutic standards that are not solely profit oriented. It references the fact that healing comes only from Allah, but yet we seek therapy because God commanded us to do so. Hijama emphasizes certain Islamic values like client privacy, same gender Hijama practitioner, minimized exposure, attributing healing to God alone, believing in modern science without denying metaphysical forces like evil eye, Satan etc.

Hijama versus Acupuncture

After Dr. Ilkay Zihni Chirali studied acupuncture. He experimented by performing Hijama on the same points he would traditionally use for acupuncture. He found that Hijama is 10 times more effective than acupuncture. He also found that Hijama is much safer than acupuncture. If the acupuncturist miss the point by a few millimeters, the needle could go into another meridian, which could void the effectiveness of the needle and in some cases, It could cause medical complications. In a case study, when an acupuncture needle was inserted in an area that had Hematoma, the needle was not effective. It did not increase or decrease energy in this point. So they had to do Hijama first. Yet, After they did Hijama, the hematoma was resolved and there was no need for acupuncture in the first place at that time.

Hijama versus Gua Sha

Hijama causes ecchymoses while Guasha causes hematoma. This is why after Gua Sha, people feel tired, sore and exhausted while after Hijama they feel refreshed. Hijama ruptures capillaries during negative pressure. Guasha on the other hand, causes capillaries to burst through pressure, cell destruction in order to rebuild the cellular structure. They both increase microcirculation. However, Guasha will never get rid of heavy metals and lactic acid the way Hijama does. Gua Sha can to a degree reduce muscular tension while Hijama can treat muscular tension, hormonal disorders, migraines, asthma, autoimmune diseases and many more. It rather puts a load on the lymphatic and renal system. Gua Sha, through mechanical trauma, can develop a post inflammation hyperpigmentation. Both therapeutic modalities should not be combined in my personal judgement. Vacuum therapy is always superior in terms of efficiency and adverse reaction. Gua Sha gets promoted by some only because it is much less complicated than Hijama.

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