Hijama is this everlasting miracle that never ceases to amaze the human mind throughout history. It is the gift of the One almighty God to guide mankind to this unique therapy that carries endless benefits. Hijama reconciles you with your body’s systems and reconciles your body’s systems with each other. It has been denied its due rights due to profit-oriented medical corporations on one end, and ignorant, uneducated practices that tarnished its prestigious image on the other end. It almost disappeared in history but the pressing needs of people who struggle with the side effects of medications, the risk of surgery and high medical care costs, and the overall complications of the health system made people consider alternatives that their great-grandfathers used.

History of Hijama Therapy

Cupping Therapy is a therapeutic, naturopathic, holistic therapy that originated in ancient Egypt. The first documented medical text, Eber’s papyrus, was found in 1550 BC. Hijama then spread all over the Middle East, then to Asia and Europe. Immigrants carried Hijama tools along with them to the USA. American doctors carried cupping sets into the early 20th century. The breast pump developed during this era. Despite Vacuum therapy being around for thousands of years, It is trending now again thanks to many winning Olympians like Michael Phelps.

Distinctively Muslims over the centuries have preserved and developed the science of Hijama after it almost vanished worldwide. The reason they are keen on preserving Hijama is that the Final Messenger/ Prophet of God, Muhammed, received Hijama therapy himself. He was commanded by the Angels to get Hijama

Hijama Equipment manufactured in the USA by George Tiemann & Co. in their 1870-80’s Instruments Catalog.

therapy and to prompt Muslims to seek Hijama therapy. Prophet Muhammad stated, “Hijama is the best of your therapies”. Therefore, in the Muslim faith, Hijama is a divine recommendation. Hijama Cupping is a holistic form of preventative and curative therapy that has no adverse effect on the body when performed professionally. Hijama stood out as a therapeutic modality that provides healing

without medicine. Among historic celebrities who received Hijama therapy consistently are Sultan Saladin (Salah al-Din al-Ayyubee), Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey, and Napoleon Bonaparte of France.

Meaning of “Hijama”

“Hijama” literally means “Suction” in the Arabic language. Hijama is pronounced /ˈhēʒæmə/. Hijama is referred to by some as “Wet Cupping”. The term “Cupping” comes from the word “Cup”, which comes from Latin Cuppa, Cuppa is derived from the Arabic word “كوب” [kūb] which means “Cup”. The reason why the phrase “Wet Cupping” is used instead of “Blood Cupping” for example, is because it is not only blood that comes out; sometimes it is pus, lymph fluid, interstitial fluid, etc., and also because the amount of blood withdrawn is so minimal.

What is Hijama therapy?

Click to view more photos of Hijama

Hijama, aka, Wet Cupping is a safe, non-invasive therapeutic trauma that involves creating a controlled subcutaneous inflammation via means of Myofascial Decompression and Scarification. In this process, Hijama cups are placed on the targeted anatomical site. Blood and lymph, among other fluids, are drawn via means of vacuum and then bled through superficial skin scratches. Hijama targets the outermost layer of the skin “Epidermis” layer.

Hijama clears lymphatic fluids, aged / deformed red blood cells, Histamine, Uric Acid, Prostaglandins, Bradykinin, Cancerous cells, Heavy Metals, Lactic Acid, and interstitial fluids from the microcirculation. The body then automatically activates its natural defense mechanism (Hemostasis), which stops the bleeding.

Hijama is performed using single-use, disposable cups, and a single-use sterile surgical blade. Negative pressure applied by Hijama ruptures weak capillaries that have lost elasticity and deteriorated, in cases beyond repair. The unanesthetized incisions are made on intact skin, in an aseptic condition. They look more like a scratch or a paper cut.

Capillary cells regenerate from pre-existing blood vessels; this process is called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis occurs to heal the body and restore blood flow to affected tissues. The Endothelial cells mend themselves and create a new capillaries. The activated endothelial cells produce enzymes and growth factors that trigger the healthy multiplication of more endothelial cells and release them into the surrounding tissue. This process forms new capillaries and an increase in the vascular network.

The negative pressure under the cup has up to a 4-inch effect on deep tissues, which stimulates the body to remove unhealthy toxins as they trickle out in the cup and cleanse the targeted points. Most Hijama treatment plans will typically include the upper back, around (T3 & T4), Rhomboids, and Trapezius muscles. Due to the anatomical nature of these areas, they tend to trap more toxins and debris.

The Suction Strength is applied at the following levels 1- Stimulation Strength, 2- Tonifying Strength, 3- Drainage (Detox) Strength. 4- Pulsatile rhythm.  The term 5S Hijama comprises 5 steps: 1- Sterilization, 2- Suction, 3- Scarification 4- Suction 5- Seal.

Hijama has a unique ability to bring pathological and pain-causative substances from the depth to the surface of the body. Impressively Hijama applies 2 opposite mechanical forces on the skin and the underlying structures. First, the negative pressure is applied on the inside of the cup which vasodilates the capillaries. Second, the positive pressure on the rim of the cup limits the bleeding at this particular point. Because the incisions mainly target the epidermis layer, typically, there will be limited or even no loss of white blood cells or macrophages as they are bigger and heavier in molecular weight. The incisions trigger an immune response from the body to the Hijama site by releasing The T and B lymphocytes (T and B Cells). After incisions are made, fibrin protein and platelets clot the site as part of the inflammatory response of the body.

Before the beginning of the Hijama session, Hijama practitioners check vitals and then sanitize the skin. Single-use cups are applied according to a predetermined Hijama plan specific to the age, gender, and health condition of the person receiving Hijama. Certain points will need to be charged, and others will need to be discharged, depending on whether this point has developed hot or cold ecchymosis.

Hijama treatment plan is based on many therapeutic considerations including Neuromuscular stimulatory pathways points and ganglions. The selection of Hijama Target Points varies. Some are meant for their systematic effect while others are meant for their localized effect like Pain Killer points. Some points are therapeutic, some are synergistic and some are preventative.

The amount of blood that comes out of Hijama varies from one session, one point, one client to the other. Many factors play a role like disease state, surrounding temperature, mood, diet, supplements, lifestyle, and blood pressure. The benefits of Hijama are never measured by the amount of blood flow. 

The number of Hijama cups is dependent on many factors like The reason why Hijama is requested, disease state, age, blood values like hemoglobin levels, time since the last session, weight, and height. Hijama cups are typically made of polystyrene plastic or Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate.

“Early civilizations may have been inspired by seeing bats remove blood from animals, hippos scratching on trees until they bled, and other animals scratching at diseased body parts for relief.”

Dr. Douglas Arbittier, M.D.

Why isn’t Hijama popular despite being safe, affordable, and effective?

Unfortunately, in the USA, little or no attention is given to Hijama to the point that it is not even recognized officially. Scientific research and development do not invest in Hijama because it is not financially rewarding. Spending Millions or Billions of Dollars on Hijama experiments, trials, and research will never lead to a patent, or in other words, profit since Hijama costs less than $150 on average. The majority of physicians have no idea what Hijama is as they have never studied it in Medical Schools. When Hijama is discussed, everyone is quick to jump into the benefits of Hijama but not the Mechanism of Action, which renders the argument lacking scientific evidence. Healthcare providers are quick to dismiss the benefits of Hijama as they ignorantly compare it to blood donation or bloodletting.

“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product/service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”