Hijama Therapy / Cupping Therapy

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Hijama word is derived from the Arabic for cupping. It comes from the word ‘Hajm’ which means ‘sucking’. It is also known as cupping in English. It is called so because in this treatment method different types of cups are used. Also, in this method of treatment, the suction pressure is used to draw toxins from the body. You might have seen athletes in the Olympics have red round marks on their skin. This is nothing but the result of cupping therapy. It works on the lymphatic system and drains toxins from the body. The Lymphatic system is known to drain all the toxins from the body and fight against diseases. Men, women, and children (above 4 years) all can do Hijama therapy. It is a healing treatment used to treat several diseases since ancient times.


The origin of Hijama therapy goes back to the 15th century by Ebers Papyrus. It is an ancient Chinese treatment that is followed for ages. Its origin is also seen in Ancient Egyptian culture. It has great importance in the Islamic religion also. Prophet Mohammed also followed this. According to Ibn Majah, 3477: The Prophet said, I did not pass by any group of angels on the night of Al Isra’, except they said to me: “O Mohammed, tell your nation to do cupping”. According to Sunan Abu Dawood, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever performs hijama (cupping) on the 17th, 19th or 21st of the Islamic lunar calendar then it is a cure of every disease.” It is done on specific days and specific timings because it’s said that it has the impact of gravitational forces. The cups are placed on a particular meridian of the body. It is performed on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday according to Prophet Mohammed. Hippocrates the great Greek physician, also known as the father of medicine also has given the knowledge of cupping.

Methods Of Cupping Therapy

There are two main types of cupping therapy viz dry cupping therapy and wet cupping therapy.

1. Dry Cupping Therapy:-

 In dry cupping, cups are placed with suction/vacuum pressure. No incision is made in this. Blood flow is increased in the region because of the negative pressure created by the cups. It is a process of 5-10 minutes. In this method, blood is drawn into a region by suction pressure. The body’s healing response then activates to heal, and so toxins are released from the body. In this process, a red mark like a hickey can be seen on the site of cupping. The mark starts to fade away after a day or two and is completely gone within a week. In this method, plastic cups or glass cups are used. They may be in one place or in a moving state. Heat is used to create suction pressure. It is the most common method used in the USA.

2. Wet Cupping Therapy:-


In this method usually, glass cups are used but plastic or bamboo cups can also be used. Some other types of cups used are horn, silicon, ceramic, clay, and metal. In this method, a small incision is made to draw blood from the body. In this also the suction is created by heat. Some use the pump for heating purposes. Then after placing the cup on the body a small incision is made which draws blood or toxin to the surface and then into the cup by suction pressure. The body’s immunity system checks in for the inflammatory response and cures the tissues by rejuvenating new ones. This method usually requires 25-30 minutes.

Other types of cupping therapy also include fire cupping therapy, flash cupping, running cupping, needle cupping, herbal cupping, laser cupping, electrical stimulation cupping, magnetic cupping, and water cupping therapy.

3. Fire Cupping:-

In fire cupping, before the cup is placed on the skin a fire is used to consume all the oxygen from the cup.

4. Flash Cupping

In a flash cupping quickly, repeated suction, and releasing of cups from the body is done.

5. Running Cupping

After the application of oil, the cups are moved to the body. They are not kept still or in one place.

6. Needle Cupping

It is used along with the acupuncture technique. Acupuncture uses needles.

7. Herbal Cupping

In this method, bamboo cups are used. They are placed over the body after massaging the body with herbal oils.

8. Laser Cupping

In this laser is used from the cups at the acupuncture point. Thus, the laser is used to stimulate the point which thereby increases blood circulation.

9. Electrical Stimulation Cupping

It includes Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for a double effect like laser cupping therapy. It is commonly used for muscle pains.

10. Magnetic Cupping

In this cup, magnets are used. It is usually used to treat knees or large joints.

11. Water Cupping

In this method cups partially filled with warm water are used.

Preparation For Cupping Therapy/Hijama Therapy

1. Taking shower

Taking a shower before Hijama therapy cleanses the body. Though the practitioner before doing cupping therapy cleans the area of application. Taking a shower helps the body to relax and also opens the pores of the skin.

2. Hydrating

Drinking 8 liters of water per day is good for the body. Toxins are removed by the body if one keeps the body enough hydrated.

3. Empty stomach

Avoid eating anything before Hijama therapy is performed. Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased upon Him) reports Our Prophet (P.B.U.H) saying,” Hijama is best on an empty stomach. In it is the cure and a blessing. It improves the intellect and the memory.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 3488).

4. Avoid shaving

Do not shave the area as the skin will become more sensitive for the treatment. Also, avoid scrubbing the body.

5. Mindset

Keeping a positive mindset is the most prior thing for the person undergoing any treatment. Positive thoughts help the body to heal faster. If one is having negative thoughts or is stressed during the cupping therapy, they will not get results as good as they can get.

6. Oiling

The practitioner will clean the area of the application. He/she will sanitize all the equipment. He/she then will use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or another organic oil. Massaging the body with oil is a very important step of Hijama therapy. It helps the body to relax.

Benefits Of Cupping Therapy

Hijama therapy or cupping therapy has numerous benefits for the human body. It is used to treat several diseases by some practitioners. Some of its uses are as follows:

  1. Muscle pain
  2. Body Pain
  3. Arthritis
  4. Back pain
  5. Migraine
  6. Gastritis
  7. Stress
  8. Hormonal balance
  9. Lung infection
  10. Good blood circulation
  11. Helps in anxiety and mood balances
  12. Joint pains
  13. Varicose and spider veins
  14. Sciatica
  15. Neck pains
  16. Fibromyalgia
  17. Knee pain
  18. Hypertension
  19. Boosts immunity
  20. Lowering LDL cholesterol
  21. Constipation

And many more benefits are there of Hijama therapy. Although scientifically it’s not proven there are many case studies in which patients have got results from cupping therapy.

What Is Facial Cupping?


For facial cupping Belle tazze, facial cups are used. It comes in various sizes according to to use. Firstly, the face is cleansed and then oiled. Cup is placed which creates suction and stays in place. The cup is moved away from the face. This increases blood flow to the region. Along with increased blood flow, oxygen flow is also increased. This gives all the benefits to the skin like skin glow, anti-ageing benefits, skin tightening, etc. Self-facial cupping kits are also available in the market, but one should always opt for facial cupping done by professionals.

Benefits Of Facial Cupping

1. Collagen production

As a person ages, collagen in the body specifically the skin decreases. Facial cupping helps in the production of collagen. It makes the skin looks young and flawless.

2. Blood circulation

It increases blood circulation to the face. Along with blood, it increases oxygen supply and nutrients to the face.

3. Skin tightening

Facial cupping helps the skin tighten and removes wrinkles resulting in the skin looking younger.

4. Shrinking pores

Facial cupping helps to open clogged pores. It shrinks the facial pores and makes the skin rejuvenate new tissues.

5. Treats headache

6. Treats skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Side Effects Of Facial Cupping

It leaves mark on the skin. However, it goes away after a few hours. A person can also feel nausea, sweating, dizziness, discolouration marks, active breakouts, sores, blisters, etc.

What Is Sports Cupping?


Sports cupping is a type of cupping done by athletes. It helps in the healing of tired sore muscles. It reduces their recovery time. It reduces inflammation of the body and helps in good blood circulation and boosts the immunity of the body.

What Is Orthopedic Cupping?

Orthopaedic cupping is also known as myofascial decompression. It is used to treat muscle tension and soft tissues. It is most useful in chronic tense areas. It is used in the treatment of scoliosis, tennis elbow, or frozen shoulder.

What Is Aquatic Cupping?

It should not be confused with water cupping therapy. It is performed underwater. It is performed underwater because muscles are stretched more there. It is a painless method of treatment like others. It is usually used for musculoskeletal problems or rehabilitation.

Side Effects Of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy has some cons too with pros. Dizziness, insomnia, rashes, burns, etc. If the types of equipment are not properly sterilized patients can get AIDS and hepatitis.

Avoid Cupping Therapy

Following should avoid doing cupping therapy:

  1. People who use blood thinning medicines.
  2. Those who have sunburns.
  3. Those who have a serious internal injury.
  4. Those who have any kind of trauma.
  5. People who have an injury on the skin.
  6. Pregnant females should avoid doing it.
  7. Who has cancer.
  8. Who uses a pacemaker.

After Cupping Therapy

After cupping therapy, people should avoid the following things:

  1. Do not take any antibiotics for fever as after Hijama therapy slight fever is normal.
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and keep your body as much hydrated as you can.
  3. Avoid staying in cold. Keep the body warm.
  4. Avoid eating processed meat, sugary food, drinking caffeine, and consuming alcohol after Hijama therapy.
  5. Avoid intense exercise.
  6. Give the body rest so that the immune system heals the body.
  7. Avoid hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and extremely cold temperatures. The treated areas are sensitive to temperature after the Hijama therapy.

Top 13 Facts About Hijama Therapy / Cupping Therapy

  1. While hearing about cupping for the first time, it may sound new to you but it’s not. It has been used to heal pain and eradicate stagnation for more than two thousand years.

  2. Cupping gained popularity in 2016 when Michael Phelps showed up at the Summer Olympics with marks of cupping over his back.

  3. According to a survey by Hijama Nation, cupping has a success rate of more than 90%.

  4. Few people think it’s quite painful but it’s not as painful as it looks and sounds.

  5. The cup used is kind of lit on fire to create the necessary suction but don’t worry it won’t burn your skin during the process.

  6. Cupping is a part of the overall process of healing from an injury, pain, or muscle inflammation. This creates an inflammatory response in the area as, during the process, the tissue is stretched. When there is inflammation, white blood cells begin to break down the scar tissue, which helps in the healing process.

  7. It also helps to relax the tissue in a knotted muscle.

  8. Reportedly, some athletes are doing it themselves, but only a well-trained professional should do hijama, and that too as a supplement to an overall therapy program.

  9. The lift-off marks after a cupping session indicate the level of stagnation in your body. The more often you receive this treatment, the less stagnation you will have in your body and because of it, the lighter the marks will be. Cupping helps circulation in addition to eliminating stagnation.

  10. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is the first famous figure to try cupping as a form of athletic pain relief. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Calum Best have had cupping too. Kim had cupping on her face while Calum Best had blood drained from his head.

  11. According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, wet cupping can be effective in treating migraines and tension headaches.

  12. Cupping is also known to cure several conditions like facial paralysis, shingles, lumbar disc herniation, acne, and many more.

  13. Sometimes cupping is also prescribed along with acupuncture, which is another good method of alternative therapy. One may be asked to fast or have light meals for 2-3 hours before cupping treatment.

Tanvi Dubey




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