Hijama is the
name in Arab traditional medicine for wet cupping, where blood is drawn by
vacuum from a small skin incision for therapeutic purposes.Hijama is
generally performed by Muslims as it is a form of medicine specifically
mentioned and encouraged by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Among other
hadith, it is mentioned in that recorded by Muhammad al-Bukhari (5263)
and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (2952), saying "The Hijama is the best of your
Bloodletting alone has been conclusively shown to be of
no medical benefit in most cases.
Clotted blood after being drawn by wet cupping.
Hijama can be performed
anywhere on the body, often at the site of an ache or pain in order to ease or
alleviate it. A more conservative approach warns against over use of cupping
and suggests only that six optimal points on the body are all that is required
to clean the entire cardiovascular system. The back of the head, two shoulders
corresponding to the acupuncture heart position, the tail or small of the back,
and the two inner ankles.
The location is first shaved, if necessary, to ensure a tight
seal with the cup. The mouth of a cup (metal, glass and plastic cups are
generally used, although traditionally horns were used) is placed on the skin at
the site chosen for cupping. Then a tight seal is created. The traditional
method was to burn a small piece of paper or cotton inside the vessel, so that
the mouth of the cup clings to the skin. Some practitioners now use a machine
instead, although others strictly adhere to the Prophetic method with the use of
fire, both for sterility and the benefits or properties from the element of fire
itself. The cup is left to cling to the skin for a few minutes, then it is
lifted off and a couple of very small incisions are made in the skin. The cup is
then put back as it was before until the flow of blood subsides.
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