The following is a guest blog-post in the form of a written interview with Hijama Nation, a male/female cupping therapy team in Connecticut, USA.
Please give us a short introduction about yourself, and in particular how you ended up being hijama therapists?
“Hijama Nation” is a husband & wife team of Hijama Practitioners, based in Connecticut (CT), USA. We discovered and trained in Hijama in 2010 (NHNF UK), in a quest to find natural healing methods to deal with many personal illnesses. We found that it was a miraculous treatment and saw excellent results ourselves. So we decided to spread the word and educate Muslims about the Sunnah. We started doing the workshops and generated a lot interest of people who wanted to become Hijama practitioners. So we decided to work on the Hijama Training course. Our training course is ready to launch. We will start accepting applications starting May 21st, 2011 to enroll the most qualified people internationally.
– What particular illnesses/ conditions (if any), do you specialise / had the most experience in?
The most common ailments our patients have been treated for are; back ache, joint problems, heart conditions, arthritis, headaches, migraines, skin conditions, diabetes and constipation amongst others. Many of these patients become regulars. But there have been many ‘one off’ patients who came for Hijama and then did not need to book an appointment again, as their therapy session was so successful. Many people literally feel like new after the Hijama therapy and recover from sicknesses very quickly.
– And do you find that in your experience, the conditions/illnesses that you have come across respond well to cupping (hijama) therapy? And if so, what are they?
• Most notably-the effects of Hijama are immediate. Anyone who comes in with any kind of pain, leaves feeling relaxed and comfortable. Virtually EVERY single person described these reactions after a hijama session; they felt “lighter” and experienced “mental clarity”, relaxation and a happier mood.
• Many arthiritic patients have virtually run out of the room after the hijama therapy, as they felt so revitalized! Originally, they were unable to pray whilst standing and could not climb stairs. However, after Hijama, they were very mobile and flexible and felt rejuvenated.
• Patients with heart problems have given reports of feeling healthier and more active. Their blood pressures and cholesterols reduced. The condition of their blood also improved.
• Diabetics have said that their blood sugar levels reduced, and their eyesight improved.
– Do you have any interesting case-studies that you can briefly share with us from your hijama treatments?
A patient from the UK had suffered from a brain hemorrhage, stroke and paralysis of the left side of his body about 25 years ago. He is barely mobile now, has diabetes, bad circulation, poor sight and has digestive problems. He tried western medicines for many years but these did not help. Then he tried Unani and Chinese medicines. These worked but did not really help him much with mobility, muscle tone and strength. Then he tried Hijama several times over a period of a few months, and his health improved dramatically. He had originally been very nervous and frightened of hijama. But after he tried it, he became mobile, very active and his diabetes reduced. He was surprised by the speedy results. His blood was initially very thick, stagnant and clotted; particularly from his head. After a few sessions, his circulation and muscle tone improved rapidly. His blood stasis reduced and his digestion and eyesight got better. Most importantly, he felt very happy, optimistic and positive. He had been very depressed and despondent before. But after having hijama, he felt like he had finally found something to help him and he had hope. He now believes that he will have a better quality of life and health, so he can enjoy himself, alhumdulillah.
– Also what would you say about using cupping as a general preventative therapy and how often would you recommend this (once a month? once/twice a year?)
Hijama is definitely a preventative therapy. We know this through personal experience as well as results from our patients. However, each human being is different, has varying illnesses and pain thresholds. So it is not possible to quantify the number of sessions that a person should have. This should be decided by the Therapist, depending upon the type and severity of illnesses, recovery rate, patient’s age, diet and lifestyle. A personal treatment plan needs to be created after careful evaluation of the patient’s condition. Generally, a healthy person can have hijama about 2-4 times a year. But a very sick person can have it weekly or monthly. Each case if different and the patient must to be careful, so they don’t over exert themselves. Also, according to Hijamaology, the best time to have it is in the 3rd week of the month, when the moon is waning. This is so the fluids in our bodies are more balanced. So Therapist must be extra conscious of the significance of the dates specified in hadiths; 17th, 19th & 21st of the Lunar month.
– As a hijama therapist, how often do you get hijama done yourself, and what for (if any specific condition) and who do you go to get it done (since it is not an easy therapy to self-administer)?
Unfortunately, there are not many Hijama Therapists in the USA at all. The ones that are here, usually practice “under the radar” as regulations do not allow wet cupping for people who are not Medical doctors or acupuncturists. So we just administer Hijama ourselves to our family on a monthly/bi-monthly basis or when it is needed.
– What is the overall prevalence of hijama therapy in USA at present?
According to the Connecticut State Department of Health, these are the current regulations regarding Hijama Wet Cupping Therapy (as of 2011). Only the following licensed professionals are allowed to practice;
• Physicians Assistants (PA)
• Advanced Practitioner Registered Nurse (APRN)
• Licensed Acupincturist (LAc )
• Phlebotomists-Only allowed to draw blood in lab setting. But they do not need license. Phlebotomy is unregulates in CT at present.
• Paramedics-Only allowed to draw blood or do incisions in emergency situations only.
• Licensed Massage Therapists (LMT)-are only allowed to practice Dry and Massage cupping.
Some States do not allow wet cupping at all. Some even allow Dentists and Chiropracters to practice Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy. Hijama Nation is in talks with the departments of Health of ALL USA states to get it legalized on religious grounds. (Like Jewish Mohels being exempt from obtaining medical licensure for ritual male circumcisions).
Hijama Nation is launching a Hijama Practitioner Certification course for the abovementioned Professionals, so they can practice Hijama legally in U.S.
Is it now available in hospitals and clinics as a valid alternative / sunnah therapy?
No, it is not acce
pted or recognized anywhere as a modality in its own right. It is practiced by a few Acupuncturists in various states, but very rarely. Dry and massage cupping therapy is a bit more popular. But it is still not very common. Therefore, we have embarked upon a campaign to promote Hijama. Inshallah, we hope to achieve the following;
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
* To have Hijama Cupping Therapy recognized and accepted in its own right. It does not fall under the category of straight Massage or Acupuncture/Cupping Therapy. It is an effective, healing and powerful complementary therapy exclusively practiced by Muslims (following the religion of Islam) globally. It is legal in UK, much of Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, South Asia and Far East.
* We would like the State Department of Health (DPH)/Medical/Acupuncture Boards to accept and approve of this treatment and legally allow Muslims to practice it in the USA on religious grounds, based on our faith.
* We believe that it is our civil and religious right to practice Hijama Cupping Therapy in the USA as it is a faith based therapy. We believe that Wet Cupping Therapy should not only be practiced by licensed Physicians or Acupuncturists only, but trained Hijama Practitioners too.
* Just as Jewish Mohels (Ritual Circumcisers) are exempt from obtaining Medical Licensure in order to practice male circumcision on religious grounds, we would like Muslim Hijama Practitioners to be exempt from obtaining Medical or Acupuncture Licensure on religious grounds.
* To promote awareness and educate the general Public about Hijama Cupping Therapy and its health benefits through educational workshops, internet and various Health Institutions.
* We would like to introduce and establish a International Training and Certification Course for Hijama Practitioners in collaboration with the State DPH/Medical & Acupuncture Boards. Our aim is to have it nationally approved and accredited. We would like to train Licensed Physicians, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, Nurse Practitioners and others medical/complementary Therapy professionals. Also, we aim to train practicing and responsible Muslim persons who would like to be trained and certified as a Hijama Practitioner according to their faith. This is so that we can set up and maintain the highest of health and safety standards and best practice policies and procedures. We do not just want to have “in-house training” like the Jewish Mohels have in Synagogues or through Rabbis. Rather, we intend to have structured training and certification courses in line with other nationally accredited bodywork courses eg;
* Physiology & Anatomy & CPR First Aid Training
* Acupuncture & Hijama points
* Prophetic medicine & Natural Islamic Healing, Theory & History
* Best Business Practices & Policies & Procedures
* Practical training in Dry/Massage/Wet Cupping techniques, coursework, case studies, clinical training and exams.
– Is there anything else you would like to add?
Hijama Nation is currently undergoing the membership procedure for the Complementary Medicine Association (CMA) and we are arranging insurance coverage (professional indemnity) for our students when they have graduated (currently available only to UK & European students).
Inshallah, HIJAMA NATION will be launching its first online Hijama Practitioner Training Programme on May 21st, 2011. It is designed for international students who are allowed to practice hijama, and USA/Canada students who have medical/healthcare backgrounds. It will be a 3 month, intensive online course with practical workshop training. It will cover types and history of cupping therapy, physiology & anatomy, hijamaology, Ibn-Sina and humoral pathology, lunar cycle, Islamic and Chinese medicine and best practices and lots more….
FEATURED HIJAMA THERAPISTS:
Our thanks to Hijama Nation from USA for sharing the above post. If you have any questions or want to leave some feedback for them, then please do so via a comment* below.
If you are a hijama therapist or patient and are happy to share your knowledge or experience via a guest blog-post like the one above, please send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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