The Two (no Three!) Main Reasons to have Hijama (Cupping) Therapy!

The Two (no Three!) Main Reasons to have Hijama (Cupping) Therapy!

… And announcing a new online resource for the therapy!

From my limited understanding over these past 3-4 years, I have now gathered that there are at least 2 very different reasons which Hijama therapy is used for:

1)- Detox
* Preventative therapy.
* Removes bad blood, potential carcinogens, toxins, waste products and other “bad guys”, and as a result:
* Gets rid of Lethargy, loss of stamina etc.

2)- Treating Specific Illnesses / Conditions
* Migraine
* Asthma / Eczema
* Acne / Boils etc

Well a quick search on the internet brought me to a webpage which actually includes a third use (obvious really but I just saw it as part of 2 above, but really it classes as a separate use if you think about it):

3)- Pain-relief
* Back-pain
* Neck-pain etc.

Comparing this with Acupuncture, the related therapy which we looked at in the last post, well acupuncture is probably also just as useful for treating specific conditions and relieving pain (2 and 3), however I think hijama is unique in the sense that it is the only alternative therapy (that I know so far, but I may of course be wrong!) that can also be called a detox, and not only that, I would go even as far as saying it’s “The Fastest Most-Direct Detox Known to Humankind!”

So, as a blogsite dedicated to finding out all there is to know about cupping, I have now refined my quest for information about hijamah along these three branches based on the above uses for the therapy (if you know of any other categories of use, please leave a comment):

1) General Preventative Annual Detox (if I can describe it like that!)

How often should this be done and what benefits are expected? From an Islamic viewpoint, I understand this can be done at least once or twice a year (bit like a car’s service really – every 6 months or 6000 miles!).

As far as the results are concerned: Does it remove/reduce bad blood, potential carcinogens, toxins, pesticides, waste products, cholesterol and other “bad guys”? If you are a therapist who can enlighten us about this particular aspect, please do so via a comment*, as with the ever-increasing toxins & carcinogens that are supposedly in our food and environment, I’m sure a lot of people out there would be grateful to learn of an effective detox therapy.

2) Treating Specific Illnesses:
Anecdotal evidence (which in plain English means: stories reported by people!) exists which seems to suggest that hijama therapy has been effective in treating many different diseases and conditions, including but not limited to : Asthma, Eczema, High Blood Pressure, Migraine etc.

If you are a therapist or a patient who can share your knowledge about this, again please do so via a comment*, as once again, we as cupping enthusiasts would want to know it’s success stories (ie which illnesses can be treated), as well as its limitations (ie which conditions can’t be treated).

3) Pain-Relief:
Again there are reports of people treated for back-pain, neck-pain etc which is not necessarily from an illness but maybe from a fall, twist, sprain or trapped-nerve.

Again if you as a therapist or a patient have had experience in this category please share it with a comment*.

Finally if you are someone who has a condition, illness or pain and you want to know if it can be treated by cupping therapy, then please leave your question, again via a comment* and hopefully one of the handful of hijama therapists who are now subscribers to this blog will answer it for you.

Thank you for your help and I wish you tonnes of ££health, which is the ultimate $$wealth!





Comments: 23

  1. Posted by Anonymous 15 Feb 2009 at 4:49 pm Reply


    Just a quick question, a friend of mine has mild arthiritus in his middle finger of his left hand aswell as mild arthiritus in his knees and ankles. For each of these areas where would be the best place to perform wet Hijama. I was advised that for the middle finger it should be performed with a very small cup on the knuckle, the back of the hand is not advisable as there are too many veins. However this contradicts with what my kung fu teacher says about bruising. According to Chinese medicine all bruises should be pushed away from the joints as too much stagnant blood around the joints leads to arthiritus.
    Im very inexperienced in Hijama so i was hoping you could shed some light on this.

    Jazakallah for all your time and patience.


  2. Posted by Ash 20 Feb 2009 at 8:23 am Reply

    Hi all

    Interesting post.

    I have a question for the cupping therapists on the blog: A friend of mine suffers from gout occasionally in his legs.

    I remember reading somewhere on the net that gout is as a result of overacidity in the blood / bones. And cupping / hijama by removing some bad blood and waste makes the blood alkaline and can help relieve or even cure gout.

    Is this correct? If yes then I can ask my friend to consider cupping (even though he is a bit needle- and blood-phobic)!


  3. Posted by Anas 04 Mar 2009 at 1:21 am Reply

    I remember hearing of a Malaysian brother who came to Leicester and got chased out for practising Hijama without certification. Is it true that you need NHS approval?

  4. Posted by Anonymous 05 Mar 2009 at 9:36 am Reply

    It is not advised or recommended for anyone to practise hijamah without relevant qualification. As long as a person is qualified to perform hijama and follow the rules and regulation required by this country for practising or setting up a clinic, then a person is able to practice.
    Hafsa Asra, Female therapist, Leicester.

  5. Posted by Anonymous 15 Mar 2009 at 12:09 pm Reply


    Hijama is not available on the NHS, so I think you mean whether it’s approved by the CMA? It is but as far as I’m aware you don’t have to have a certificate to do it. But of course you would need to dispose of the equipment appropriately.


    I’m interested to know about the arthritis on the fingers and knuckles, I don’t understand how your teacher said you should avoid bruising the area as it can cause arthritis by stagnation of the blood in that area when he already has arthritis in the area!. Perhaps an experienced therapist can throw light on this, jzk.

  6. Posted by Anonymous 22 Mar 2009 at 10:57 am Reply


    There are a number of different types of arthritis. The two common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The real cause of OA is not understood, and RA is caused by inflammation in the joints.

    By applying cups to the joints you are drawing inflammation and stagnant blood away from the joint, to the surface- releasing it if wet cupping is applied.

    Your teacher may be right especially if the condition is RA and the Traditional Chinese understanding of arthritis may be better than that of conventional medicine, but their practice of cupping is slightly different to hijama in that wet cupping is not so commonly used. Also the marks from hijama are quite different from that of a normal bruise as a bruise is a result of bleeding due to damage & cupping marks are the result of moving blood to the surface of the skin and away from a pathological area. So it may be that he is referring to something else.
    Allah knows best.

    Rizwhan of Cardiff
    Chiropractor & hijama therapist

  7. Posted by Anonymous 25 Mar 2009 at 2:05 pm Reply

    Aslamualaikum wr wb

    I’ve heard that one should not re-use plastic cups after washing and sterilising due to the possibility of some dried blood remaining on them, im assuming the risk is minimal and if your very careful and make sure you sterilise them afew times etc, it might be ok? what are the dangers of this and whats the best way of sterlising the cups? what about glass cups (with fire cupping)?


  8. Posted by Rizwhan 30 Mar 2009 at 3:40 pm Reply


    It is important to take appropriate precautions when practicing hijama. I would strongly recommend NOT reusing plastic cups on different people as blood that may not be visible can remain in the cup even after washing. There are risks involved in this practice as you are dealing with blood meaning there is the possibility of cross contamination of Blood Born Viruses (BBVs).

    BBVs are viruses that some people carry in their blood. The virus can spread to another person, whether the carrier of the virus is ill or not. The main BBVs of concern are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus and hepatitis D virus, which all cause hepatitis, a disease of the liver. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also another serious concern. It causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), affecting the immune system of the body. Under ideal laboratory conditions HIV can remain infectious in dried blood and liquid blood for several weeks and HBV stays active for even longer.

    If cups are to be reused by the SAME patient than they should still be thoroughly washed and decontaminated. When selecting a disinfectant, check that it is active against bacterial spores, M. tuberculosis and viruses including HIV, HCV and HBV. Finally, read the disinfectant's Safety Data Sheet, as some disinfectants require special conditions for use such as exhaust ventilation in order to prevent adverse reactions occurring e.g. skin hypersensitivity or asthma.

    I hope that was of some help to you.

    Rizwhan of Cardiff
    Chiropractor & hijama therapist

  9. Posted by Anonymous 09 Apr 2009 at 6:30 am Reply

    jazak’Allah khair akhi

    I would never use the same cups on others, i meant for the same patient ONLY. I dont have a medical background so could you pls give me an example or two of the disenfectants that can be used (names and brands)pls.


    Aslamu’alikum wahramatullahi wa barakatahu

  10. Posted by Rizwhan 10 Apr 2009 at 5:17 pm Reply

    Chlorine is the chemical recommended by the Department of Health for the safe disinfection of blood and body fluid spills. There are tablets avalible from most medical supply compaies called Sanichlor Tablets or HAZ-Tabs. These contain a chemical called NaDCC which produces chlorine and is used by most hospitals in the U.K. For personal use though I would recommend using Milton tablets as they are also chlorine releasing tablets but are more widely available and commonly used for domestic purposes

    Rizwhan of Cardiff
    Chiropractor & hijama therapist

  11. Posted by Ahealth 11 Apr 2009 at 3:36 am Reply

    Salams Br Rizwhan,

    Thanks for the information on the Sanichlor / HAZ and Milton tablets. So I take it since they are in tablet form, you dissolve them in water and then leave the cup in the solution to sterilise it.

    Another brand you might want to look at is Barbicide. I was just talking to my barber couple of days ago (in fact I went in to have a shave in preparation for 2 cups of hijama at the back of my head which I am hoping to do shortly, and that’s how the conversation started!), I asked him what he used to sterilise scissors and other hair-dressing equipment, and he showed me a jar of bluish liquid called Barbicide (you might see that in most hairdressers) in which he has to leave scissors etc overnight to sterilise.

    So Br Rizhwan, do you think that Barbicide would also be suitable for hijama cups?



  12. Posted by Rizwhan 11 Apr 2009 at 5:26 am Reply


    Yes brother shuaib that’s right. They come in the form of a dissolvable tablet and you just add them to water. Each has a specific ratio to follow which will be written on the pack/tub.

    With regards to Barbicide, I have not come across it before but briefly looked over it just before posting. It is an Environmental Protection Agency registered hospital disinfectant and is also designed to combat blood born pathogens. So it also would be ideal for the disinfection of cups.

    Rizwhan of Cardiff
    Chiropractor & hijama therapist

  13. Posted by Ahealth 11 Apr 2009 at 5:35 am Reply

    That’s great.

    So sister*, try getting Milton tablets which should be generally available to public for domestic use.

    Alternatively pop in to your hairdresser and ask them to share some of their Barbicide, or even order you a bottle when they next order some supplies!


    *PS: Please leave your name next time when you comment (and your website in the Name/URL option if you want to advertise it!!) so we know who to address when replying. Thanks

  14. Posted by Rizwhan 12 Apr 2009 at 9:02 am Reply

    Just to add to that I noticed that Barbicide contains rust inhibitors which would make it a good choice when disinfecting the suction pumps as they contain metal springs that can become rusty when using the other options.

    Rizwhan of Cardiff
    Chiropractor & hijama therapist

  15. Posted by Brum Sister 20 Apr 2009 at 4:22 pm Reply

    Just a comment. Milton can only be used if if the item has been thoroughly cleaned first. If it comes into contact with anything containing protein (such as blood) it is neutralised and turns into salt, rendering it useless. My understamding is that it is therefore NOT the best thing to use. Barbicide is better, and Allah knows best.

  16. Posted by Anonymous 05 May 2009 at 10:12 am Reply

    JazakAllah khairan to everyone who replied. I would like to know if you can do hijama for athritis on the hand (just right hand and on the knuckles), cups are too small for this area.


  17. Posted by firoz.s 22 Jul 2010 at 10:00 am Reply

    if hijama practitioner uses same surgical gloves on 5 patient and takes all necessary precaution as sterlised fresh blade,antiseptic,and fresh cotton,is there chances of getting hiv/hepatitis c through his gloves if any one is infected.

  18. Posted by Khadija Ibrahim 11 Aug 2010 at 4:15 am Reply

    Salam aleykum,Ramadan mubarak.

    Some information on Barbicide: Barbicide can disinfect pre-cleaned non-critical items (items that do not break the skin or come into contact with blood or body fluids). Refer to this site for more info:;=99232819

    In case of blood or blood-stained body fluid spillage, The Department of Health recommends the use of 10,000 p.p.m. available chlorine. In such cases it is more efficient to use Haz-Tab Granules or Haz-Tab Tablets.

  19. Posted by Ahealth 26 Aug 2010 at 6:07 pm Reply

    Salams Firoz

    While I personally cannot comment with certainty on any specific cases, according to my current understanding, the risk however small will remain (as with all surgical procedures) so ideally to minimise this as much as possible, as well as using disposable single-use blades /cups, best practice would be to change gloves between patients (and in some cases I have even seen several changes of gloves during one patient's treatment if it becomes necessary ie if the gloves get soiled with blood in the middle of the treatment).

    Please note I only say this as a trainee therapist, but someone more qualified / experienced may be able to enlighten further and answer your question better.

    Hope that helps.


  20. Posted by Ahealth 26 Aug 2010 at 6:10 pm Reply

    Salams Khadija,

    Thank you for your info clarifying the use of Barbicide.

    So in conclusion, the best thing to use seems to be Haz-Tab Granules or Haz-Tab Tablets.

    Thanks for that.


  21. Posted by UNKNOWN 07 Jan 2012 at 6:58 am Reply


    I have been getting pain in my left lower back for about 6 months. It comes and goes and it is painful when i do any physical activity. It seems like a trapped nerve. Would hijama cure this or should i seek help elsewhere?

  22. Posted by UNKNOWN 07 Jan 2012 at 6:58 am Reply


    I have been getting pain in my left lower back for about 6 months. It comes and goes and it is painful when i do any physical activity. It seems like a trapped nerve. Would hijama cure this or should i seek help elsewhere?

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