H for HYPE and H for Hijama Cupping Therapy…
The most decorated Olympian of all time; US Swimmer Michael Phelps and other US Athletes such as Alexander Naddour have been seen with large, round, purple marks on their bodies! What are they? How did they get there? It’s from a treatment called “Cupping.”
The whole world is going crazy about this new trend that these Athletes recently brought to the media’s attention. Naddour said that Cupping “provides relief from the soreness and pounding that come from gymnastics.”
It doesn’t stop there; other famous sports personalities such as Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Shahid Afridi have all received Cupping.
Actors and Singers have also been seen in the past with these marks created by Cupping; Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, Victoria Beckham, Freida Pinto and Jennifer Aniston have all been photographed with what look like Cupping marks.
So What is Cupping?
Cupping Cupping is essentially a natural, holistic detox therapy. It promotes blood circulation, oxygenation and relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just a Chinese therapy. It has, in fact, been used by many cultures including Greek, Arabic, Egyptian, European, Native American and Asian for centuries.
There are different versions, names and cupping applications; but the fundamental practice is essentially the same. There is “Dry Cupping” and “Wet Cupping”.
Under Dry Cupping, comes “Fixed Cupping” where cups are left stationary on the body. There is also “Moving” or “Massage Cupping” which uses oil on the body, and is like a deep tissue massage. This is the type of Cupping which is popular right now.
Typical cupping applications are “Fire Cupping”; where fire is used to remove oxygen from the cup and placed on to the body to create the suction and vacuum.
Glass, plastic, silicone, bone and bamboo cups can also be used. The most commonly used are disposable, single use valve cups and the vacuum is created manually by using a plastic pump.
Cups are placed on certain pressure points and meridians on the body. The tissue is “sucked” in to the cup and left to promote blood circulation. This in turn, releases stagnant “Qi” (Chinese for Life Force Energy) and re-energises the Patient.
It leaves localized “bruising”, but it is not painful at all. It is, in fact, just skin colouration. This colouration will disappear within 3-10 days depending upon your body type. This is why Olympians have been using Cupping; for pain relief and muscle relaxation.
Then there is “Wet Cupping”; a more advanced and intensive Cupping technique. It involves performing the Dry Cupping, then making small, shallow incisions on the cupped spots with a single use, sterile surgical blade. The purpose is to draw out debris and toxic, stagnant blood from the cupped areas.
The Arabic verison is known as “Hijama Cupping Therapy”. “Hijama” literally means “sucking” in Arabic. It is an Islamic, natural healing art. It is based on religion and faith. It is the main recommended treatment method for any disease, ordered by Allah and practiced by Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). He explained that Hijama is one of the best medicines: “The best medicine with which you treat yourselves is Hijama” (Reference: AlBukhari, 5371)
So is it good or is it bad? Is it a credible natural medicine or just Quackery?
Some say it is merely superstition, voodoo and barbaric. Some say it is the “Placebo Effect” where patients think they feel better, so they do get better like the Olympian Athletes. Some say it is good, but there is no evidence to prove these Athletes claims.
Professor Edzard Ernst from the Department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter previously told the BBC it was not a proven medical treatment. He insisted it was a relatively safe practice, but added: “There is no evidence for its efficacy. It has not been submitted to clinical trials.”
Pharmacologist Prof David Colquhoun, from University College London, dismissed cupping as “hocus pocus” and told the BBC: “It’s just pulling up a bit of skin, it is not going to affect the muscle to any noticeable extent… And taken to extreme, it can cause harm, it usually doesn’t, it’s usually just a – what [British physician] Ben Goldacre would call – a voluntary tax on the gullible.”
So some say it’s good and safe, but not clinically tested and some say it can cause harm. Regardless of all the recent “hype”, cynics, haters and doubters, Muslims KNOW that Hijama works because in Islam, it was ordained by God (Allah) and propagated by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
And what he did or said was not wrong – In fact, it has become so trendy with the “5:2” diet, fasting and exercise. It’s all about focusing on the mind, body and soul. And fundamentally, about detox and cleansing. Besides which, there is ALOT of scientific evidence and research being done right now. Hijama has become so popular and professional standards and best practices are improving daily. Just because many medical professionals have not had exposure to the scientific studies, it does not mean Dry Cupping or Hijama Wet Cupping is not a viable treatment.
After all, millions of people had been performing it for centuries…they can’t all be wrong, can they? In fact, modern day surgery is based upon the ancient surgery of Hijama and ArabGreek medicine from the teachings of Galen, Hippocrates and Avicenna (Ibn Sina). So the Greeks used Cupping AND created the Olympics…pretty awesome stuff!
Looks like the greatest Olympian of all time and his team mates have got the right idea by creating this “Hype”. They just need to go that extra mile and try the actual “Hijama” now!
About the Author
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H for HYPE and H for Hijama Cupping Therapy…