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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Hijama Therapy – Is It safe?

What Is Hijama Therapy?

Hijama therapy is a form of ancient alternative medicine and healing therapy that originated in China. This therapy involves placing cups on the skin to generate suction. This suction helps facilitate healing with blood flow. The cups are placed on the back, stomach, arms, and legs of the body. People have been practicing hijama therapy for thousands of years.

Hijama therapy is also referred to as cupping therapy. Cupping increases the blood circulation in the area where the cups are placed. This helps relieve muscle tension, improve blood flow, and promote cell repair.

What Are The Types Of Hijama Therapy?

Cupping therapy was initially performed using animal horns. Later, the “cups” were made from bamboo, metal, silicone, and ceramic. The suction is created through the use of heat. The cups were heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside. Modern cupping involves using glass cups that are like rounded balls and open on one end.

There are two main types of cupping performed today:

  1. Dry cupping is a suction-only method.

  2. Wet cupping may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.

The choice of the method depends on your medical condition, your practitioner, and your preferences.

What Exactly Happens During A Cupping Treatment?

Hijama therapy

A man undergoing cupping therapy, Credits: pixabay

How this therapy works to ease pain and treat disease symptoms is unclear. It is believed that suction from cupping draws fluid into the treated area. This suction force expands and breaks open the capillaries under the skin.

Your body treats the cupping area like an injury. It directs blood to the area to stimulate the natural healing process. Some people hypothesize that cupping clears the pores and releases toxins.

Who Can Perform Hijama Therapy?

The following professionals after receiving training for cupping therapy can perform this therapy.

  1. Acupuncturists.

  2. Chiropractors.

  3. Massage therapists.

  4. Medical doctors.

  5. Physical therapists.

What Condition A Hijama Therapy Can Treat?

Hijama therapy

Hijama therapy to treat acne, Credits: pixabay

This therapy is used to treat various conditions. It is particularly useful to treat muscle aches and pains. The cups are applied to major acupressure points, and this therapy helps in the treatment of digestive issues, skin issues, and other common disorders treated with acupressure. The following conditions are treated using cupping theory.

  1. Acne

  2. Shingles

  3. Facial paralysis

  4. Cervical spondylosis

  5. Cough and dyspnea

  6. Rheumatoid arthritis

  7. Breathing problems like asthma

  8. Irritable bowel syndrome

  9. High blood pressure

  10. Headaches and migraines

What Are The Side Effects Of HijamaTherapy?

Hijama therapy-Side effects

A tired boy, Credits: pixabay

The following side effects are generally seen before or during the treatment.

  1. Burns from heated cups

  2. Fatigue

  3. Nausea

  4. Lightheadedness

  5. Skin Infections

  6. Scarring of the skin

  7. Muscle tension or soreness

  8. Hematoma

Is Hijama Therapy Safe?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there is not yet enough high-quality research to prove cupping’s effectiveness. The true effectiveness of this therapy is not very clearly established and the studies performed carry a significant risk of bias. Sometimes this therapy may provide a placebo effect.

  1. When you want to evaluate if hijama therapy is safe for you, keep in mind the following.

  2. Make sure the practitioner involved in this procedure is wearing gloves, aprons, and googles.

  3. Make sure they use clean equipment and know whether they are vaccinated to have protection against hepatitis.

  4. Some of the professionals involved in this treatment may not be properly trained or know about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

  5. Some practitioners may be overconfident about their methods and can advise you to stop standard medical treatments. Approach such people with caution.

  6. Always have a medical consultation before starting Hijama therapy, so that you can get the benefits of both forms of therapy.

  7. This therapy may not be suitable for everyone. Care should be taken when you handle the following group.

  8. Children under the age of four years should not receive this therapy. Older children should be treated for a short period time.

  9. Senior people may not be suitable as the skin may not resist this treatment. Also, pregnant women and women who are menstruating may not be the right candidate for Hijama therapy.

  10. This therapy is not recommended for people who are on blood-thinning medications. If you have a sunburn, skin ulcers, wound, or recently experienced a trauma or have an internal organ disorder, you are not suitable for this therapy.

  11. People with blood clotting problems like deep vein thrombosis and a history of strokes

If you wish to have Hijama therapy, do know whether the practitioner is specialized in Hijama treatment, what method he uses to treat, whether the environment is safe and sterile, the practitioner follows all the necessary safety measures, the persons owns certification, and whether you may be benefitted for your medical condition.


Though scientific evidence for Hijama therapy is lacking, this therapy is quite safe, and always have a doctor consultation before you try this.

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