According to one doctor at Al Eman Medical Centre, cupping therapy (Al Hijama) is becoming increasingly popular in Fujairah, UAE.
People request cupping therapy for respiratory illnesses (common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis etc.), chronic diseases, muscular pain, joint pain, migraines and hypertension. It looks like it is used as a ‘cure all’.
The therapy is said to aid blood circulation and give a boost of energy.
Glass or plastic cups are applied with suction to create localized pressure. This vacuum draws the blood to the area to create a better energy flow and activate the lymphatic system. The suction causes the body tissue to release toxins, clear the blood vessels and stimulate the skin. There is a variety of treatments including one process when before or after the cupping the skin is scratched or cut to extract the blood and presumably the toxins.
The cups can be applied to a specific area where there is pain but more often they are placed on the back to give a general spurt of energy to the whole body.
According to the Faseel doctor, those with chronic pain are recommended to come for treatment every three weeks while those who undergo the therapy as a preventative measure are advised to have it every six months.
One treatment takes 20 minutes and costs approximately 300 AED. There is likely to be a variation in the cost of a cupping treatment in Fujairah and throughout the UAE.
The Faseel doctor said that patients usually feel relaxed and feel invigorated at the conclusion of the treatment.
It is said to be totally painless although it can leave temporary unsightly marks on the skin and there is also a small risk of burns.
While this therapy is popular today it has been practised by Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks as early as 1550 BC.
Islam has encouraged cupping therapy by putting its stamp of approval on the practice when the Prophet Mohammed declared, “There is a cure in it.” (M K Abdul Samad, ‘Book of Scientific Inimitability of Holy Quran and Sunnah’)
Commendations from celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow have also been responsible for boosting the popularity of cupping therapy.
This article does not have any medical authority and it is not advocating or dissuading people from this therapy. The author has never experienced cupping or witnessed a cupping treatment. This posting was stimulated by passing signs (like the one pictured) every day and simply being curious to learn what this therapy is about!
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.