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Hijama Cupping

Cupping is a method of relieving local congestion by applying a partial vacuum that is created in a cup(s), either by heat or by suction. Cupping has been used for thousands of years. Although it is often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, the entire world once knew this of therapy and used it. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese used cupping therapy. The oldest recorded medical textbook, Ebers Papyrus, written in approximately 1550 BCE in Egypt, mentions cupping (Curtis, 2005). In the UK, the practice of cupping therapy also dates back a long time in one of their leading medical journals, The Lancet. It was named after this practice as it refers to the surgical instrument that can scrape the skin to perform a style of cupping.​

‘Hijama’ in arabic is derived from ‘hajm’ which means ‘sucking’. Cupping / Hijama is the process of applying cups to various points on the body and removing the air inside the cups to form a vacuum. In terms of following the Sunnah, the cupping that is referred to is ‘Bleeding cupping’. It is the most frequently used, oldest and often the most effective method. A surgical instrument is used to scrape the skin and the cup is then applied to collect blood.

Types of Cupping/Hijama

Traditional Cupping

Traditional cupping as it is referred to sometimes, is the Sunnah method and is the oldest, most frequently used and often the most effective method of cupping. A surgical instrument is used to pierce the skin and the cup is then applied to collect blood. Most Muslim cupping therapist are trained for the Sunnah cupping points on the body. This is the area on the back, in between the shoulder blades, slightly towards the neck. There are other cupping points too, however for someone who just wants cupping done to follow the Sunnah, that is mainly the area that the therapist will apply the cups.

Fire Cupping

Dried mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) leaves, sometimes called by its Oriental name, Moxa, is a great warming herb. A needle is used, warmed by dried mugwort and then the cup is applied over the needle.

Herbal Cupping

A suitable herbal tincture is put into the cup and then suction is applied.

Sport Cupping

Cupping has been used as part of sports therapy for a long period of time. Cupping is used by health care professionals, coaches and trainers to maintain, detoxify, recover, and strengthen the physical needs of the athletes to remove toxins. Protocols should be followed in sports healthcare.Cupping should be avoided at any injury site after immediate injury. Cupping should not be used for 24 hours after injury. Before applying negative pressure in the damaged area, you have to be completely sure that there is no internal bleeding before you start cupping. Some chronic conditions occur due to injury of overuse such as repetitive cumulative injuries in the same location. Cupping is very appropriate for these conditions becuase it works on the deeper surfaces due to action of the negative pressure which removes unwanted substances. Conditions that can be treated with cupping therapy are quadricpepes femoral injuries, Achilles tendon injuries, and lower back injuries. The most common sports injuries are biarthroidal hamstrings, quadriceps, and quadriceps and gastrocnemius.


Orthopedic Cupping

Orthopedic cupping can be used for conditions like rotator cuff injury, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, scoliosis, bursitis, tendinitis, cervical strain,sprain, thoracic outlet syndrome, frozen shoulder syndrome, IT band syndrome. It lengthens connective tissue and hydrates the joints. Joints are hydrated by fluid facilitation. It allows to restore neurological function by using muscle energy techniques. It assists with disssolving adhesions, and normalizing the position of the soft tissue by releasing its torsion. Cupping allows for the release of compressed structures and enhances neurological stimulation. When orthopedic gliding cupping is performed, problems are focused on the patient’s musculoskeletal system. Muscles are stretched and tight muscles are released. This is used to treat medical conditions and requires a significant amount of training. You have to identify the injury by palpating hte area of pain and determine what type of treatment you will be using. Cups have to be applied symmetrically on opposite sides of the body. Oil should be applied during palpation. The treatment can be enhanced by shortening muscles during treatment allowing them to stretch. The best way to decompress a joint capsule is to do passive gymnastics while having orhopedic cupping treatments. Lymphatic drainage should occur at the end of the treatment.

BioMagnetic Cupping

The use of magnets is applied for the use of pain management and injuries. All body tissue responds to magnetic therapy including bone and nerve tissue. The injured tissues have charges which are changed from positive to negative. The tissue then enters a healing phase unless the area is inflammed. Healthy tissue is characterized by a characteristic normal frequency. Disease is represented by an abnormal change in cellular vibration. Chronic injuries, nerve pathways such as for sciatic or radial pain, and for joints or bone issues. Foot cupping and cellulite cupping uses biomagnetic cupping The therapeutic application of magnets is based on the principle of restoring normal cellular vibration. It is used to normalize pH in the body, reduce pain, and enhance wellness of the patient. It uses negative pressure cups and gliding cupping to promote enhanced lymphatic systems, improve circulation, and targets myofascial triggerpoint deactivation.

Abdominal Cupping

Use of abdominal gliding cupping helps the digestive and reproductive systems by loosening the area and manipulating the digestive system. By clearing the process toxins can be removed from the system which are accumulations of processed foods, preservatives, frozen, canned, and irradiated foods. The colon becomes distorted and contains stagnant impacted feces. Layers of this plaque accumulate throughout the intestines over time and become compacted. Health problems start to occur as these toxins enter the bloodstream and throughout the body. During cupping areas like the ileocecal valve and sigmoid colon are of focus which allow cleansing of the digestive tract. Patients are advised to drink room temperature to warm water several hours after the treatment to assist with cleansing of the system and should expect multiple bowel movements over the course of 72 hours. Abdominal cupping improves digestion. It is used to treat conditions like constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, distention, and acidity.Abdominal cupping creates more space in the intestine. It moves the toxic waste from the body, improves bile flow, and promotes regular bowel movements.

Facial Cupping

Facial exercises have been used for generations for women of Asia, Russia, and Europe. Negative pressure is used in facial exercises for rejuvenation and for maintenance. Small cups to vacuum and lift the facial tissue mimics the pumping movements of lymphatic drainage. This can be done for a few minutes or can be done as part of a long facial protocol for ultimate results. This is beneficial because it increases blood circulation of the skin and causes enhanced absorption of facial topicals. It increases nutrients brought to the epidermis. Drainage of stagnant fluids will reduce edema. Lines and wrinkles will be reduced and scar tissue will heal faster with negative pressure. Facial treatments are enhanced. There will be reduction of tension and tightness in the muscles of the face loosening rigid muscles and relaxing expression lines. Increased drainage also relieves sinus infections and inflammation. Horizontal lines on the forehead are an expression of excess liquid in the body. This may be due to a higher intake of sugars, fats, and liquids. Vertical lines between the eyes can indicate pathologies with the liver and gallbladder. On each side of the nose, each area corresponds to the spleen and pancreas. A watery nose indicates too much fluid in the heart. Bags under the eyes indicate that the kidneys are overworked. The lower lip appears swollen if the digestive tract is expanded.Dark spots or sores indicate that there are ulcerations in the gastrointestinal tract.


In reflexology, the feet, face, ears and hands are viewed as a mirror image of the body. Reflexology is the application of pressure, stretch and movement to major corresponding parts of the body. In general terms, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Since the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are what interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body’s equilibrium. Through numerous studies upon thousands of people, substantial evidence has been shown to be highlighted by the benefits that reflexology holds. The reflexologist’s application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply. Reflexology is a gentle treatment that can be used to treat many conditions such as: Sinusitis, arthritis, insomnia, headaches, edema, tinnitus, shingles, PMS, vertigo, muscular migraine and much more.

Frequently asked questions about Hijama

Is Hijama painful?

Hijama is not painful, however to give you and idea it is probably similar to having a blood test. Hijama is not as intrusive as a blood test though as it does not penetrate the veins.

I am not a muslim can I benefit from the therapies mentioned on your website?

Absolutely, please contact us and we would be glad to assist.


Much research information regarding cupping can be obtained from the following websites:

  • ‘Cupping: From a biomechanical perspective’ by L.M. Thama, H.P. Leea,b,_, C. Lua (Journal of Biomechanics) June 2005 (
  • ‘Cupping’ by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon (
  • Ancient Chinese Technique of Cupping Offers Pain Relief Without Drugs or Surgery (
  • ‘Massage Cupping Therapy for Health Care Professionals’ By Anita J. Shannon, LMBT (
  • ‘Cupping Therapy’ by Ilkay Zihni Chirali (
  • The Complete Guide To cupping Therapy By Dr Tamer Shaban (

* Disclaimer: Please note Hijama Sunnah Cupping takes no responsibility for information contained on external links from this website. Views expressed by individuals and organisations on their own webpages or on external sites they link to, are not necessarily those of Hijama Sunnah Cupping.