History Of Hijama

In general when evaluating the history of the practice of hijama one striking fact becomes apparent that cannot be ignored. The practice has been used by almost every civilisation in the world as a medicinal intervention since the beginning of recorded history. The fact that the therapy exists (or has existed) and is known in almost every spoken language including French, English, Polish, Russian, Kiswahili, Somali, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Malay, Japanese, Thai, Greek, Urdu, Persian, Bengali etc. etc. is a huge testimony to it’s significance as a therapeutic intervention on a global scale.

The practice has its roots set in even the most remote and isolated areas of the world and it has been present in such places prior to the development of global communications and high speed transport. This detail helps us understand the universal scale of this practice and its wide acceptance as an important part of the global concept of medicine and health maintenance.

The earliest historical evidence of the use of Hijama came from the great wisdoms of the ancient Egyptians. One of the oldest Egyptian medical textbooks, written in approximately 1550 BC, describes Hijama and other forms of blood letting as ways of removing pathogens from the body. It is was considered a remedy for almost every type of disease as well as an important means of preserving good health and extending life.

Hippocrates and Galen were also great advocates of Hijama. Galen who is until today considered the farther of Medicine, condemned Erasistratus, a noted physician in Alexandria, for not using cupping – Herodotus, a famous Greek historian and physician, wrote, in 413 B.C.

In the Middle East region we find that the practice of Hijama was already present before the advent of Islam in the year 640.AD but it’s use and propagation were highly influenced by the fact that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged and used it himself on many occasions as both a prophylactic practice as well as a treatment to address specific disorders. There was also specific mention of hijama in the Jewish Talmudic writings which describe rules for its practice and similar outlines are mentioned in early Christian writings also.

In the East, hijama was always an integral part of the medical practices, and remains so to this day. The ancient Chinese medical text which is widely regarded as the oldest medical text in existence, the Nei Jing, or Inner Classic says that: “If there is stagnation it must be first be resolved through hijama before the application of acupuncture or moxibustion.”

North American natives are reported to have used buffalo horns for wet cupping. The horns were hollowed with a small hole at the top through which the cupper would suck the air out of, in order to create a vacuum in the horn which would then pull up the blood from the incisions previously made with a blade.

Buffalo horns are also reported as being used for Hijama during the Babylon – Assyrian Empire (stretching from Iraq to the Mediterranean).

In Finland, hijama has been practiced at least since the 15th century, and it is still done traditionally in saunas. Cups made of cow’s horns were commonly used.

In Europe, the main process of hijama in the 19th century was performed by those in the medical establishment and they often coupled this with the use of other forms of bloodletting which included the use of venesection using lancets to cut veins (from where the medical famous journal “The Lancet” gets its name) and leeches to drain blood from a patient. This often resulted in complications from over bleeding and it is reported that the first American president George Washington died as a result of such practices.

The French also practiced hijama in a similar way and reportedly imported approximately 40 million leeches for the purpose of combining these bloodletting techniques during this period.

Throughout Africa hijama is known as a traditional practice and is often performed using cow horns with oral suction that is generated by creating a small hole in the top of the horn and then sucking it.

Although hijama along with many other tradition practices faded out in the west during the late 1900’s with the introduction of Pharmacological Drugs and medicinal patent licences it has slowly and surely been making a gradual comeback along with many other practices in the complementary and alternative health fields.

It has gained much public attention from its celebrity usage and newly found hollywood popularity as well as having a tremendous resurgence amongst Muslim communities living in various parts of the world as well.

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hijama cupping clinic birmingham

Birmingham Cupping Clinic has been runing for over 2 years and have 100's of happy patients who have benefitted from Hijama Cupping Therapy. We are fully qualified and experienced in Hijama clinical therapy.


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