It is said to have been endorsed by the Holy Prophet too as a remedy.
Cupping is an ancient method of treatment whereby a glass or cup is placed on the body surface and a vacuum is created and toxins or morbid material is sucked out from the deeper tissues or the diseased organs of the human body. According to a Hadith appearing in Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet is quoted to have said that there are no remedies comparable to cupping or bloodletting.
Cupping is known as Hijaamah which means reducing in size i.e., to return the body back to its natural state. Cupping diverts the morbid material responsible for pain and inflammation by letting down sufficient quantity of humours (akhlaat).
Cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years with citations dating back to the time of Hippocrates (400 BC). It was carried out with the help of hollowed out animal horns to suck and drain the toxins out of wounds caused by snakebite or skin lesions. Horns were gradually replaced by bamboo cups which gave way to glass.
Earliest record of cupping is related to famous alchemist and herbalist Ge Hong (281-341 AD). The Chinese expanded the utilization of cupping to include its use in surgery to divert blood flow from the surgery site. After extensive research the clinical efficacy of cupping therapy is confirmed and has become a mainstay of government hospitals in China today. The earliest pictorial record of cupping was discovered in Egypt, around 1500 BC. The oldest recorded medical textbook written around 1550 BC in Egypt mentions about cupping. The Holy Prophet of Islam too is said to have used this therapy known as Al-Hijaamah and he even used to pay the persons who applied this therapy on him.
The cupping therapy is back into vogue today after several centuries. Traditionally cupping has been regarded as an effective treatment for a number of musculo-skeletal disorders and as a general measure to maintain and promote wellbeing. Therefore cupping therapy is indicated for a number of problems ranging from eye ailment, headache, arthritis, sciatica, gout, piles, constipation, menstrual problems, uterine cramps, back pain, asthma, cold, blood disorders, infertility, varicose veins to name but a few. Cupping is more beneficial for skin, muscles, joints, and digestive organs. It diverts the old stagnant blood within the skin and increases the peristaltic movements of the intestines thereby improving the power of digestion.
Cupping is said to be beneficial when applied on a person who is empty-bellied. A hadith from Tirmizi informs: Cupping on an empty stomach is medicine but a diseases if done on full stomach.
In the final analysis, cupping or al-Hijaamah is powerful healing method which has been in vogue in ancient times and has found endorsement from the Holy Prophet.
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