Hijama (Arabic: حجامة), also known as Chinese cupping therapy, is an ancient form of alternative medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It has its roots in various cultures, including Chinese, Egyptian, and Islamic medicine.

I have undergone three Hijama sessions (wet, bloody cupping) since December 2022, and I’ve noticed positive changes, especially in the strength of my erections and the sharpness of my vision. I am confident that these positive changes occurred due to improved blood circulation. That’s why I decided to write this article, to share this discovery with others, focusing on wet cupping, or Hijama itself.

Table of Contents

Hijama involves placing cups, usually made of glass, plastic, or silicone, on specific points on the skin to create suction. There are two main types of cupping therapy: dry and wet. In dry cupping, the cups are placed on the skin and suction is created, either through manual manipulation or by using a pump. This process lifts the skin and underlying tissues, promoting blood flow and helping to release muscle tension. Wet cupping, or Hijama in the Islamic context, involves making small, superficial incisions in the skin after applying suction, which allows blood to be drawn out. This is believed to help remove blood clots, bad cholesterol, and impurities from the body, thereby improving blood flow.

Hijama is used to treat a variety of health issues, such as pain, inflammation, muscle stiffness, and migraines. It is also believed to have a positive effect on the immune system and overall well-being.

The History and Origins of Hijama

Hijama can be traced back thousands of years. Even the Greek philosopher and physician Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Modern Medicine,” was a proponent of cupping therapy. This wide-ranging cultural adoption speaks to the long-standing belief in the therapeutic benefits of Hijama.

Interestingly, the term “Hijama” is derived from the Arabic word “hajm,” which means “sucking” or “vacuum.” In Islamic tradition, Hijama gained prominence due to the endorsement of the Prophet Muhammad, who believed in its healing powers. It is said that he once joked, “If there was something excellent to be used as a remedy, then it is Hijama.” This light-hearted endorsement highlights the significance of the practice in Islamic medicine, and its continued use today is a testament to its enduring appeal across cultures and generations.

The Process of Hijama

The process involves several steps that must be carefully followed to ensure safety and effectiveness. The procedure is typically performed by a qualified practitioner, who has the necessary knowledge and experience to carry out the treatment correctly.

First, the practitioner will assess the patient’s health condition, such as blood pressure, and identify the appropriate points on the body where the cups will be placed. These points, also known as “hijama points,” are usually located along the body’s energy pathways, or meridians. It is believed that targeting these specific points helps balance the flow of energy, or “Qi” in the body.

Next, the practitioner will sterilize the skin surface and apply a lubricant, such as oil, to help the cups glide smoothly across the skin. Cups made of glass, plastic, or silicone are then placed on the identified points, and suction is created, either by heating the air inside the cups or by using a suction pump. This process lifts the skin and underlying tissues, increasing blood flow to the area.

Once the desired level of suction is achieved, the practitioner will remove the cups and carefully make small, superficial incisions on the skin using a sterilized, single-use instrument. The cups are then re-applied to the same points to create suction again, which allows blood to be drawn out. This is believed to remove blood clots, bad cholesterol, and impurities from the body, thereby improving blood circulation.

The cups are usually left in place for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the patient’s condition and the practitioner’s recommendation. After this time, the practitioner will remove the cups, which now contain blood from the treated areas, clean the treated areas, and apply an antiseptic ointment to prevent infection.

It is essential to follow the practitioner’s post-treatment instructions, which may include keeping the treated areas clean and dry, avoiding exposure to heat, staying hydrated, and refraining from strenuous physical activity. It is normal to experience some mild discomfort or bruising after Hijama, but these side effects typically subside within a few days.

The Science Behind Hijama

The science behind Hijama is still a topic of ongoing research and debate. However, several theories and mechanisms have been proposed to explain its potential health benefits.

One of the key aspects of Hijama is the improvement of blood circulation. The suction created by the cups lifts the skin and underlying tissues, promoting the flow of blood to the treated areas. This increased blood flow is believed to facilitate the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues while helping to remove waste products and toxins. Improved circulation may also contribute to reduced inflammation, faster healing, and relief from pain.

A study published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2014 titled “An Updated Review of the Efficacy of Cupping Therapy” conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of cupping therapy for various diseases. The researchers concluded that cupping therapy could be effective in treating certain conditions, but more rigorous studies are needed to provide stronger evidence for its efficacy.

Dr. Aida Al-Awadi, a researcher who has studied the effects of Hijama, stated in an interview:

Although there is anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of Hijama, more scientific research is needed to establish a clear understanding of its mechanisms and efficacy. However, it is promising to see that many people report improvements in their health after undergoing Hijama therapy.

Moreover, Hijama has been studied for its potential impact on the immune system. Some researchers believe that the therapy may stimulate the immune system by activating the body’s natural defense mechanisms. This could help the body fight off infections and support overall health.

Dr. Ahmed Younes, an expert in the field of cupping therapy, explains:

Our preliminary research has shown some promising results in terms of Hijama’s effect on the immune system. However, it is crucial that more well-designed, controlled studies are conducted to confirm these findings and shed light on the precise mechanisms involved.

Safety Precautions and Potential Side Effects of Hijama

When considering Hijama therapy, it is essential to take certain safety precautions to ensure a positive experience and minimize the risk of complications. Some of these precautions include:

  • Choosing a qualified practitioner: Make sure the practitioner performing the Hijama therapy is properly trained, certified, and experienced in the technique. This will help reduce the risk of injury or infection.
  • Sharing your medical history: Inform your practitioner of any medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking. This information will help the practitioner determine if Hijama is suitable for you and if any adjustments need to be made during the treatment.
  • Ensuring proper hygiene and sterilization: The practitioner should follow strict hygiene and sterilization practices, including using single-use, sterile equipment and properly sanitizing the treatment area. This will help minimize the risk of infection.

Although many people undergo Hijama therapy without any issues (as I did), some potential side effects may occur. These can include:

  • Mild discomfort or pain: Some individuals may experience temporary discomfort or pain at the site of the treatment, especially when the cups are applied or removed.
  • Bruising or skin discoloration: The suction created by the cups can cause bruising or circular skin discoloration, which typically fades within a few days to a week.
  • Infection: There is a risk of infection if the incisions made during wet cupping are not properly cared for or if proper sterilization practices are not followed.
  • Allergic reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the cups or the lubricant used during the treatment.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: Some people may feel dizzy or lightheaded after the treatment, especially if they stand up too quickly or are dehydrated.

Finding a Qualified Hijama Practitioner

There are several online sources and directories that can help you find Hijama practitioners in your area. Some of these resources include:

  • International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA): The ICTA is a professional organization that promotes the practice of cupping therapy, including Hijama. They maintain a directory of qualified practitioners on their website (https://cuppingtherapy.org).
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): The NCCIH is a US-based organization that provides information and resources about complementary and alternative medicine. Their website may offer guidance on finding qualified Hijama practitioners.
  • Google search: Conduct a Google search using terms like “Hijama practitioner near me” or “cupping therapy near me”.

Remember to always verify the credentials, training, and experience of any practitioner you find through online sources.

Testimonials and Personal Experience

In “My Hijama Experience” on Zak’s World TV, Zak shares his wet cupping journey, describing the sensation as tight and intense. He had multiple cups placed on his back, and while some areas had more bad blood, the overall experience was remarkable. The procedure involved a small blade making tiny incisions on the skin, followed by applying suction cups to draw out the blood. Zak felt relaxed but cold afterward, with nine cups placed across his back. He shared a picture of removed blood clots, warning those sensitive to blood.

Zak was amazed by the amount of bad blood extracted, especially from his left shoulder, and highly recommends Hijama for better sleep. He advises against doing it during Ramadan, suggesting a week prior for proper healing. Zak emphasizes that Hijama is for everyone, but consulting a professional and disclosing medical conditions is crucial. The procedure lasts 20-30 minutes and is not recommended for those under 18.

One Reddit user shared that they initially had doubts about Hijama, but after trying it, they noticed a significant improvement in their energy levels and overall well-being. They now recommend Hijama to others seeking a natural therapy for various health issues. Another one said that they had been suffering from chronic back pain for years, and after a few sessions of Hijama, their pain was greatly reduced. They continue to practice Hijama as part of their wellness routine and encourage others to give it a try. A third user mentioned that they tried Hijama to help with their anxiety and stress. They observed a noticeable improvement in their mental health after a few sessions and found that the therapy helped them feel more relaxed and at ease.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, my Hijama experience has been very positive. The procedure takes just under two hours, during which I have 7 to 10 cups placed on my body. In some areas, the blood flows well and is of good quality, being thin and liquid. In other problematic areas, the blood barely comes out and is thick, with viscous clots and white cholesterol deposits. I’m not afraid of blood, and I tolerate the procedure quite well. The incisions aren’t too painful, but for the first two days after the procedure, they can be a bit sore and sting if they come into contact with water. As I mentioned earlier, three sessions significantly improved my erectile function and visual acuity. The improvement in visual acuity came from having Hijama done on my head. That’s right! These bloody cups can and should be placed on the head as well! For now, I’ve decided to repeat this procedure about four times a year.

Questions and Answers About Hijama

What to do before hijama?

It’s recommended to avoid eating or drinking anything except water for at least 2-3 hours before the procedure. This helps to ensure that your stomach is empty and reduces the risk of nausea or vomiting during the session. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, that is easy to remove and allows access to the areas of the body being treated is recommended. It’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol for at least 24 hours before the procedure, as they can increase blood pressure and make the skin more sensitive. Drinking plenty of water before the procedure can help keep you hydrated and make it easier to remove the stagnant blood during the Hijama session.

Is Hijama painful?

The procedure itself may cause some discomfort, especially when the cups are first applied, and the suction can create a tight or pulling sensation on the skin. Additionally, the incisions made on the skin may cause a slight stinging sensation during the procedure and some tenderness afterward. Overall, many people find Hijama to be a tolerable and beneficial therapy for various health issues.

How much blood is lost during Hijama?

Generally, only a small amount of blood is removed during each cupping session, usually ranging from 10 ml to 100 ml, which is less than what is typically donated during a blood donation.

Can hijama regrow hair?

While there is limited scientific evidence to suggest that Hijama can promote hair growth, some individuals report that cupping therapy on the head and neck can improve blood circulation to the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.

How does cupping help athletes?

Cupping therapy is thought to benefit athletes by improving blood circulation, reducing muscle tension, and promoting relaxation. The increased blood flow helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles, aiding in recovery and performance. Additionally, the suction from cupping can alleviate muscle soreness and enhance flexibility.

Sports medicine expert Dr. Michael Fredericson said:

Cupping can be a useful tool in the training room, but it is important to remember that it is just one part of a comprehensive approach to sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Does hijama remove toxins?

Hijama removes stagnant or “bad” blood from the targeted areas of the body, which may contain toxins, cholesterol, and other waste products. Proponents of the therapy suggest that Hijama can help to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which in turn can help to eliminate these substances from the body.

What celebrities are using Hijama?

Several celebrities have publicly shared their experiences with cupping therapy, including Hijama, or have been spotted with the telltale circular marks associated with the treatment. Some of these celebrities include Jennifer Aniston, who has been seen on the red carpet displaying cupping marks, indicating that she has undergone the therapy.

Gwyneth Paltrow, known for her interest in alternative medicine and wellness practices, has been photographed with cupping marks and has discussed using the therapy for various health issues. Victoria Beckham, the fashion designer and former Spice Girl, has been reported to use cupping therapy for back pain relief and overall well-being.

Michael Phelps, the Olympic gold-medalist swimmer, famously showcased cupping marks during the 2016 Rio Olympics, which brought significant attention to the therapy. Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star and entrepreneur, has shared her experiences with cupping therapy on her social media accounts, promoting its use for relaxation and stress relief.

How long do hijama marks last?

Hijama marks, the circular bruises left on the skin after the procedure, typically last anywhere from a few days to one week. The duration varies depending on factors such as the individual’s skin type, the intensity of the suction, and the duration of the cupping session. The marks generally fade away on their own as the body heals and recovers from the treatment. To help speed up the healing process, it’s essential to maintain proper hygiene, keep the area clean, and stay well-hydrated.

What does black blood mean in hijama?

The appearance of black or dark blood is often seen as an indication of the presence of toxins or stagnant blood in the body. The theory is that the darker the blood, the more impurities it contains, and removing it can help to improve overall health and well-being. The color of the blood during Hijama can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s health condition, the location of the cupping, and the duration of the session.

Can I shower after hijama?

It is generally recommended to avoid showering immediately after a Hijama session, especially if there are still open wounds or incisions on the skin. It’s important to keep the cupping sites clean and dry for at least 24 hours to prevent infection and promote healing. You should also avoid exposing the cupping sites to hot water, such as in a sauna or hot tub, as this can increase the risk of infection and slow down the healing process. After 24 hours, you can typically resume normal activities, including showering, but you should still take care not to scrub the cupping sites too vigorously and use lukewarm water instead of hot water.

Have you undergone Hijama, too? I would love to hear about your experience with this alternative therapy. Did you find it helpful for your health condition? Did you experience any discomfort or side effects? How did you feel afterward? Share your experience in the comments below to help others who may be considering this treatment option.


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The content presented on this website should be considered solely as opinions and personal experiences. Read more