Mundus Imaginalis

The Art of the Fine Cut – Hijama ~ Introduction

“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“Hijama”, is a therapy of fine cuts and cupping that is widely practised in the Islamic world since ancient times and praised by the prophet Muhammed (a.s) himself. Hijama is a unique medicinal treatment, but got in the last decades increasingly mixed and confused with other blood letting techniques. 

To find the real practise of Hijama without added layers of “human body meridians” and other imports from Chinese Medicine and other traditions which are so popular in Western alternative medicine (and are also “trending” in Muslim countries) one discovers a very precise set of techniques of applying very fine cuts on pre-determined areas of the body that only in parts associate with “Chinese meridians”, “energy streams” aso. It is also unlikely that Hijama mixes well with other blood letting treatments such as leeching (which means that a person would be first leeched and then wet cupped directly on the leeches’ bites) – an approach over which I have some concerns because of the intense blood loss and the unintentional loss of the Hirudin, which is the actual blood thining medicine the leeches bring into the human blood stream when they bite.
If one is interested in the real practise of Hijama one needs to peel away “added fancy layers”, which is a process of archeology very similar to the process of discovering real hadith under layers and layers of false interpretations and right out historical falsifications.
The word Hijama derives from the Arabic verbs “Hajama” and “Haj’jama” which means “to minimize” or “to restore to basic size”, or “to diminish in volume”. In Arabic they say, “A certain person diminished the problem”, which means that s/ he returned the problem to its original size. There is also a verb “ahjama” which means “to withdraw or retreat from attack”. Thus s/he who performed the cupping operation made diseases refrain from attacking him or her. The increase of spoiled (the spoiled blood means the old red blood cells, R.B. cell ghost) blood in the body rendered its cessation from growing when the person became twenty-two years old, and it accumulated in the back area of the person.
With advance in age, these accumulations of spoiled blood hindered the circulation of the whole blood, eventually paralyzed the work of the young red corpuscles then the body became weak and exposed to various kinds of diseases. When one performed cupping, the blood returned to its original condition and the stagnant blood went away (that blood which contained maximum rate of senile red corpuscles and their cells ghosts and abnormal shapes of red blood cells, and other impurities).
The prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said, “Cupping is the most helpful act for human beings to cure themselves with.” It is also said, that Muhammed (pbuh) stated that, “Cupping is most detestable at the beginning of the crescent, but it is curing when the full moon begins to decrease.”, which leads us to a highly sophisticated system of prescribed treatment times for Hijama. According to Avicenna, the best time is by full moon at early morning. He also devised clear times during the month when the procedure is appropriate: “Some authorities advise against the procedure at the beginning of the lunar month, because the humors (bodily fluids) are not yet on the move or not in a state of agitation; he also was against performing it at the end of the lunar month, because at that period (of the cycle) the humors are less plentiful.”
More in the series
A Guide to Hijama, Part 1: History and Basic Technique
Interesting links:
Interesting literature:
Bashr Saad & Omar Said, Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine

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Roya Azal

Roya Azal ~ Intercultural Counsellor in Training, Woman, Blogger, Geek, Artist, Healing Spirit. Creative about Women, Islam, Religion, Healing, the Arts, Technology, being Human.