Why Perform Hijama?
In modern times we seem to be advancing in many aspects of medical science, such as microbiology, genetic engineering, clinical imaging and more. We seem to be finding fascinating and innovative ways to sustain life longer and longer through advances in critical care and emergency medicine. Unfortunately however research shows that we are not necessarily living better lives as chronic illnesses and new diseases seem to be on the rise while general wellbeing is lower than ever.
But what is it that the people of the past possessed that we don’t? Or what is it that we are doing wrong in terms of sustaining and maintaining our health? There can be many answers to these questions but just by looking at our health systems we can possibly begin to see where some of these deficiencies may lie.
If we look back into any civilisation before our time and evaluate the various types of health practices they adopted we can very quickly realise two major trending patterns.
The first is that they all utilised aspects of drugs and surgery in some way shape or form; we can today proudly claim that we have mastered these two arts better than anyone before.
The second trend is that there existed a specific group of practices or techniques that were consistently present in every single civilisation’s healthcare resource list prior to our time and that these practices in part or in their entirety are missing from our medical systems today.
- The first of this missing group is manual therapy. Manual therapy has been present in all countries and eras prior to ours as a part of the medical system. From Thai yoga, to Aryuvedic massage, Turkish hamams to Roman baths the power and context of human touch and manual therapy has always been understood. Broadly speaking it would be a very difficult to find a single historic civilisation that did not recognise the benefits of manual therapy and apply it as part of their health restoration and maintenance systems. Whether it be traditional bone setters, hands on body workers or bamboo stick healers, manual therapy in its fullest form has always been present. In contrast our present day globalised medical culture has very little in the form of a healing hand for health maintenance or restoration from disease. Physiotherapy at its best plays a minimal part in our medical systems and is far from hands on in its nature.
- Another practice missing from our modern day medical tool kit is spiritual or psychological therapy. Again from the origins of man there have always been philosophical links to therapeutic and medicinal healing, be they theistic or atheistic in nature. These integrations of spiritual and or religious ideas were always integrated into the healthcare model and we know now from some of the emerging literature the large role that belief, spirituality and mindset have on our health, in both its maintenance and restoration.
- Although it may be seen as an outdated practice bloodletting and its various forms including hijama or wet cupping are also something that have had roots as a therapeutic intervention in almost every civilisation since the beginning of time. The practice can be found even in isolated locations and the very fact that it has a designated name in almost every spoken language including, Arabic, Polish, French, Urdu, Farsi, Malay, Kswahili, Somali, Zulu Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Finish, English and more… is a testimony of its universal acceptance as an integral part of any effective healthcare model.
Before getting too technical and going through literature reviews and academic research on the topic it is fair to say that all of the above have been at the foundations of the health care systems that have existed since the beginning of time.
Hijama Therapy and its various applications encompasses all of the above as it works as an effective form of manual therapy, mobilising joints, connective tissue and moving body fluids such as blood and lymph. It has the properties of blood letting as it effectively filters and purifies the body systems encouraging regeneration and restoration of cells through the cascade of events it initiates in the body as well as also playing an important part of the psychological and spiritual aspects of healing and health that are only now starting to become understood.
The practice along with its model of health has a lot to offer us today and it is an effective way of drawing from the benefits of the health systems of the past whist having all of the safeguards to protect and limit any negative effects through the scientific understanding of its clinical application.