Does Hijama (cupping) counter epilepsy?

As mentioned in our last post, Hijama (cupping) can relieve the symptoms of many health conditions in ways that are not always fully understood by those who have studied the practise. It could be that the beneficial lifestyle and diet related advice that we usually offer, along with our therapy, has some part to play in these unforeseen after effects. Most of the time, this advice is very generalised and bound to improve the quality of life of most people that adhere to it, regardless of whether they suffer from any kind of health condition or not. Sometimes our in-clinic suggestions can be slightly more specific according to the abilities and limitations of each patient. For those with epilepsy, their limitations may outweigh their abilities, both mentally and physically.

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain, often characterised by recurring seizures that can begin at any point in a person’s life and have an impact on them for various periods of time. It is one of the most common neurological conditions worldwide, affecting approximately 600,000 people in the UK alone. Epileptic seizures occur when the information carrying, electrical impulses of the brain experience an abrupt bout of activity that prevents its cells from functioning properly. The way that the body handles this outburst depends on the its location in the organ itself. When having an epileptic seizure, some people may notice sensory, emotional and physical disturbances yet remain fully conscious the entire time. Others lose control completely, falling to the floor and remaining in an state of uncontrollable motion.

epilepsy
Looks cool. I doubt epilepsy feels that cool though (1)

Although the exact cause is unknown, many health professionals believe that epilepsy can be genetically inherited or the result from damage to the brain, normally via a stroke, a tumour in or infection of the brain, severe injury to the head, reduced oxygen levels present at birth or the misuse of drugs or alcohol. Symptoms of epilepsy include:

  • loss of awareness accompanied by blank staring
  • uncontrollable jerking or shaking movements
  • stiffness
  • odd body-related sensations
  • collapsing with or without warning
  • short term confusion
epileptic-seizure
Seizures can be scary, both for the one experiencing it and those that witnessing it unprepared (2)

At Pure Therapy Clinic, our practitioners apply cups to the systemic points of epileptic patients in order to relieve them of their symptoms. Not only are these points highly effective when treating head-related issues such as migraines, they are also used when treating additional health conditions that those with epilepsy sometimes share, such as anxiety and insomnia. As well as suggesting increased water intake to eliminate dehydration, we advise our patients to avoid unhealthy meals, particularly fast foods, and to consume more vitamins and minerals daily, for example drinking spinach smoothies first thing in the morning.

For more information about the systemic points, check out our previous post: Why do we treat the systemic points with Hijama (cupping)?

In our experience, many patients with epilepsy have reported a significant reduction in the frequency or intensity of their seizures, especially after the second Hijama session. Some have not had to suffer through a seizure since, although this is not always the case, and most have mentioned that they were able to sleep better after the treatment too. Majority of our patients achieved these results without having cups placed directly on their heads.

We hope that this information has benefited you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) https://cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/770423155092094976/1240/10/scaletowidth  
(2) https://blogs.allizhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/epileptic-seizure.jpg
Advertisements

Cupping, kidneys and constipation

Hijama (cupping) therapy is one of those treatments that can have both planned and partially unplanned benefits. For example, there are patients that have visited our clinic to treat their systemic points or for detox purposes. After their session had ended, they realised that an ache in their shoulder that they had previously was now gone, most likely due to the massage or wet cupping that they received. (Disclaimer: We really do not recommend coming to our clinic for a sunnah or systemic treatment if you’d like to relieve your back or shoulder pain,  simply because there are no guarantees that treating those points will have any effect on your individual problem. This only happens sometimes, depending on the source of the pain). Though we, as Hijama practitioners, may think that certain cup placements will have a positive effect on specific anatomical structures or organs, we can’t always predict just how beneficial those results will be. The following account is one of the few that have exceeded our expectations.

This particular story is about a patient, Kelly*, whose initial presenting complaint was dermatitis when she booked her appointment at our clinic. As a young twenty-seven year old woman, she had grown tired of having to deal with the intense itching that accompanied her skin condition and was searching for some kind of relief. She also mentioned that she had been diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and suffered from frequent bouts of painful constipation. She seemed to be hoping for treatment that would address one – if not both – of her health issues. So we decided to place cups on her detox points – three on the systemic points to boost her immune system and help with her her skin condition and two over the kidneys to filter any waste that may have built up over time and triggered for her dermatitis and IBS.

 

 

constipation
Her dermatitis and constipation could have been linked to stress (1)

When she returned for her second session, Kelly told us that – although her dermatitis had not changed much in appearance – the affected patches of skin were no longer as itchy as it had been before she had Hijama done. She was even more delighted by the fact that, after only one session, her constipation was mostly gone! As her practitioner, I was also gladdened by her relief and surprised by how effective the treatment had been, since it was only a single session. It later occurred to me that the reason why treating the detox points – specifically the kidney points – had had such a significant impact on her constipation was simple enough to understand. Provided, of course, that one had an idea about what constipation actually was as well as what role the kidneys have in the body.

sensitive-skin
Just in case you didn’t know what dermatitis was (2)

 

Constipation usually happens when stools (the remains of digested food) have over stayed their welcome in the colon (large intestine), resulting in more water than usual being absorbed from them via intestinal walls. This makes the stools more dry, firmer and very difficult for the body to move into the bowel for excretion. One of the main functions of the kidneys is controlling the balance of water and other fluids in the body. Which made me think that the absorption of water from the stools is probably linked to how well the kidneys are doing their job. Therefore, if treating them with Hijama made them work better, the kidneys would be able to control the amount of fluid that the intestines drained from Kelly’s stools and stop them from becoming unnaturally dried out in the first place!

share-kidney-failure
Don’t think of kidney beans! Betcha thought of kidney beans. Heh heh (3)

The change in her bowel activity could also have been influenced by the advice that Kelly had taken about her lifestyle habits. During her first treatment, we had suggested that she drink more water and try being more active in general since these changes would have a positive effect on her overall health. So whether it was the Hijama treatment, the advice or a mixture of both that did the trick for Kelly, I will never know for sure. Either way, I just thought it was worth sharing with you, just in case you and someone else that you know suffers from constipation, IBS or any other gastrointestinal disorder. We’re here to help after all!

With Introverted Interest

SB

* the patient’s name has been changed to maintain confidentiality

Images referenced from:
(1) www.1mhealthtips.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/constipation.jpg
(2) https://megachintasih.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/sensitive-skin.jpg?w=739
(3) images.medicinenet.com/images/share-article-images/share-kidney-failure.jpg

What is Pain-Free Therapy?

Perhaps you have come across the name of this service on our Facebook page. Or maybe one of our practitioners mentioned it in clinic, during the course of an initial assessment or treatment. The truth is, you might have just stumbled upon this post after mistyping a word in Google. Regardless, here you are and now we are going to explain what Pain-Free Therapy actually is and how it could possibly help you.

Put simply, Pain-Free Therapy is our unique blend of various techniques, used to remedy most of the muscle and joint-related problems that we frequently encounter at our clinic. It allows our practitioners to make use of more than just one – if not all – of the manual therapy skills that are available to them. This particular service has been developed over the last two years, during which our practitioners have learnt and applied newly acquired techniques to our patients. Due to the overall positive response that we received after treating over a thousand people, we decided to combine them – as necessary – and deliver a service that optimises both the time and money of those who sincerely desire to recover their good health. Our individually tailored Pain-Free Therapy plans can include all – but may only consist of one or two – of the following techniques:

  • Wet Cupping (Hijama)
  • Dry Cupping
  • Graston (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation)
  • Active Release Therapy (cupping)
  • PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching
  • Thermotherapy

 

It may surprise you to know that wet cupping is not prioritised in our Pain-Free Therapy package, though there are a few exceptions. Unless our patients need it as a part of their treatment, our practitioners are unlikely to offer it. Hijama is mainly used to treat organs and joint capsules, such as those found in the shoulders and knees. However, it can be used to drain any residual scar tissue found within the muscles at the end of the Pain-Free Therapy cycle too.

cupping1
Wet or dry – Both help significantly (1)

Dry cupping allows practitioners to decompress large sections of a muscle – for example, the latissimus dorsi muscle located along the lower and lateral sides of the thorax – or a group of muscles – such as the quadriceps found on the front of the thigh – in one session, without them having to consider blood loss and its related clinical implications. Due to this and its other non-invasive techniques, Pain-Free Therapy is a service that can benefit those who are unable to have Hijama because of health conditions such as diabetes, anaemia, chronic low blood pressure and heart disorders. Since this blog is mainly dedicated to the practice of both wet and dry cupping, the following links can be accessed to understand each kind in more detail.

For information about wet cupping, check out our previous post: Why do we need Hijama (cupping)? And for dry cupping, have a look at this one: Categories of Hijama

The Graston technique, usually carried out with a distinct IASTM tool, is a form of therapy that manually breaks down scar tissue formation and realigns connective tissue fibres within the body in a rapid and non-surgical manner. Since scar tissue is often responsible for muscle adhesion and restriction, it is particularly good for restoring limb mobility and flexibility in a short space of time.

We  have a post dedicated solely to this technique: What is the Graston Technique?

cache_2459152876
Our small yet diverse favourite (2)

Active Release Technique or ART, offered in the form of specialised cupping at Pure Therapy Clinic, normally involves stretches, massages and either positive or negative pressure to manage the function of numerous anatomical structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. By holding onto carefully selected parts of the body, our therapists guide patients through a series of movements designed to gently challenge and ‘unstick’ the associated fibres, leading to a greater range of movement and reduced pain.

ActiveReleaseTechnique-photobyBrianFitzsimmons-2e5127e6
Active Release Technique. It does make sense. Honest (3)

Similar to ART in both method and result, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching is another manually applied skill that utilises the hands-on guidance of a practitioner. Often described as an advanced form of flexibility training, PNF Stretching lengthens, contracts and strengthens specific muscle groups, making it highly effective for rehabilitation after damage caused by all types of muscular overload, such as sports and repetitive strain injuries.

video-limber-up-with-pnf-stretching-promo-image
Who doesn’t like a bit of bonding stretching, eh? (4)

Last but not least, Thermotherapy or heat therapy has been defined as anything that uses heat to relieve an individual’s pain or improve their health. Heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, which boosts blood circulation, and relaxes sore or tight muscles. By doing so, it speeds up the natural metabolic rate of cells within its range which, in turn, leads to faster healing. Thermotherapy is very effective against chronic muscle and joint pains, such as those caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia.

1-infrarot-waerme-behandlung-400x300
Hard to believe but this kind of exposure to heat actually does do something to our blood vessels (5)

As part of our combined approach, we use each of these therapies to stimulate the flow of blood, lymph and interstitial fluid in different parts of the body as well as even out and separate layers of muscle and other fibrous tissue, such as ligaments, tendons and fascia. Pain-Free Therapy has proven to be a superior, highly effective form of treatment, especially when compared to a simple dry or wet cupping session.

Regularity has a direct impact on the efficiency of most treatments. However, this is particularly true of Pain-Free Therapy. Patients that have chosen it can be seen by our practitioners up to four times a week and can often feel immediate improvements to their individual condition. On the other hand, patients who have undergone Hijama would have to wait another month before being able to safely receive treatment again, leaving them vulnerable to repeated or further damage.

We hope that this information has benefited you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2016/08/12/17/cupping1.jpg
(2) www.iamtools.co.uk/s/cc_images/cache_2459152876.jpg
(3) http://www.austinfitmagazine. com/images/cache/cache_6/cache_e/cache_7/ActiveReleaseTechnique-photobyBrianFitzsimmons-2e5127e6.jpeg?ver=1469817607&aspectratio=2.0833333333333
(4) https://www.oxygenmag.com/.image/t_share/MTQ1MzQ3MzE1OTY2NTUxODI1/video-limber-up-with-pnf-stretching-promo-image.jpg
(5) https://www.guertelrose-infektion.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/1-infrarot-waerme-behandlung-400×300.jpg

Why do we treat the systemic points with Hijama (cupping)?

All around the world, Hijama (cupping) therapists tend to treat people for several similar reasons. These commonly shared goals often include being able to make a living through their skills, healing people via non-medicinal remedies and reviving highly beneficial religious practises. However, their methods usually differ drastically from one practitioner to the next, ranging from professional jobs to unethical operations. The way that they use Hijama depends on their understanding of its purpose, its application and its relation to human physiology. Due to this difference of opinion, physical cupping sites can be just as varied, regardless of whether the aim is treat a certain ailment or not. At Pure Therapy, we treat the systemic points to prevent and counter numerous health conditions. The aim of this post is simply to explain what the systemic points are and the possible reasons for their locations on the body.

The systemic points – also known as the sunnah points – are three places that form a triangular shape on the back. The top systemic point, found between the shoulder blades, is called al-kahil. In Arabic, al-kahil means the upper part of a person’s back. As its name suggests, this point is located at the junction of C7, which is the last cervical (neck) vertebra, and T1, which is the first vertebra of the thoracic (chest region) spine. The other two points – often referred to as al-akhdain – are located on either side of the thoracic spine, usually around the scapulae (shoulder blades). Despite layers of bone that may be in between, this position allows toxins to be drawn directly from the lungs and heart.

sunnah points
Just as there are sunnah points, there are sunnah days (1)

As well as being greatly recommended for Muslims that want to gain religiously, the systemic points are anatomically accurate sites for influencing numerous systems of the body at once. For example, treating the al-kahil point that overlaps the C7 and T1 vertebrae can have a direct impact on the C8 nerve, which has a unique place between the two aforementioned bones. Though it mainly controls the muscles of the arms and fingers, damage or severe impairment of the C8 nerve can lead to full body paralysis. In addition to this, the posterior spinal and vertebral arteries, which supply blood to the spinal cord and the bones around it, run close to al-kahil, along either side of the cervical vertebrae.

PE-AnatSpine_Figure2
Words won’t illustrate the concept of spinal regions better than this image will (2)

Cupping the systemic points can regulate the endocrine system too. Located close to the anterior (front-facing) surface of the spine, the thyroid gland rests could be considered near to the top systemic point, roughly on like with the C5 and T1 vertebrae, with its respective arteries branching off from the same position. The solid body of C7 supports the weight of both the neck and head with the help of the erector spinae muscles and the nuchal ligament attached to it. These anatomical structures play a role in the main movements of the neck and head and are often subjected to considerable tension. Over time, they tend to become strained and riddled with trigger points, leading to recurring cramps, stiffness and burning sensations. Hijama can restore the flow of blood to the pressurised muscle and ligament fibres, allowing them to heal from all of the daily wear and tear.

thyroid
Tada! There is the thyroid gland. And there is the spine (3)

Since cupping therapy affects the area directly beneath the cup as well as its surrounding tissues, it can efficiently treat entire organs. This is relevant particularly where the other two systemic points, al-akhdain, are concerned. As we mentioned before, the lungs and the heart are normally within reach of the therapy’s benefits, resulting in improvements of the circulatory system. When influenced by Hijama, the lungs become better at drawing in and distributing oxygen throughout the body. Why is this important? Because oxygen is needed for cellular respiration, a chemical reaction that causes cells to release energy. Energy is responsible for a number of bodily functions, such as muscle contractions, tissue repair, calming of the nerves and cleansing of waste via a process known as oxidation.

ribs spine
Must I really point out where the lungs would be? (4)

Chemical waste, for example the substances left over from cell metabolism, is supposed to be removed from the body as quickly and as thoroughly as it is produced. During oxidation, oxygen carries cellular waste to the surface of the skin, where it is disposed of before it can accumulate and poison the cells. Once it has left the body via pores in the skin, this waste is generally known as perspiration or sweat. The nervous system is also strongly influenced by the supply of oxygen. Brain cells especially are very sensitive to oxygen deprivation and neurons (nerve cells) consume a lot of oxygen when activated. Therefore, al-akhdain have a significant effect on the nervous system which, in turn, can influence everything in the human body due to its extensive reach.

The reason that we treat these selected points should be obvious by now but further research could prove that they have even greater clinical implications in the future.

We hope that this information has benefited you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) http://www.just-health.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Sunnah-days-and-points-e1476541010513-269×300.jpg
(2) https://www.mayfieldclinic.com/Images/PE-AnatSpine_Figure2.jpg
(3) http://www.clubupton.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/location-of-thyroid-gland-best-collection-larynx-cricoid-cartilage-trachea-vertebral-spine-neck-human-internal-organ-anatomy.jpg
(4) https://i.pinimg.com/736x/dd/40/99/dd40994570338de3f466871b7ecdcb7c.jpg

Do our bodies reflect our brains?

Bit of an odd sounding question, now that I think about it. For lots of people, the label ‘stress acne’ is one of the not so nice parts of their reality. Most of us are also quite familiar with the sensation of nausea as it accompanies our uncertainty. However, these are usually short term symptoms that go away once the dreaded moment has passed or once the problem has been resolved. But what about chronic issues that affect us every day of our lives? If momentary psychological stress can have such a strong impact on our bodies, what do you think happens when a person lives in a mentally or emotionally destructive environment? It occurred to me that not enough people realise how connected our mental health is to our physical. So naturally, I thought I’d enlighten you to the best of my ability.

stress-1-1
Of course not. No stress at all (1)

I used the phrase ‘mentally or emotionally destructive environment’ because I couldn’t think of a better way to describe just how severely damaging these places can be to a person. Just to clarify, I’m not talking about torture chambers or anything here, though the place in question may produce similar feelings of pain and despair. Some people may find my examples of such psychologically harmful places easier to relate to, especially when they include:

  • a person’s home
  • their workplace
  • their school/college/university
  • the residence of difficult family member or friend

To put it simply, anywhere that triggers and/or prolongs stress can have a negative impact on a person’s over-all health and well-being. Being repeatedly exposed to this kind of place and its inhabitants can cause a number of symptoms, ranging from serious conditions such as heart disease and kidney failure to persistent but potentially no less stressful problems such as headaches, heartburn and skin breakouts. Even undiagnosed health issues, such as poor healing, insomnia, excessive sweating and unending exhaustion, can be the result of frequent exposure to stressful situations.

080416_stress_THUMB_LARGE
It’s probably best if you don’t let it get to this point (2)

Many of my patients have visited their local GP over and over again, trying to work out the cause of their multiple, continuous or seemingly unrelated symptoms. Naturally, they got upset when their doctors couldn’t find a physical cause for their problems. (I just want to point out that, although being prescribed painkillers – or other medication – and being sent away can be frustrating, it is not always due to incompetence or a lack of concern on behalf of your GP. In their defence, doctors study medicine so that they can use it to relieve people of their symptoms effectively. Therefore, prescribing medication to their patients is what they’re supposed to do. It’s not always their fault that you’re still in pain or uncomfortable). By the time they enter our clinic, some of our patients have exhausted both conventional medicine and complementary therapies alike in their attempts to help themselves.

After a brief assessment – or simple conversation – I have often found that their physical symptoms stem from problems in their home, work or family life. Sometimes it’s all three! Which could be why other healthcare professionals weren’t able to detect the source of their pain or discomfort via blood tests or body scans. What does this mean for our patients? It means that, while medicine may provide them with temporary relief, the real cure lies in addressing the psychological effects of the aforementioned places and altering their lifestyle accordingly, if possible. By remaining in the same state, their health will most likely deteriorate, its progression possibly slowed down by natural remedies that have no negative side effects.

crying
As adults, we don’t get to do this as often or as spontaneously as we want, leading to an unhealthy build up of stress hormones in our body (3)

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you might need to check out our ‘Contact us’ page and book an appointment. It could be for yourself or for a family member or friend who seems to be struggling, mentally, emotionally or physically. We’d also like to spread this information to anyone else who might not realise what’s causing their problems nor know how to help themselves. Please like and share this page to anyone you care about. We care about them too.

With Introverted Interest

SB

Images referenced from:
(1) garygilles.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/stress-1-1.jpg
(2) http://www.healthline.com/hlcmsresource/images/News/080416_stress_THUMB_LARGE.jpg
(3) http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/crying.jpg

What are we made of?

Before anyone rushes to prove their worth – though it’s highly unlikely that the answer is steel – or decides to give the text-book, smarty-pants response – yes, we are made up of atoms but let’s think bigger, shall we? – we should probably mention that the title of today’s post requires a biologically and visually inclined answer. One that we, personally, have spent the last week studying about in more depth; we are made up of bodily tissues. And, as usual, we intend to share what we have learnt with you, our reader.

The human body is an ever-changing, non-static formation of approximately 50 – 106 trillion cells. The exact amount of cells differs from one individual to another, often influenced by a variety of factors such as their age, sex, height, bone density and over all body mass, including the percentage of fat and muscle in his or her body. These cells are normally divided into multiple groups, depending on the shape and type of each cellular unit. A group of cells that share the same structure and functions are called tissues.

There are 4 types of tissue present in the human body and each one in unique in appearance and purpose. They are:

  • Epithelial tissue, which covers the organs and other structures of the body
  • Connective tissue which supports the organs and structures of the body
  • Muscle tissue which moves the body and supports the posture of its skeletal framework
  • Nervous tissue which is responsible for controlling homeostasis

Most organs contain all four kinds of tissue, just in varying amounts.

For more about homeostasis, check out our previous post: Hijama and Homeostasis

Epithelial tissue is a sheet of cells that cover areas of the body, lining both its internal and external surfaces. Though it may be riddled with nerves, epithelial tissue or epithelium does not have its own blood supply. Any nutrients it receives are drawn from nearby blood vessels. Therefore, the speed at which it divides and regenerates – also known as healing – is heavily influenced by the state of those blood vessels. When lining hollow organs and blood vessels, epithelial tissue is referred to as endothelium. Regardless of its name, epithelial tissue has six main functions:

  • absorption
  • protection
  • excretion
  • secretion
  • filtration
  • sensory reception
Illu_epithelium
Epithelial tissue is a bit more complicated than you might think it is (1)

Connective tissue is the most abundant form of tissue found within – not upon the surface of – the body, usually acting as a base for epithelial tissue attachment. It has a rich blood supply due to the many blood vessels that run through it. There are four kinds of connective tissue: connective tissue proper, cartilage, bone and blood. Working together, these various cellular groups have five primary functions, including:

  • binding tissues to one another
  • reinforcement
  • insulation
  • protection
  • support
tissue_connective
Connective tissue … also not as simple as you might have hoped it would be (2)

Muscle tissue is exactly what it sounds like, consisting of long fibres that are able to generate a considerable amount of force. Muscle tissue exists in any part of the body hat requires movement or maintenance of posture. It has been sectioned off into three different classes, each with a special function: skeletal, smooth and cardiac. Skeletal muscle tissue, as its name suggests, is usually next or joined to the skeleton. In this position, it is able to move bones as well as hold them in place. Smooth muscle tissue is located in hollow, internal structures, such as the vascular system and gastrointestinal tract, where it can propel both fluid and solid substances from one area to the next. Cardiac muscle tissue – again, one that is betrayed by its name – can only be found in the heart, enabling it to contract repeatedly.

muscle tissue
Muscle tissue comes in all shapes and sizes (3)

For more about muscles and skeletons, feel free to check out our other posts: Why do we have skeletons? and Hijama and the Muscular System

Nervous tissue makes up the nervous system and can be split into two distinct types: neurones and neuroglia. Neurones are the functioning units of the entire system, responsible to spreading signals from the brain throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Neuroglia are formed to nourish, protect and support neurones, allowing them to function in prime condition.

nervous
Not … Not quite what we were talking about … (4)

Due to the differences in physiological properties, each type of tissue varies in how fast and how well it is able to repair itself. Epithelial issue – which endures a lot of wear and tear on a daily basis – contains stem cells that help it renew itself rapidly. Most kinds of connective tissue are also capable of renewal, however cartilage often takes longer to heal as a result of its naturally reduced blood supply. Both muscle and nervous tissue have poor regeneration properties, usually because most muscle fibres divide slowly whereas nervous cells cannot replace themselves at all!

For more information about tissue regeneration, please have a look at one our earlier posts: Hijama and Tissue Repair

We hope that this information has benefited you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Illu_epithelium.jpg
(2) https://www.exploringnature.org/graphics/teaching_aids/tissue_connective.jpg
(3) https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/system/images/images/000/002/357/original/Types-of-muscle-tissue20161111-16640-1c2x74o.jpg?1478820928
(4) https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7095/7185299876_4fd38e3d0e.jpg

Can Hijama (cupping) cure sciatica?

Sciatica is a distressingly common condition normally associated with a variety of unpleasant sensations, such as bolts of pain shooting down one leg or a persistent ache in the lower back or hip area. For some, sciatica can be triggered by drastic physiological changes such as pregnancy or specific injuries. For others, the condition gradually creeps up on them in the form of over-worked and under-rested muscles, which can eventually lead to recurring or increasing pain. Despite the amount of people affected by it, sciatica and its symptoms are often misunderstood by many, even those that have been diagnosed with it themselves! In this post, we aim to clarify some of its usual causes and how they can be rectified with the right treatment.

3897-sciatica_legpain15482326_m
Sciatica pain can be crippling, especially if it is left to progress (1)

The symptoms of sciatica generally result from compression of the sciatic nerve, which exits the spinal canal as a group of nerves, all of which pass between the vertebrae or discs of both the lumbar region (L4 and L5) and the sacral region (S1 – S3) of the spine. From these points, the nerves then merge into the longest nerve of the human body, passing through the greater sciatic notch of the pelvis and down the leg through muscles such as the piriformis and hamstrings. Though many believe that sciatica can only result from slipped or bulging vertebrae, the muscles and other anatomical structures surrounding it – such as bones, ligaments and tendons – are also capable of applying pressure anywhere along its length. This can lead to constant and steadily increasing discomfort. Intermittent symptoms – which occur on and off – are often caused by actions that make these muscles move in specific ways or considerably increase the blood supply to them in a short space of time. Examples of such actions can be found in different types or extended periods of exercise.

sciaticnerve
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, which could be why it has such a significant effect (2)

Though dependant on its cause, sciatica can usually be identified by the presence of some – if not all – of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the lumbar (lower back) or hip region
  • Pain in the posterior region (rear) or leg that worsens whilst in a sitting
  • Burning, tingling, weakness or numbness of the leg or foot
  • Problems when trying to move the leg or foot
  • Continuous pain in the posterior region, particularly on one side
  • Shooting pains that prevent or restrict an individual from standing up
sciaticasymptoms
Though it may vary in intensity and sensation, most people with sciatica feel discomfort in the same places (3)

All of these pains can become aggravated by involuntary physical responses, such as coughing or sneezing, and may affect one or both sides of the lower body and limbs. Most of the time, sciatica symptoms last no more than several weeks. However, those with severe or chronic (long-term) sciatica may experience symptoms for a year – if not longer – especially if their condition remains undiagnosed and untreated. Though it may be possible for sciatica to affect anyone with sciatic nerves, some people have a greater chance of developing it, including but not limited to:

  • pregnant women
  • office workers
  • students
  • overweight people
  • bus and taxi drivers
  • inactive elderly people

Using this knowledge, Hijama practitioners can place cups along the length of the nerve and upon any structures that may be compressing it. By applying negative pressure or suction to any tight muscles surrounding it, they could alleviate the pressure caused by them and nourish parts of the nerve that may have been damaged by restricted blood flow. In addition to this, treating the areas with wet cupping could remove any trapped cellular waste that might be hindering the function of the sciatic nerve. Though we do not treat pregnant women at Pure Therapy, those with post-pregnancy sciatic pain are always welcome at our clinic.

We hope that this information has benefited you, our dear readers, and we would love to hear from you. Comments, questions and weekly topic suggestions are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

The Pure Therapy Team

Images referenced from:
(1) https://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/lead-images/article/3897-sciatica_legpain15482326_m.jpg
(2) https://neupsykey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/B9781455709885000166_f16-02-9781455709885.jpg
(3) https://www.practostatic.com/fit/243c0526e4e2d60c5b12280c3c2759403a55474b