Why did we choose Hijama (cupping)?

There were so many complementary therapies and alternative remedies that we could have decided to practice and use to help people. We had theory books, online courses and accredited qualifications detailing numerous clinical and homeopathic practices available, just like any other fledgling health practitioner. We could have chosen to look into acupuncture, chiropractic or reflexology. Instead, we chose Hijama (cupping) as our main form of treatment at Pure Therapy Clinic. Why? In addition to its significance as a religious practice, we had another reason for selecting Hijama over all other therapies. Ever heard of the proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’? Hijama can be both a prevention and a cure.

prevention-is-better-than-cure
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – Benjamin Franklin (1)

As mentioned in a previous post, the benefits of Hijama seem to be endless whilst our understanding of the practice is limited by a lack of solid research. That being said, we still have so much room to learn more about it as a subject and to improve ourselves as resourceful cupping practitioners. Hijama can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of different ailments and injuries, from autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis to sports injuries such as torn ligaments and tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.

When performed correctly and combined with knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, Hijama can provide both rapid and long term relief from all sorts of symptoms, especially pain and swelling. Wet cupping is very effective for treating organs that have become fatigued from over stimulated – leading to conditions such as kidney and liver failure – or weakened by a lack of physical stimulus – for example, an inactive person wheezing or feeling dizzy after going up the stairs due to their under stimulated lungs and heart.

10
Just like muscles, organs can get both over- and under-worked too (2)

Hijama is a practice that can be combined with other complementary therapies to enhance a variety of treatment plans. Though it can relieve patients from a vast array of symptoms, it may not be particularly effective against other health complaints. However, since it can be used alongside other therapeutic techniques and natural remedies, such as acupuncture and homeopathy, patients are able to receive treatment that improves their condition whilst maintaining their overall health and safety. This brings us to our next point.

img_1539
Maybe because they are both traditional Chinese remedies, cupping and acupuncture are often combined into a single treatment (3)

Cupping therapy comes in many forms, including:

  • wet cupping
  • static dry cupping
  • massage cupping
  • flash cupping

Certain cupping techniques may suit some people better than others. Patients seeking the benefits of many other therapies are usually limited to only two options; they can either have the treatment or they cannot. Hijama treatments can be tailored to suit different patients, taking their age, health and individual needs into consideration. They have a third option that allows them to agree to the kind of cupping suitable for them. If a patient is anxious about having treatment, they can experiment with dry cupping and use it to find out their own physical and psychological limits. Someone who is not keen on having marks left on their body can have flash cupping instead of wet cupping, though they may not achieve the same results. Patients with sensitive skin have no reason to endure painful procedures because the negative pressure or suction within the cup can be adjusted by the practitioner during the session. With the exception of wet cupping, most other cupping techniques can be performed on patients on a more regular basis, depending on the comfort of the patient and the advice of the practitioner.

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.needforex.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Prevention-is-better-than-cure.png
(2) ak9.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/10376099/thumb/10.jpg
(3)  https://www.moveep.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/IMG_1539.jpg
Advertisements

What is reflexology?

The word itself is normally associate with mental images of people massaging feet or weird diagrams with tiny organ-shaped labels over specific parts of the underside of a foot. However, reflexology treatments are not limited to the feet alone. Therapists that practice it apply pressure to certain points found in the lower legs, hands, face and even in the ears! Why does anyone believe that it will work? The truth is, it doesn’t always. Professional sessions are often tailored to the individual being treated. Therefore, its influence and success rate can be as varied as the types of people that seek it. In terms of history and understanding how it works, reflexology is no different from any other therapy.

foot-reflexology.jpg
Don’t know about you but this is what I always pictured after hearing or reading the word reflexology (1)

Well-trained reflexologists do not usually claim that they can cure, diagnose or prescribe medication for their patients. Many view reflexology as a non-intrusive, holistic complementary therapy that should be used alongside medical treatment rather than as an alternative solution to it. Though it can help people of any age and from different backgrounds, reflexology is not always a suitable choice for people during certain times. For example, those who have suffered – or are still suffering – from deep vein thrombosis, an acute infection accompanied by a high fever or a stroke as well as those who are prone to unstable pregnancies.

Practitioners of reflexology use their techniques to help restore the natural balance of the body by stimulating its innate healing process. Historical evidence shows that the concept of reflexology existed as far back in time as the reign of Emperor Wen-di, who was part of the Han dynasty in Ancient China. Experts have also discovered old medical textbooks, that date back to Ancient Egyptian and Indian times, containing similiar information. The idea was introduced to the Western world by Dr William Fitzgerald as a practice called Zone therapy. Sometime during the 1930s, a physiologist known as Eunice Ingham researched and developed the works of Dr Fitzgerald, later gaining the authority to replace the name Zone therapy with reflexology.

adee1b1e92e6168e48776a33993a12f2
This is how I see it now. Most of the time … (2)

According to our understanding, the body part chosen for treatment – generally the foot or hand – has three distinct zones based on the structure of its bones. Presumably, the bones are categorised by the following names and definitions:

  • the phalanges – found in the fingers and toes
  • the metacarpals or metatarsals – that form the upper part of the palm or sole
  • the carpals or tarsals – found in the lower section of the palm or sole

The two lines that split all three types of bone reflect the shoulder and pelvic lines of the body. The selected body part is divided further by another ten vertical lines, which form the reflexology points  or ‘buttons’ when combined. Reflexologists apply pressure to these points, sometimes with oil or lotion, using specific thumb, finger or hand techniques. They aim to relax and rebalance the organs, glands or anatomical structures that are connected to each point by groups of nerve endings. By stimulating them, they prompt the brain to send blood and lymph fluid to the corresponding areas, both of which seem to trigger the natural healing process of the body.

zone
Apparently some reflexologists see more than two lines. Who knew? (3)

Any congestion or tension in the body can be mirrored in specific sections of the body part being treated. Discomfort felt during the treatment is usually linked to stagnation or chemical imbalances found in the respective organs or anatomical structures of the point being placed under pressure. Interestingly enough, the curves of the foot are almost identical to those found along the length of the spine.

Ruecken-Fuss
Coincidence? I think not! (4)

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) reflexology-map.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/foot-reflexology.jpg
(2) https://cdn-az.allevents.in/banners/adee1b1e92e6168e48776a33993a12f2
(3) https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b8/2c/b6/b82cb6e5fe4c5e507762a5c14216593a–reflexology-salute.jpg
(4) blog.parco-san-marco.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Ruecken-Fuss.jpg

The apocalypse and asthma

Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed the sky the other day. Yellow, orange, odd-coloured sun, Mad Max: Fury Road vibes … Any of that sound familiar? I didn’t get to witness the phenomenon – brought to us by the enthusiastic winds of Hurricane Ophelia – in its full glory, unlike the rest of the UK. It was the first time I had spent all day indoor for a while, switching between my studies and treating patients on turn. Though to be honest, I had no intention of leaving the building after the glimpse of the sky that I managed to catch.

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Slider-Image
Not that I’m here to promote movies … But this is a good movie. If you like that kind of thing (1)

I was sitting at my desk when I first noticed the room was unnaturally dark. Being as my treatment room is located closer to the western side of the building, I’m used to turning on the lights until the sun rises high enough. However, it was already past midday and it still looked like the sun was refusing to get out of bed. I peered out of the window, saw the gloomy sky and assumed it was just going to be one of those days before flicking on the lights and continuing with my studies. A little while after that, our receptionist announced that she was going out for lunch. I warned her against it, saying that it was most likely going to rain and maybe even thunder. There were way too many ominous clouds above for it not to. Their presence didn’t change the fact that she needed food for lunch so she left with an umbrella.

To be honest, I expected her to call a little while later to share the news that she had, indeed, being caught in a downpour. She didn’t call. It didn’t rain. It didn’t thunder either. Basically, I hadn’t been that wrong about so many things in a long time and it was very weird. I had turned the lights off at some point and that was when I was able to fully appreciate the unsettling colour that the heavens had become. The sky looked jaundiced and unwell. Not sure if that makes sense but that’s what it looked like to me. I must have accidentally activated my health professional eyes.

yellowsky
Skies just … shouldn’t be that sort of yellow. Ever. (2)

It was only later that I heard the whole of England and Wales had been menaced by the strange appearance of the sky, not just those of us in Luton. I also heard about the red sun display and that the entire situation was a mixture of tropical air and dust from the Sahara desert as well as ash and smoke from forest fires in Spain and Portugal, swept across the land by Hurricane Ophelia, which originated in Azores, located in the Atlantic Ocean. While I was sitting at work wondering why the sky looked like it had a diseased liver, it seemed as if other people were expecting the apocalypse. If I didn’t personally believe that the world was going to end on a Friday, I might have thought the same thing. I could certainly see why they would think it, all things considered, including the creepy, apocalyptic atmosphere.

redsun
Wish I could have seen this myself … (3)

It didn’t occur to me, even after hearing the cause of the reddish hue in the sky, that I should warn anyone I knew that had asthma or other lung conditions. Those with allergies should have been warned too, with all that dust and debris flying around. So if you’re from any of the places hit by Hurricane Ophelia, or if you simply witnessed the end of the world phenomenon in person, and you noticed your airways or allergies playing up more than usual, I’m here to tell you the reason why. Not to sound accusational or anything but the weather might just have been trying to kill you. Just thought you should know.

With Introverted Interest

SB

Images referenced from:
(1) http://www.knowitalljoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Slider-Image.jpg
(2) https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/nintchdbpict000360588619.jpg?strip=all&w=960
(3) https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/56BB/production/_98330222_dsc_0126.jpg

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

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