Is the blood extracted during Hijama (cupping) suitable for donation? Is menstrual blood the same as Hijama blood? Is the sticky substance left in a Hijama cup simply partially dried blood? Many of these are common questions asked by people who share an interest in the topic. The answer to all of the above share a single answer: No. However, the title of our blog post today is a shockingly rare question. Though we have covered the basics of how Hijama aids the body and touched upon some misconceptions linked to these enquiries in a previous post, there is always enough space for a little more detail. We aim to provide relevant information by answering a single query: What is extracted during Hijama sessions? Or, rather, what exactly are toxins that are removed from the body?
For more information about blood and cellular waste, check out one of our very first posts at Hijama and “Bad Blood”?
The toxins referred to in this post are those that have invaded – or been produced by – the body itself. The word toxic is a synonym of the word poisonous, meaning that a substance is capable of damaging the cells of the body enough to cause illness and even death. Whether they may be released due to specific chemical reactions or present because they have penetrates the outer layers of the body, toxins prevent the cells from functioning in an optimal state. Every living organism is continuously threatened by the production and invasion of toxins from the day they are born until the day they die. Hence the reason that an intricate mechanisms, such as the immune response, are constantly being developed over time.
Many kinds of toxins exist in the environment of an individual even before they reach the internal tissues of his or her body, usually via ingestion, contact or airborne channels. Some make their way through open wounds in the skin, such as superficial cuts and surgically created openings. Others are often drawn in through the natural orifices of the body, such as the mouth, nose and anus. However, there are also toxins that are formed within the body due to chemical processes such as digestion, respiration and cell metabolism. Examples of both internally and externally manufactured toxins include:
- Viruses e.g Hepatitis and HIV
- Bacteria e.g Staphylococcus and E. Coli
- Fungi e.g Candida Albicus and Tinea Pedis
- Cells that have been damaged or devitalised by injury or disease
- Fragments of bone from certain types of fractures and significant or repetitive impact
- Foreign matter such as inhaled dust and mold or splinters of wood and glass
- Chemicals from food preservatives and pesticides
- Pollutants in the air from cars, factories and various scented sprays
- Small mineral particles left over from digested food
- Cellular waste that has not left the body via urine, excretion or lymphatic drainage
Usually, the body counters these toxins by sending out white blood cells, such as leukocytes and macrophages, to destroy or ingest them via a process known as phagocytosis. If a cell dies due to apoptosis, which is a naturally occurring cellular death, parts of its structure can be broken down and used again to form a new, fully functional cell. On the other hand, some cells are subjected to necrosis, meaning that they have been destroyed by an external factor. When this happens, the cell releases microbial substances that are capable of damaging the surrounding tissue which triggers the body’s immune response. Specialised cells known as phagocytes flood the area that has been damaged and proceed to ingest any toxins that they encounter. If the level of toxins remain uncontrolled by the responding leukocytes and nearby phagocytes, the healing process can be severely inhibited and have a significantly negative impact on the body.
The accumulation of excess interstitial fluid that fills the space between cells and pus – comprised of white blood cell remains, liquefied tissue and cell debris – are often signs of infection and also classed as toxic substances that can be removed with Hijama. The answer to our very first question should now be obvious.
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