Srinagar, October 5th: The ancient medical practice “Hijama” or cupping therapy is emerging in the valley, and people are increasingly accepting its support to get rid of different diseases.
Since 2008, doctors at Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital, Srinagar and Gandbar Regional Hospital have conducted thousands of such treatments, and the number is increasing.
Hijama is a practice in which a therapist puts a special cup on the skin to generate suction. This causes the tissue under the cup to be pulled up and swelled, resulting in increased blood flow to the affected area.
Cupping (Hijama in Arabic) is an ancient and comprehensive treatment for many diseases. Although the exact origin of cupping therapy is a controversial issue, its use has been documented in early Egyptian and Chinese medical practice.
Dr. Abrar Wani, a senior medical officer in the Ayush Department of Ganderbal District Hospital, said that he has been using Hijama to treat patients with different conditions and achieved good results.
“We are receiving a large number of patients with different diseases. Hijama helps treat back pain, migraines, chronic pain, depression, headaches, anxiety, stress-related problems, poor circulation, diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure,” he said .
He said that Hijama wet cupping therapy has also been shown to be beneficial for polycystic ovary disease (also known as PCOD), which is reportedly on the rise among young girls in Kashmir.
“Of the 40 PCOD patients received every day, 10 happen to be unmarried. This is a serious problem for young girls in the valley,” he said.
Doctors perform 60 wet cupping treatments in the Ayush ward of the hospital every month.
“We have treated a large number of young girls with Hijama cupping therapy in the Ayush ward of the regional hospital. It has proved to be very helpful and the right way to solve problems such as PCOD,” he added.
“There are two types of Hijama therapy. One is dry cupping therapy and wet cupping therapy. We use the latter here. It takes at least 6 to 7 months to cure different diseases,” he said.
Hijama involves making a small incision in a different part of the skin and then using a suction cup to expel the toxic blood from the body.
“Hijama, especially wet cupping therapy, is not new; it is an ancient and most reliable therapy with no side effects. It is just making a comeback,” the doctor said.
“We use wet cupping therapy to treat patients every month,” he said.
Sabreena (renamed), a resident of Saida Kadal, said that she consulted multiple gynecologists for the treatment of PCOD, but to no avail.
She said that wet cupping therapy helped her.
Another patient, Saika (a pseudonym), said that she had been suffering from menstrual problems for many years, and the gynecologist diagnosed her with hormonal imbalance and PCOD.
“I have a problem with irregular menstruation. Then, I was encouraged to do Hijama, and it restored my normal menstrual cycle. My hormone levels are also very balanced,” she said.
Hatiya, an elderly woman from Lavalpola, said that Hijama cured her migraine.