Srinagar, Oct 5: The ancient medicinal practice ‘Hijama’ or cupping therapy is picking up in the valley, with people increasingly taking its support to get rid of different ailments.
Since 2008, doctors in the hospitals like Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital Srinagar and Ganderbal district hospital have carried out thousands of such therapies, and the number is increasing.
Hijama is a practice in which the therapist puts special cups on the skin to create suction. This causes the tissue beneath the cup to be drawn up and swell causing increase in blood flow to affected area.
Cupping (Hijama in Arabic) is an ancient, holistic method for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Though the exact origin of cupping therapy is a matter of controversy, its use has been documented in early Egyptian and Chinese medical practices.
Dr Abrar Wani, a senior Medical Officer at the Ayush unit of Ganderbal District hospital said that he has been using Hijama to treat the different conditions of patients with good results.
“We are receiving a large number of patients with different ailments. Hijama helps in the treatment of back pain, migraines, chronic pain, depression, headaches, anxiety, stress-related issues, poor blood circulation, diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure,” he said.
He said the Hijama wet cupping therapy also proves beneficial for Polycystic Ovarian disease also known as PCOD, which is, reportedly, on rise among the young girls in Kashmir.
“Out of 40 PCOD patients received every day, 10 happen to be unmarried. This is a serious issue among young girls in the valley,” he said.
The doctors give 60 wet cupping therapies every month at the hospital’s Ayush unit.
“We have treated a large number of young girls with Hijama cupping therapy in the Ayush Unit of district Hospital. It proves very helpful and a proper cure for problems such as PCOD,” he added.
“There are two types of Hijama therapy. One is dry-cupping therapy and the wet-cupping therapy. We use the latter here. It takes at least 6 to 7 months to heal different ailments,” he said.
Hijama involves giving a small incision on the skin at various points and, subsequently, using suction cups to drain 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 has only made a comeback,” said the doctor.
“We are using wet-cupping therapy to treat patients every month,” he said.
Sabreena (name changed), a resident of Saida Kadal here, said she approached multiple gynecologists for the treatment of PCOD, but to no avail.
Wet-cupping therapy helped her, she said.
Another patient Saika (name changed) said she has been suffering from menstrual problems for years, and the gynecologists diagnosed her with hormonal imbalance and PCOD.
“I had a problem of irregular periods. Then, I was encouraged to do Hijama, which restored my normal menstrual cycle. My hormone level is also balanced,” she said.
Khateeja, an elderly woman from Rawalpora, said Hijama cured her migraine.