Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping (Hijama) Uses

There is some evidence to suggest that cupping therapy may be beneficial for certain health conditions. However, research into cupping therapy tends to be low-quality. More studies are necessary to understand how cupping therapy works, if it works, and in what situations it may help. – Cupping (Hijama) Uses

Cupping therapy is a traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern practice that people use to treat a variety of conditions.

It involves placing cups at certain points on a person’s skin. A practitioner creates suction in the cups, which pulls against a person’s skin.

Cupping can either be dry or wet. Wet cupping involves puncturing the skin before starting the suction, which removes some of the person’s blood during the procedure.

Cupping typically leaves round bruises on a person’s skin, where their blood vessels burst after exposure to the procedure’s suction effects.

Pain reliefCupping (Hijama) Uses

People frequently cite cupping therapy as a form of pain relief. However, while there is some evidence for its effectiveness, scientists need to conduct more high-quality studies to demonstrate this fully.

Skin conditions

A study paper in the journal PLoS One found that there was some evidence for cupping therapy being effective at treating herpes zoster and acne.

Sports recovery

A study paper in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine notes that professional athletes are increasingly using cupping therapy as part of their recovery practices.

However, the study found no consistent evidence to show that it was effective for anything related to sports recovery,

According to the NCCIH, the side effects of cupping can include:

  • lasting skin discoloration
  • scarring
  • burns
  • infection

If a person has a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, cupping may make it worse on the area where the practitioner applies the cups.

In rare instances, a person may experience more significant internal bleeding or anemia if the practitioner takes too much blood during wet cupping.

According to a study paper that appears in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, cupping can also cause:

  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • nausea
  • insomnia

Due to the poor quality of studies investigating cupping, it is difficult to know how common these side effects are.

If a person has any of these side effects following cupping therapy, they should speak to a medical professional. Some people may have health conditions, such as problems with blood clotting, that making cupping less than ideal.

Uses – Cupping (Hijama) Uses

Cupping is often recommended as a complementary therapy for the following conditions:23

  • Back pain
  • Headache or migraine
  • Knee pain
  • Muscle pain and soreness
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sports injuries and performance

In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is said to stimulate the flow of vital energy (also known as “qi” or “chi“) and help correct any imbalances arising from illness or injury. It’s sometimes combined with acupuncture and tuina, other therapies said to promote the flow of energy.

Cupping (Hijama) Uses
Cupping (Hijama) Uses

Cupping (Hijama) May Be Used For:


Salma r.a., the servant of the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) said, “Whenever someone would complain of a headache to the Messenger of Allah r, he r would advise them to perform cupping (hijama).” Sunan abi Dawud (3858)


Ibn al-Qaiyum (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was cupped on his head when he was afflicted with magic and that it is from the best of cures for this if performed correctly. Zaad al Ma’aad (4/125-126)


Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a. reported that a Jewish woman gave poisoned meat to the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) so he r sent her a message saying, “What caused you to do that?” She replied, “If you really are a Prophet then Allah will inform you of it and if you are not then I would save the people from you!” When the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) felt pain from it, he r performed cupping (hijama). Once he travelled while in Ihram and felt that pain and hence performed cupping(hijama)[Ahmed (1/305) the hadeeth is Hasan (good chain with all the paths)

Strengthening One’s Intelligence and Memory

Ibn Umar r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) said, “Cupping (hijama) on an empty stomach* is best. In it is a cure and a blessing. It improves the intellect and the memory…”Sunan ibn Maajah (3487).

* ‘alaa ar-reeq in arabic means to fast until after being treated with cupping. Once the treatment of cupping has been completed, one may eat and drink.


Jaabir ibn Abdullah r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) fell from his horse onto the trunk of a palm tree and dislocated his foot. Waki’t said, “Meaning the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) Was cupped on (his foot) for bruising.” [Sunan ibn Maajah (2807).

Cupping (Hijama) While fasting or In the State Of Ihram

Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was cupped on his head for a unilateral headache while he was in Ihraam. (Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 5701).

Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was cupped while he was fasting. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5694).

Anas ibn Maalik r.a. was asked: “Did you dislike cupping for the fasting person?” He said, “No except for the reason of one becoming weak.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1940).

This is not affected by the hadeeth, “The cupper and the one being cupped have broken their fast.” [Saheeh see Irwaa al-Ghaleel (931)]. This is because the hadeeth is abrogated as Sheikh al-Albaani and ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy upon them) showed by the following hadeeth:
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudhree r.a. said, “The Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) Validated cupping for the fasting person.” [Saheeh see Irwaa al-Ghaleel (4/74).

It appears that cupping (hijama) is allowed but disliked as Anas ibn Maalik r.a. mentioned because the fasting person becomes weak if they perform cupping (hijama) and Allah knows best.

Areas of Cupping (Hijama)Cupping (Hijama) Uses

Anas ibn Maalik r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was treated with cupping (hijama) three times on the two veins at the side of the neck and the base of the neck. Sunan abi Dawud (3860), ibn Maajah (3483).

Abdullah ibn Abbas r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was cupped on his head. [Saheeh al-Bukhaari (5699)

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) used to cup his head and would call it (the place at the top of the head) “Umm Mugheeth.”Saheehah (753), Saheeh al-Jaami’ (4804)

Jaabir ibn Abdullah r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was treated with cupping (hijama) on his hip for a pain in that area. [Sunan abi Dawud (3863)

Anas ibn Maalik r.a. reported that the Nabi (salallahu alayhi wasallam.) was treated with cupping (hijama)
when he was in Ihram, on the top of his foot, for a pain in that area. (Sunan abi Dawud 1836).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, “Cupping (hijama) under the chin is beneficial for pain in the teeth, face and throat, if it is performed in its proper time. It purifies the head and the jaws.

Cupping (hijama) on the top of the foot is a substitution for the puncturing of the Saphena, which is a large vein in the heel. It is beneficial for treating ulcers that occur on the thighs and calves, the interruption of menses and skin irritation on the testicles.

Cupping (hijama) at the bottom of the chest is beneficial for the treatment of sores, scabies and mange on the thighs. It helps against gout, hemorrhoids, elephantiasis and itchiness on the back.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/58)

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