Wet cupping is a procedure that is performed by skilled practitioners in the field of complementary and alternative medicine in Saudi Arabia. Wet cupping is indicated for chronic diseases, where there are no therapeutic drugs available as well as adjunctive therapy to other treatments such as Western medication. It has also been shown to be effective for pain conditions such as back pain, migraine, and joint pain.
It is a variant of cupping and involves drawing blood from the skin by making small incisions on the body and then applying cups to these areas.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, wet cupping draws toxins out of the body. Hence, it is used as a complementary treatment for various health conditions.
Although wet cupping is one of the oldest forms of treatment in the world, and is still used in many countries today, it has been largely forgotten by modern medicine.
In Islam, wet cupping is referred to as hijama, and it is one of the Sunnah (sayings and actions) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He said: “Indeed the best treatment that you can treat yourselves with is hijama.” He used to have cupping done on his head for a headache, on his foot for an eye ailment, and his sides for pain in his body.
Wet cupping involves first rubbing the skin with an alcohol swab or cotton wool soaked in alcohol. A small incision is then made in the skin using a sterile scalpel or surgical blade – this only needs to be about 2mm wide.
The cup is then applied over the area where the incision has been made, creating suction that draws up a small amount of blood into the cup. The cup is left in place for approximately 10 minutes and may begin to feel uncomfortable before it is removed. The same process can be repeated up to three more times during the same session.”