Hijama: Medical and professional alternative

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So far, we have around 23 successful cases where Allah (swt) gave the blessing of a child through ‘hijama’,’ informs Dr Nasreen.

A personal ordeal faced 13 years back led Dr. Nasreen to become a ‘hijama’ practitioner and trainer she is today. She shares with us her journey about how this form of therapy has become an essential part of her life and has transformed her perspective about this holistic, alternative medicine in unimaginable ways.  

‘Hijama’ still motivates and surprises me,” shares Dr Nasreen Sheikh, owner of ‘NishSheikh Wellness for body & soul’. ‘This therapy is still very raw and unexplored. There are amazing results, very good efficacy and people are yet to explore the wonders of this therapy,’ she adds.  

Dr Nasreen Sheikh
  1. You started learning this form of therapy for personal reasons and eventually became a professional practitioner. How did the process begin?

It all started with my husband’s illness. He was not keeping well. He had multiple issues. He was diabetic, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. At a very young age, due to genetic factor and unhealthy lifestyle and habits, he developed several health issues.

His report was very shocking, and he was also operated for pancreatitis. He underwent many procedures. He was hospitalized for almost three months. I was in a state of shock and worry. I was running around, hospital to hospital, clinic to clinic, taking opinions – 1st opinion, 2nd opinion, 3rd opinion. Until I decided to do my own research about his condition. I was not convinced with the allopathy chemical medicines which were the only option I had back then. Because I wasn’t convinced with it, I decided to try the Prophetic medicines (Tibb-E-Nabawi) to maintain his health and a holistic lifestyle after these surgeries. During this research, I came across ‘hijama’.

The information I received on it, made me want to study it. In the process of trying to learn it, I had to find a good therapist, who would be scientifically and clinically updated. I also wanted my trainer to be a good, practicing, staunch believer, since this was the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Right from the beginning, it felt divine to me. My search for the perfect combination of medical and religiously practising ‘hijama’ therapist went on for days.

Finally, there came a time when I realised that there wasn’t anyone who could provide me both. This was thirteen years back and it wasn’t common to find someone who would fit my requirements. Hence, with lots of supplication and ‘istikhara’, I decided that if I cannot find any one suitable, I can become one. That is where my quest of becoming a ‘hijama’ practitioner started. Then I decided to take up all the necessary courses. I did my research which I normally do when I take up a task and I decided to become the person who will provide medical aid to my husband.

2. Do you think Allah (swt) guided you towards it?

For sure Allah (swt) guided me towards my goal. I staunchly believe that nothing can happen without the will of Allah (swt). This was one of the best things that happened to me. It was without doubt Allah’s help and His guidance, that helped me to achieve whatever I have achieved professionally in this field so far. And I also believe that what we seek is what we get. It is mentioned in the Quran as well, that from Allah (swt) we receive fourfold of the response we expect. Even today, I receive assistance and guidance from Allah (swt) and everything I have I owe it to Him. We as humans are not capable of anything. Even the supplication we make, the guidance for that is also from Allah (swt). I look forward to more of His guidance on every step. I do feel and want to keep feeling this assistance and support from Him always.     

3. The inception of your journey was inconceivable. Did you face any challenges along the way ?

There are many challenges ‘hijama’ practitioners face. Firstly, being analternative medicine, it is on constant target hit. The allopathy mafia and the pharmacology mafia do not usually advice it to those who need it. Secondly, being a Prophetic medicine, it tends to attract more negativity from the masses. Unfortunately, people perceive it to be ancient and ineffective. Thirdly, the study of this form of therapy, lacks dedicated colleges,institutes, and research centers. There is an immediate need to form these units and promote it. 

All these challenges are heartbreaking. Though ‘hijama’ has been discussed in almost all civilizations, it is still not recognized as an effective field of medicine. From the Chinese civilization to Egyptiansto Greeks all have references to it. It has always been there. The medicals of the past, the researchers, the scientists, have always inculcated or talked about ‘hijama’ (aka cupping therapy). 

It should be mentioned in the books of sciences. It has been observed that earlier it was a part of medicine but over course of time it was removed from it. Why was it removed? Why is such an important form of treatment not discussed in our medicine books today? This is what I want to ask the world of allopathy.

It is, however, surprising that despite all this, it is still practiced worldwide. It is practiced in the west, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, etc. All thanks to Allah (swt). 

4.‘Instant relief’ and ‘lightness’ are terms used by those who undergo this therapy. How would you define its benefits?

If I must do justice to the personal benefits provided by ‘hijama’, it will be a three-hour long session. There are innumerable benefits and I feel that despite practicing for more than twelve and half years, as a patient and as a therapist, I still haven’t explored it completely.

‘Hijama’ helps physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. It will touch all the aspects of human nature. There is therapeutic hijama, curative hijama, preventative hijama, beauty and cosmetic hijama. It can be used as a complementary therapy by mixing with other therapies or can be used as one complete therapy.

In short, this treatment will help you feel good and that is the only side effect it has. The kind of sleep that a person gets and the kind of relaxation they feel is exclusive. The foggy thinking or the confused state of mind, and anxiety, all that goes away. People often express, that they feel like a new person. They feel that their body and mind has been reset.

Let me give you an example of a patient who suffers from migraine. The field of allopathy has no cure for it. But with ‘hijama’, my patients can immediately feel the difference in the intensity and frequency of the headache. It reduces to about 80% – 90% in many cases. Similarly knee issues, back issues, spine issues, from neck to the tail bone of the spine, it gives instant relief. Frozen shoulder also same – instant relief. Quality of skin, quality of hair, quality of eyes (paining due to screen time) all gets better. The person feels lighter.

The senses get sharpen. Many of my patients have stated that their eyesight has improved after therapy. Blood circulation also enhances. The fact is one needs to undergo this therapy to understand fully what I am referring to.

[Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: Healing is in three things: in the incision of the cupper, in drinking honey, and in cauterizing with fire, but I forbid my Ummah (nation) from cauterization (branding with fire).]

[Sahih Bukhari – 5681, Sahih Sunan Ibn Maajah – 3491]

5. Women health related matters are always the topic of discussion. How according to you is ‘hijama’ relevant for women?

In terms of therapeutic hijama, when any infertility case gets solved, with Allah’s will, it is a victory for us. It is that phone call or message that I get from my patients, from those couples looking forward to becoming parents, that the pregnancy result is positive after taking up ‘hijama’. So far, we have around 23 such cases where Allah (swt) gave the blessing of a child through ‘hijama’. Many other women health related matters also find solution in this cure.

6. If anyone is looking at ‘hijama’ as a career option, what would you suggest them?

For those looking to practice this therapy, there are few things we must understand. It might seem very easy to obtain an online certification, but ‘hijama’ is very deep and so much beyond those small-time workshops. It requires lot of dedication, practice and understanding because this is not just for clinical purposes. It is a part of ‘Tibb-E-Nabawi’ and requires one to be a strong, believing Muslim. Someone who can handle patients when they get afflicted during the process. Every person is different. They have different body type and so they react differently to the process.  

One needs to first protect themself with regular worship, and remembrance of Allah (swt). Secondly, empathizing with the patient is important. This treatment requires for us to connect with the patient. It is not just for commercial purpose. As a hijama therapist, one needs to counsel the patient as well.

You need to look out for symptoms of diseases, you need to advise them according to the report they bring along. You must make yourself available. You also must advise them to connect to Allah (swt). All this put together will affect the result and therefore it requires a lot of your time and dedication. This requires the right approach and the right knowledge. My sincere advice is study, empower and be true to yourself and with complete trust in Allah (swt) you can take up this curriculum.

Every country has their certification and licensing procedure. So, if you are in Kuwait, there is Kuwait Alternative Medicine Association (KAMA) which is the organization which provides training and issues practitioner’s license. I work there as a trainer and anyone looking to study this form of medicine can contact me and I can guide them. We provide practical knowledge too.

If you are in India and want a certification from there, we have a tie-up with ‘Hijama Wellness Center’ who provides certification through Bharat Seva Samaj (BSS). Many courses are available internationally also and one can choose which is convenient for them and seek knowledge accordingly.

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