Monday, March 15, 2010

Moe and Cupping

That is a picture of Moe's back . Gorgeous isn't it ???? Looks like he has been attacked by a giant octopus or some other sea monster, huh ? The marks have been caused by wet cupping .It is a form of blood letting , or hijama as it is called in Arabic.It's all the rage here in Libya .

I really don't now how to write about this " cupping " thing . I am over whelmed by all the data on " cupping". It is an ancient healing method for all sorts of ailments  dating from several 1,000 years ago .It plays a major roll in Islamic healing , which by the way , Islamic medicine was way advanced in the Middle Ages to an unbelievable extent , almost comparable to today's medicine . A actual trail blazer in modern methods and healing  procedures . The Prophet Mohammad was a strong advocate for cupping , as he himself used it for treating his medical issues .

Anyway , my  Moe decided to go have his self cupped because he thought it would be a magic cure for all that ails him .His new best friend that he met in the coffee shop near the Condo was going on and on about how he had been cupped and cured of ... WHATEVER , and he JUST knew if Moe went to be cupped he would be healed of everything too .

Moe came home and said he was going to do the cupping too . I  was like oh no , here we go again ! We had gone through this all before , several years ago . I managed to talk him out of it then and was hoping to do so again , but not this time . He had his mind set on doing it . Even though I was sick and dying ( I had the flu AGAIN !) barely able to talk , I reminded him he had suffered two debilitating strokes , still had high blood pressure , and please let's don't forget the sugar diabetes ! Oh , and the 6 stints in his arteries ! But WHAT EVER ! That this cupping just might cause a blood clot or his sugar to drop dangerously low from blood lose. All Moe heard me say was "Yata, yata, yata ... blah, blah, blah !" And off he went to be cupped ! A happy camper .

I sat at home and waited to hear from him after the procedure was finished to tell me all was well , or some calling me to say he had died . No call . Ok , I won't panic .....YET ! I waited several hours and then called him . He answered his phone and was barely coherent when I spoke to him . He said he just woke up from a nap at the clinic. He  had fallen asleep right after the "doctor " was through cupping him . It sounded like he passed out to me , but what do I know ??? I am only a woman .

He came home and I asked him all about it and what happened . Did they check your blood pressure ? No he said . Hum , did they check your sugar ? No . Did they use new needles ? Yes . Oh Thank God for that I thought . Did they wear gloves ? Yes . Ok , that's good .Did it hurt ? Oh yeah ! Was it supposed to hurt you?
Moe seemed to think that yes it was supposed to hurt . Was there alot of blood ? Oh YEAH !!! TONS OF IT!! Didn't you tell them you were on a blood thinner ? Sure he says . I give up and stopped with the questions by this time . It was over and done with . Too late to do anything about it now . If he has another stroke due to a blood clot , so be it . What can I do now ?

The next day he has a killer headache . I panic . Is it like the one you had when you had your strokes before ? No . Is it like this ? Is it like that ? I check his blood pressure and I am up all night monitoring him and the headache . He refuses to go to the hospital and I can't get him down 4 flights of stairs alone . So , I am a nervous wreck .Finally the night is over and he is better .

Tonight I read that one is to never to lie down after cupping , but is to walk vigorously for 30 minutes afterward to prevent blood clots from forming  .The cupping isn't supposed to cause extreme pain , it did in Moe and the doctor thought it was all good .Some one with all his aliments shouldn't do this procedure at all .Last but not least ... there should only be very slight discoloration ( bruising ) and/or a faint ring that should leave in a couple of days . The above picture was taken 4 days later . He still has the rings on his back .

I will personally  KILL him IF he EVER does this again !!! We are talking about an educated man . A man that has traveled the world over . A man that knows he has to be careful of his health . So , if you ever hear that Moe was murdered by me , you will know why ! And I don't care what anyone says about cupping , it is a barbaric practice that should be stopped !


khadijateri said...

Well the Middle Ages are loooooong gone. Medicine has come a long way since then. This was the most advanced for of medicine during the time of Prophet Mohamed's life.

The hype in Libya about hijama is just a nice way for people to make money off Libyans. And considering how unhygienic most hospitals here are, one can only imagine what goes on in one of these 'clinics'.

I've done my fair share of research into this - I have an educated but stupid Libyan for a husband too, you see... sigh... so far he still hasn't joined the crowd at the hijama clinic but he keeps saying he will... sigh.. He has the idea that there is bad blood that pools in parts of your body and they'll remove it and it will be dark. Dark, bad blood! - this is what the hijamists claim and put into Libyan's heads.

I had to explain that there is arterial blood, which has been exposed to oxygen and is bright red, and there is venous blood which hasn't been exposed to oxygen and is darker. The person preforming hijama knows where to cut to find the venous blood and makes sure to point out how dark (and bad) it is.... it's hype... and they make lots of money of this! aaahhh!!!

The same effects can be had by a traditional Japanese treatment called shiatsu, which is much safer, doesn't involve cutting or removing blood. It is a form of massage that directs attention to various points on the body, as does hijama. Unfortunately it's not available in Libya as far as I know.

OTE - keep watching your husband for signs of blood clots, etc. He hasn't healed yet.

When will Libyans get smart?... oh, what am I thinking....

HEBA said...

Although I enjoyed reading the post, but I to disagree with you.

First I want to clarify something, some of them believe in cuppoing because it's Sunnah from our prophet, who we should believe that what he tells us is food for us even if we don't see it.
In the Sunnah , there are some rules to do, you don't just go and do it, and there are recommendations.
Second, Hijama or cupping, is an old healing method not for Arabs or Muslims only, but for Pharaohs Chinese and others. so there should something good about it.
When I searched for it, I found sites that support it and I couldn't find sites that disagree with it. Although I agree with you that since we have advanced medicine these days, we should do it better and follow some rules that current medicine adds.
Here are some Links:
New Trials Support the Effectiveness of Cupping Therapy (
8/19/2009 - (NaturalNews) There are many published clinical trials and scientific papers in 2009 about the effectiveness of cupping therapy. Three papers from Germany, South Korea and Iran support the use of cupping therapy and give new scientific evidence to this...

Cupping Therapy Beneficial in Treating Numerous Diseases (
2/26/2008 - (NaturalNews) Cupping is a method of relieving local congestion by applying a partial vacuum which is created in a cup or cups, either by heat or by suction. Cupping has been used for thousands of years. Although it is often associated with Traditional...

on the edge said...

Yes this is true about it not being JUST an Islamic healing tool .The Chinese used it . The ancient Egyptians as well .

But some one with Mohamed's illnesses should not be doing this since there is a high risk of blood clots involved which could lead to strokes . He has had 2 already .

And just because the Prophet Mohammed advocated it's uses , it also says in the Quran to take care and not cause harm to oneself unnecessarily .In Moe's case , he didn't need this . It wasn't a life or death thing , but it could develop into one if he did use cupping , due to complications .

The hijama method cautions against over cupping, cupping in the lying down position and sleeping or resting following any cupping procedure, claiming that the one real danger of cupping is the potential risk of blood clotting following a procedure. Patients should take a brisk thirty minute walk following any cupping treatment. When properly performed, using tiny incisions and not leaving the cups on longer than necessary, cupping leaves no marks or scarring.

And this from Wikpedia :Although there is reason to believe the practice dates from as early as 3000 B.C., the earliest record of cupping is in Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world. It describes in 1,550 B.C. Edyptians used cupping. Archaeologists have found evidence in China of cupping dating back to 1,000 B.C. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates (c. 400 B.C.) used cupping for internal disease and structural problems. This method in multiple forms spread into medicine in Asian and European civilizations.