Monday, 22 July 2013

ICAHT Hijama diploma update

The following is an update by Dr Rizwhan Suleman MChiro of the Institute of Clinically Applied Hijama Therapy, on their 6 month Hijama Diploma that started in June, 2013

Alhumdulillah after all the preparation and anticipation we successfully delivered the first section of the ICAHT Hijama diploma to our inaugural class in June 2013. 

The 3 days of lectures delivered at Leicester University consisted of an intensive program of study primarily driven by classroom lectures but also included practical training and group work.

The 3-day class is by far the meatiest section of the course and contained the most important and fundamental aspects of the hijama diploma and this is why its attendance was set as a compulsory requirement for registration.

We were blessed to have amongst the students a wide range of personalities and professional backgrounds ranging from medical consultants, general practitioners, dentists, manual therapists, nurses, hijama therapists and ruqya practitioners to name a few.

Men and women, both Muslim and non-Muslim had travelled from as far as the UAE and Belgium for the unified objective of learning the science and art of hijama practice.

Although the volume of material covered in the 3 days was described by many as intense and overwhelming, we not only covered the general aspects of hijama such as its history, practice and philosophies but we also went into great detail about the medical implications of hijama therapy and its influences on human physiology.

We discussed the risk factors associated with it such as blood loss, treatment induced anaemia, shock, loss of consciousness and all the appropriate measures of screening, preventing and reacting to dangerous situations that could be encountered when dealing with patients from the general public.

The major theme around the first section of the course was to make sure that we fulfilled the criteria of  “First Do No Harm”.

A systemised process of patient screening and risk assessment formed a fundamental part of this objective and was easily adopted by the student practitioners.

After being assessed on their practice skills at our full time clinic the students were briefed on their roles within society and the huge responsibility they were taking upon their shoulders. Their duties upon patients, themselves and the general public were all covered in the ICAHT code of ethical conduct and the standards of proficiency document which they all agreed to abide by as part of the voluntary self regulation that is required by all ICAHT graduate members. 

We are now in the second leg of the 6 month course in which the students will be studying (or revising in some cases) the anatomy, physiology and pathologies of the human body as well as taking part in clinical mentorship programs with one of our doctors at an allocated hijama clinic site in order to gain the practical skills and knowledge to sufficiently deal with patients.

The final part of the course will involve researching and reporting on their individual interactions and experiences with their patients through case report write-ups, which will be handed in and assessed. Once all coursework, practical exams and write ups are completed to a satisfactory level a ceremony will be held in which each of the successful students will be presented their certification.

Overall we are very pleased with the way the course has gone so far and could not have been blessed with a better first group of students. We look forward to delivering the rest of the course material and have already opened our enrolment to applicants wishing to start the next class in January 2014.   

To take a look at some of the highlights of the course see the video above.

ICAHT (Institute of Clinically Applied Hijama Therapy)

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7533 446 373



Our thanks to ICAHT from England for sharing the above post. If you have any questions or want to leave some feedback on their training, then please do so via a comment* below.

If you are a hijama therapist or patient and are happy to share your knowledge or experience via a guest blog-post like the one above, please send me an email to:

*Comments are moderated to prevent spamming so may take some time to appear

Friday, 19 July 2013


The following paper is republished here from the following link  
with the kind permission of the authors, about a study on the use 
of dry-cupping for inflammatory conditions


By Ilkay Chirali, Mark Bovey, Roz Gibbs
Cupping is a therapeutic technique employed by many acupuncturists to treat Full, Mixed or Deficiency conditions. Despite its documented effectiveness, however, little is known from a Western scientific standpoint about the mechanisms by which cupping therapy yields its effects. In 2005, Ilkay Chirali published the results of a small trial conducted on 6 patients with musculoskeletal complaints. In this study patients were treated every two days over a two weekly period and blood samples were taken and analysed before, during and after the treatment period. Analysis of the samples revealed a significant reduction in the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), a broad marker of inflammation. The aim of the current study was to identify inflammatory marker(s) whose plasma concentrations are altered during the cupping therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and which may account for changes in the ESR. This will provide biochemical evidence for the effectiveness of cupping therapy.

14 subjects presenting with a range of chronic musculoskeletal complaints (diagnosed as Empty, Mixed and Full conditions) were recruited into the study. Full informed consent was obtained from each subject. A Traditional Diagnosis was then performed on each subject and the cupping treatment strategy determined accordingly. Each subject then received six cupping treatments at weekly intervals. Prior to the first treatment and thereafter at weekly intervals, subjects completed a MYMOP questionnaire in order to assess clinical outcome. Venous blood samples were also obtained before treatment, after 3 treatments, after 6 treatments and six weeks posttreatment. The following analyses were performed on blood samples: full blood count, haemoglobin concentration, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), serum concentration of fibrinogen, C Reactive Protein (CRP), IgG and ferritin. Serum samples were also analysed for the concentration of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β,IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α). Data obtained was analysed by one way ANOVA with matched values and Dunnett’s Multiple Comparisons Test using Instat2 software.

9 females (range 23 – 52 years) and 5 males (range 37 – 62 years) were recruited into the study. One female participant subsequently withdrew from the study at week 3. Analysis of MYMOP questionnaires indicated that 95% patients reported improvements in their symptoms as a result of treatment and, overall, this improvement was found to significant. Complete data sets from blood and serum analysis (before, during and after treatment) were obtained for 11 subjects. The six week post treatment follow up was 54%. Analysis of data revealed statistically significant increases in the platelet count (p =0.0373) and lymphocyte count (p = 0.0001) and decreases in the serum concentration of fibrinogen (p = 0.0008) and ferritin (p =0.0024). No changes were measured in the serum concentration of proinflammatory cytokines, with the exception of one patient where slight increases above normal levels were seen in TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 concentrations. Interestingly there was no significant change in the ESR observed in these subjects, however, only 3 subjects presented with an elevated ESR before treatment.

Discussion & Conclusion
Ferritin and fibrinogen are inflammatory markers and their reduction during cupping therapy is concomitant with a reduction in the inflammatory status of the patient. Platelets and lymphocytes may increase as a result of local vascular damage from the cupping therapy itself or from a reduction in the adherence of these cells to areas of activated endothelium, associated with inflammation. With regard to the ESR, no overall significant change was observed in this study. However, only 3 patients presented with an elevated ESR prior to treatment. Furthermore, the ESR did decrease during the course of treatment in these subjects. In conclusion, although the precise mechanism by which cupping therapy exerts it therapeutic effects cannot be determined from the present study, the results indicate that cupping therapy is associated with significant changes in the levels of inflammatory cells and soluble markers suggesting that this treatment can influence the inflammatory status of the patient leading to improved clinical outcome

Ilkay Zihni Chirali MBAcC, RCHM
Member of the British Acupuncture Council
Member of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (UK)
TCM Practitioner/Teacher/Author

Dip.Acupuncture 1985(Aust), Dip.Clinical Hypnosis (Aust), Dip.Chinese Herbal Medicine (UK), Cert.Paediactric Acupuncture (UK), Cert. Chinese Herbal Med (Nanjing China), Cert. Acupuncture (Nanjing China)
Acupuncture Practitioner (1985)
TCM.Teacher (Acupuncture & Cupping therapy) (1987)
Author: Cupping Therapy- Traditional Chinese Medicine (First published 1999, 2nd edition 2007) (Translated to German, Portuguese (Brazil), Czech, and French languages.)

Qualified as TCM practitioner in 1985 Melbourne Australia, where I opened my first Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic. Returned to England in 1987 where I set up a clinic in SE London and still practice. As Cupping Therapy Expert, I have presented cupping therapy papers in 5 International seminars, contribute regularly to the TCM publications and held well over 50 cupping therapy teaching workshops (England, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Australia) as well appearing as an “expert” on the BBC TV (Children In Need), BBC2 TV history program (Supersize me- Elizabethan times), BBC Radio4 Today and Capital Radio programmes. I also accept final-year Acupuncture students at my clinic for clinical practice and observation.

Ilkay Zihni Chirali MBAcC, RCHM
Mark Bovey, 
Roz Gibbs


Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy Clinic
163 Upton Road
DA6 8LY  England.             

Tel: 44-208 306 6736


Our thanks to Ilkay Zihni Chirali and Mark Bovey from England for sharing the above post. If you have any questions or want to leave some feedback on their workshops, then please do so via a comment* below.

If you are a hijama therapist or patient and are happy to share your knowledge or experience via a guest blog-post like the one above, please send me an email to:

*Comments are moderated to prevent spamming so may take some time to appear

Saturday, 6 July 2013


 The following is an abstract of a pilot-study by M Sarjoon and K Naser on Hijama for the management of High Blood Pressure 


M. A. C. M. Sarjoon1*, K. A. Naser2

1Faculty of Health Care Sciences, Eastern University, Sri Lanka.
2Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


Study Design: This study is a prospective randomized control study conducted on hypertensive patients. 
Sample Selection: All adult hypertensive patients aged ≥18 years, who had made at least three
previous clinic visits and had been on antihypertensive medications for at least 6 months, were included. Newly diagnosed individuals, those having less than three previous BP readings and those without any follow-up in the previous 6 months were excluded from the study. 10 Hypertensive patients who attended the clinic in Eravur area were recruited and on the middle of the study, two patients were dropped from the study.

Data Collection: Initially the following information were collected: age, gender, duration of follow-up, three most recent BP readings, presence of co-existing diseases, body mass index (BMI), prescribed regular medications, frequency of attendance at the outpatient clinic (in the last 6 months) and presence or absence of care continuity. 
Intervention: The selected patients received ten session of cupping therapy at the rate of twice per week. The routine allopathic medication was continued during the study period in these patients. Blood pressure measurement was obtained before each session of treatment
Results: Patients' mean BMI was 29 (S.D +/- 5; range 24-35). Overall mean blood pressure before the intervention was 152/95 mmHg and after the intervention was 135/84mmHg. All patients mentioned that they felt improvement of overall body health after the treatment. 
Conclusion: This study showed a significant change in the blood pressure level after 10 repeated treatments in a rate of twice per week. However, despite the apparent success of this study, will that change in blood pressure be maintained is not clear. The data in this study is not applicable to the larger population and control study is necessary for better comparison. Therefore, more detail scientific research studies are necessary to suggest cupping is effective for treating hypertension in order to provide the additional effect with allopathic treatment.

Keywords:, Hypertension, Cupping Therapy, Hijama, Blood Pressure.

M. A. C. M. Sarjoon   
K. A. Naser


Mobile: +94759912020


Our thanks to M Sarjoon and K Naser for sharing the above post. If you have any questions or want to leave some feedback for him, then please do so via a comment* below.

If you are a hijama therapist or patient and are happy to share your knowledge or experience via a guest blog-post like the one above, please send me an email to:

*Comments are moderated to prevent spamming so may take some time to appear