Is Hijama (wet cupping) Therapy Suitable For Diabetics?


Many times I hear people shy away from having hijama or wet cupping therapy done under the notion that it’s not safe for people who have diabetes. Unfortunately, there is little truth in this claim but there is definitely room for discussion. 

In the first instance, under the ICAHT protocols of safe practice assurance & minimum educational standards, diabetes is considered a relative contraindication to hijama or wet cupping therapy. If you’re wondering what that means, it simply indicates that the condition needs to be flagged up during the patient suitability screening process and that its implications must be considered and weighed up in the context of each individual patient. This means it is not a one shoe fits all approach. 

The biggest risk when treating a patient with diabetes is the potential for them to go into hypoglycemic shock, a state in which blood sugars dip below the levels required to maintain consciousness with the potential for them to go into a diabetic coma or even die. The second risk is the increased risk of infection and lower healing capacities when blood sugar levels are not being managed appropriately. In either case it’s imperative that the practitioners caring for such patients have an acute awareness of medical physiology with a detailed understanding of diabetes and how the practice of hijama and wet cupping therapy can interact with the physiology of a patient.

Knowing, recognising and differentiating the various possibilities that can cause loss of consciousness in a hijama patient is also a key educational requirement void of even a mention in every Hijama or wet cupping therapy training course and program on the market, that we have audited, with the exception of the ICAHT practitioner training protocols, that were designed and created in 2013 by a group of medical, naturopathic, chiropractic and Ph’D doctors and practitioners with safety as it primary objective.          

In light of the widespread practice of wet cupping therapy, being performed mostly by people trained as hijama technicians, who have learnt only how to apply cups and make cuts, often in short weekend or superficial online courses, it may be wise to bare on the side of caution and avoid working on, or treating diabetic patients altogether. Admitting that diabetic patients are out of the scope of knowledge & practice for most hijama / cupping therapy practitioners, who as a general rule have not undergone appropriate training to manage and understand the condition appropriately, is fair. 

Making the gross claim that hijama therapy or wet cupping is unsuitable for diabetic patients on the other hand, is wrong and irresponsible, as it robs  the over 400 million diabetic people in the world from considering or being eligible of receiving the benefits of the therapy in its many forms and contexts. Diabetic people are just as likely to suffer with migraines, back pain, joint issues, shoulder problems ect as anyone else and ensuring practitioners are appropriately trained in their field of work is an essential part of maintaining equal access to all people.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to become an ICAHT certified Elite performance therapy practitioner by studying both the theory and practice of hijama therapy in the most detailed, scientific and comprehensive program on the subject in the world then sign up below to watch our FREE Video Series on hijama and cupping therapy to explore your suitability for our practitioner training program.   


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