Cupping: Mind, body and soul

Published: April 14, 2011
Usman Baluch explains the ancient practice of cupping to a gathering at N’ecos. PHOTOS: MARIAM AKBERALI

Usman Baluch explains the ancient practice of cupping to a gathering at N’ecos. PHOTOS: MARIAM AKBERALI

Usman Baluch explains the ancient practice of cupping to a gathering at N’ecos. PHOTOS: MARIAM AKBERALI Usman Baluch explains the ancient practice of cupping to a gathering at N’ecos. PHOTOS: MARIAM AKBERALI

Cupping therapy. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t and so I was looking forward to attending a talk on this age-old alternative healing practice. The talk was held in the basement of N’ecos (which has the most amazing French toast by the way). The venue made perfect sense because its basement serves as a ‘natural store’ of sorts, dealing in all kinds of chemical-free organic remedies.

“We support all things natural, and since cupping serves as a divergence from the usual artificially created medicines, we thought why not have the talk here?,” Nilofer Saeed, owner of N’ecos told me. While the owner pointed out that she herself wasn’t sure if she believed in the healing powers of cupping, she thought N’ecos would serve as a good platform for open discussion and raising awareness.

A comfortable group of 10 to 15 men and women of different ages huddled together to listen to what cupping therapist, Mr. Usman Baluch had to say. We were told that cupping, or Al-Hijamah, is an ancient Arab tradition, which was used and promoted by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). It consists of the “application of cups to various points of the body by removing the air inside to form a vacuum,” basically a kind of suction.

The therapy is said to get rid of acidic toxic waste, which tends to accumulate in the human body overtime. In addition to this, Baluch claimed that cupping not only provides stress and headache relief, but that it also cures blood pressure problems, athletic injuries, kidney failure and even Parkinson’s disease. Extolling the virtues of this technique, Baluch claims he has successfully managed to reduce a patients’ blood pressure by the use of cupping in the short span on 15 minutes. And in the case  of Judy, a Parkinson’s patient living in Australia. “She was unable to walk,” he told us, and “in 15 days she was 70 percent cured”.

So are any of Pakistan’s glitterati cupping disciples? Baluch mentions designer Maheen Khan and actress  Zeba Bakhtiar as numbering among his clients. That’s when Nilofar chipped in to say that Zeba looked “fabulous” the last time they met and gave the credit to her cupping sessions. “That’s when I realized that cupping is all the rage,” said Nilofar. “I’m not sure I’d go for it but Zeba looked terrific and I wanted to make people aware of this alternative healing method.”

Another fairly young girl told me that she and her mother had both gotten cupping done, and that it had given her a lot of “positive energy and mental rejuvenation.”

Mr Altaf Ahmad Paracha, also had a story to tell: he had tripped while performing ablutions and had badly injured his foot, which not only caused him severe pain but also took away his ability to walk. He spent 45 days going to doctors across the city but nothing helped. He then decided to try cupping and went to his local mosque where they performed the practice free of charge. He told me that three incisions were made on his foot, a process called wet cupping. I asked him if the idea of someone cutting up his foot outside of a hospital setting scared him, but he laughed and said “it was sunnah, a practice endorsed by the Prophet. There was no reason to be scared”. In ten minutes he was completely healed and managed to walk back to his car.

The small audience actively participated in the question and answer session that followed Baluch’s informative presentation.

Can it cure cancer?” someone asked.

It’s all about the mindset. You have to have faith”, Baluch replied.

“Can it get rid of stress?” a lady asked.

“That’s something very mamuli,” he replied, laughing.

“What about obesity?” another girl asked. Baluch replied saying that he had helped a man reduce two belt sizes in a span of just one week.

“Of course he was given a diet plan in addition to a cupping session,” Baluch told us, after seeing our shocked expressions.

Interestingly enough, cupping isn’t just a practice that is endorsed in this part of the world — Western celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson have all tried it.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Rahat Rutaba
    Apr 15, 2011 - 10:32AM

    Mr. Usman Baluch:

    An article on Cupping looks quite interesting as I have never heard about this therapy.

    Hope this therapy wont have any side effects after a period of time.

    I would appreciate, if you kindly inform your next lecture on Cupping Healing because I was not aware of y our current session.

    Many thanks.Recommend

  • Shehzad
    Apr 15, 2011 - 3:32PM

    I would appreciate, if you kindly inform date, time and place of your next lecture on Cupping Healing. Recommend

  • Ajmal
    Apr 15, 2011 - 5:01PM

    Cupping is a old Chinese form of healing. It came into Arabia thousands of years ago from China. It was later modified to something called Wet Cupping.
    For more details…

  • Reader
    Apr 15, 2011 - 6:40PM

    ummmm cupping did not develop in arabia. it started in the far east. china to be exact. and its painful. i love how the reviewer left that part out. also badly written. thanks.Recommend

  • Apr 15, 2011 - 7:20PM

    i am usman baloch , if you have any question regarding cupping and honey therapy , please feel free to ask or email .
    if you want to discuss any disease please email
    [email protected]
    thank you very much
    thank you very much maira , and i am realy sory for not been able to speek to you , and would like to talk to you if you can call me any time between 8 am till 8 pm any day thank you very muchRecommend

  • Apr 16, 2011 - 2:12AM

    I don’t see what benefits does the origin of cupping yields. Moreover , to blow the bubble – Arabs did not get the idea of cupping from China but rather the Greeks who also used the sort of cupping to heal patients. The Arabs had no connection with China until the later centuries when the Islamic Expansion began. Recommend

  • kamran baloch
    Apr 17, 2011 - 12:21PM

    cupping therepy is as old as human history. our prophet(pbuh) recommended it therefore before u comment it read the issue study it in the light of quran and then commentRecommend

  • Jhilmil
    Apr 20, 2011 - 12:02AM

    Very very interesting! Keep up the wonderful work!!Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2011 - 10:12AM


    Al-Hijamah (Cupping therapy) is approx more than 3000 years old treatment therapy, which our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has recommended. It has cure within it for more than 70 diseases. It is sub group of Acupuncture treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    The diseases which are very common now a days can be miraculously treated through this method of treatment. More over getting treated by this method also gives Muslim an added advantage of performing Sunnah as our Prophet (PBUH) used to get it done.

    Many thanks to Mr. Usman Baloch who is striving hard to promote this Sunnah as treatment in Pakistan. May Allah Bless him.Recommend

  • imran
    May 1, 2011 - 9:50AM

    Aslamo ele kum to Everybody,
    Yes, it has been introduced to many cultures, in egypt, greek, china , but in arabs this way of treatment get higher performance which revealed some basic ( SUNNAh Points ) . as a last messenger it has been corrected and practiced by prophit Muhammed peace be upon him. The basic concept is it is performed on the skin which is sucking blood from the capillaries , and these capillaries are connected to vain and these vains are connected to artries, the fresh flow of blood and good diet can cure any disease except death. modern days lot of physic disease like , pica, autism, bad dreaming, hullcination, parkinson, alzaimer etc, and lot of phobia can be cured with true hijjama practioner , who knows the sunnah points and practical application. i know people who has been cured from brian tummer disease by using sunnah medication… ( roqiyyah , hijamma, honey , black seed and olive oil treatment with true belief to Allah, that he is the only one ShAFFI)

    Any how Mr. usman bloch is doing very good job to promote the Sunnah work. even though his fee is high. Recommend

  • Mehboob Yasin
    May 23, 2011 - 1:52PM

    It was a pleasure to read comments from people quoting facts from history corroborated by results speaking for themselves even today. May Allah Subhanuhu help Usman revive the practice and teach the technique to others.

    Imran, I don’t know how high Usman’s fees are but surely he must be a lot cheaper than western medication / consultation?Recommend

  • Jun 4, 2011 - 10:38PM

    this is to inform all , that MR.usman baloch and his team is in karachi from 1st june 2011 till 25 june 2011 inshallah for treatment and consultations ,
    if you have any questions or any illness and want to discuss or want treatment please contact
    at [email protected] or call at 03009438650
    thank you very muchRecommend

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