From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Cupping is an ancient way of removing toxins and tissue meridians from veins and body. It is also a type of deep-tissue massage. It stimulates the central nervous system to improve the natural healing capabilities of the human body.
The therapy has been around for ages. It dates back to hundreds of years before Christ. It was there in Ancient Egypt; it was there in Old China and it was there in the Middle East. Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical documents ever known to man, indicated that the therapy has been in use for as far back as 1,550 B.C.
In Northern Nigeria, cupping has been a secret therapy that has fought different diseases to a stand still. Samari who studied trado-medicine in Nigeria and in Cairo, Egypt, said: “Cupping can be used to manage any kind of ailment – cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular issue (high blood pressure, low blood pressure) kidney, and lungs.
“It is all about sedating the body to remove toxins. The cups can be placed on any part of the body where the muscle can be found – back, stomach, chest, legs or the head. What this means is that, wherever there is inflammation or ailment, it is believed that there is a blockage of the energy flow.
“The moment you do the cupping, it would return flow of energy. It should be done in the morning before the sunrise and on an empty stomach.
“In those days, animal horns and bamboo trees were used for the therapy, but in order to conserve the animals, horns are no longer in vogue. In modern times, glasses and plastic cups are used for this special medicine.
“There are two types of cupping – wet and dry. But I will like to talk more about the wet type. The wet cupping is also called surgery. You need the cup and the blade and should be done by an experienced therapist.
“We believe that all the internal organs can be traced through the back. The cup must be placed for at least 20 minutes at the first section that is if you are going for wet cupping. You will first massage the back with essential oil- coconut oil, olive oil or black seed oil.
“These social cups must be placed on the urinary bladder and the kidney meridians. You can lace up to 20 cups at the back. Then, you will examine where the cups have indicated a black spot. There, you do the minor cut after which you replace the bottle for another 20 minutes to suck the blood.
“To Muslims, cupping is done on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. We don’t do it on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It must be done either on the 17th, 19th and 21st of Hijra calendar. However, in case of an emergency, it can be performed at any time of the month.
“The financial implication depends on the doctor’s infrastructure. It is just like the conventional medicine. For example, if you are going for one section, it ranges between N5,000 to N15,000 but some could charge as much as N20,000 for three sessions.
“In some months, you will realise that you could only perform the therapy once, depending on the date and day as explained earlier. But, as human, we can only treat while God in His mercies heals.”
Muhammed Lawal Maikudi, a senior citizen, prefers cupping to drug administration. He held that cupping has been a wonderful experience for him: “The tissues and muscles in the body become stiff due to one reason or the other. So, when you do cupping, it will help you to open the blockages to allow a free flow of blood and air in your system. It is very good therapy.
“If you go to the hospital, they will give you drugs and I believe that drugs have side effects, no matter how good they are. But cupping only has that little pain and the moment you are done, it stops and you are good to go.”
Just like him, many older persons in Kaduna State prefer cupping to drug treatment. But while the oldies recognised this old resourceful secret, the youth seemed to walk in opposite direction, possessing little or no knowledge of this amazing medical wonder.
Ask them about cupping or how it is applied to the human body, they would most likely go blank. But this alternative mode of cure and healing is simple, friendly, easy to apply and is beckoning for renewed attention from government and the people, else it would soon disappear.