Performing cupping while fasting

Performing cupping while fasting
SAFE: Cupping won't invalidate a person's fast because it is merely extracting impure blood via puncturing skin cells. -File Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: A friend of this writer asked: Can we go for cupping while fasting? Will it invalidate the fast?

The writer herself was initially unsure. Her main concern on the traditional treatment method was that the blood loss would affect her fast.

Better while fasting

These questions were the normal concerns of first timers who were unaware of the benefits of the treatment, said Suhaimi Abdul Karim, the owner of the Saujana Utama Bekam Sunnah Therapy Centre in Sungai Buloh.

The usual query is whether or not the treatment will invalidate the fast.

"Cupping will not invalidate the fast because it does not involve the insertion of anything into our bodies. It is merely extracting impure blood through (puncturing) the skin cells," he explained.

He said the ruling was similar to tooth extraction, blood donation or getting an injection for medical needs.

In fact, he said, cupping during the fasting month had a better effect on the health compared with other months, as it could better remove toxins from the blood.

This is because the empty stomach after an early pre-dawn meal (sahur) is in a more relaxed state, facilitating blood circulation and the removal of accumulated toxins in dead blood cells.
"When we are not fasting, we would usually be consuming a variety of food, stressing our internal organs and making it difficult for our bodies to detoxify completely.

"Thus when we perform cupping in a fasting state, we would be able to remove toxins in the blood more effectively," he said in an interview with Bernama.


'Morning is best'

Suhaimi said the best time to perform cupping in a fasting state is in the morning, between 7am and 11am. It is not recommended for the treatment to be performed after noon to prevent risks such as fainting.

"After noontime, the sugar level in our blood would decrease. The amount of blood lost during treatment may induce the risk of weakness or fainting.

"However, the risk of fainting after cupping is lower than after donating blood. That is why for those fasting, blood donation is done at night," he said.

However, he said, there were those who still insisted on going for the treatment in the afternoon. This is because according to Ibnu Sina, the influential Persian in the history of medicine, the best time to perform cupping is around 3pm, because the typically hot temperature at the time will facilitate the expansion of blood vessels and allow for easier blood removal, compared to its state in the morning.

However, to prevent the possible risk of fainting, Suhaimi would reduce the number of needle at every cupping point to between 10 and 15, from the usual 30.

More effective

One of those who had undergone cupping while fasting is 64-year-old Osman Sulaiman, who has been suffering from swollen feet and general fatigue.

He too, was initially worried that cupping would invalidate his fast.

"After finding out the ruling on the issue, I felt more at ease and went for it", he said to Bernama.

He has been going for treatments every three months since last year. This was after finding out from a friend on the benefits, which included prevention against chronic illnesses.

"My body felt revitalised after the first treatment. In the fasting month I would do it in the morning, around 10am.

"Praise to Allah, the swelling in my feet have been getting better, making it easier for me to perform acts of worship during Ramadan," he said.

'Treatment for multiple illnesses '

Suhaimi said after 80 to 120 days, the red blood cells in the body would die and be filtered out by the body. However, not all of them would be removed.

Due to the viscous nature of the cells, the dead blood cells would eventually fill up the capillaries around vital organs and under the skin.

It would then be transported via blood circulation to all parts of the body, from the head to the toes, sticking to one another and with uric acid, urea and toxins.

When the capillaries become blocked, it would compromise the functions of the spleen, kidneys and liver, causing chronic diseases.

Early symptoms of improper toxin removal from the blood are fatigue, numbness, headaches and sleepiness, he said.

He said more Malaysians were becoming receptive to the benefits of cupping, a practice dating back to thousands of years ago. – By Kurniawati Kamarudin