BEKAM : Closer look
Bekam might be a popular alternative medical treatment across the country but many people still know little about it. Below are some facts about the treatment from a number of sources:
What does bekam mean?
Bekam is a Malay word that means “cupping” when translated literally into English. It is also referred to as “Al Hijama” in Arabic cultures. The “cupping” term refers to the process of attaching cups onto the skin at points requiring treatment, using the “suction effect”. This is induced by a vacuum pump or by burning alcohol or eucalyptus oil.
What are the history and origins of bekam?
The origins of bekam date back to China about 2,000 years ago. Historically, treatment has evolved from early acupuncture practices based on the vital pressure points of the Human Anatomy.
Bekam is widely believed throughout the Islamic cultures of Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia to be part of the “Prophetic Medicine” — part of the holistic medical treatments advocated by the Prophet Muhammad for both preventive and rehabilitative purposes. Bekam is often popular as “Sehat Alami dan Islami” (naturally healthy and Islamic).
How different is bekam from acupuncture and other forms of physiotherapy?
Bekam differs from acupuncture in its “cupping” process, although it follows the same pressure pattern on the vital energy points of the human anatomy.
Wet cupping specialists regard it as better than acupuncture, as it helps draw out the “bad” or “damaged” blood cells and hence clears the body of toxins.
Bekam is considered very different from physiotherapy as the procedures focus on chi or energy flow and reenergized blood circulation, whereas physiotherapy focuses on muscle and tissue repair and the flexibility of joint movement.
Is bekam suitable for anyone who wants to try alternative medical treatments or therapy for general well-being, the Islamic and holistic way?
Clinically, bekam has been proven not suitable for those diagnosed with malnutrition, severe anemia, Hb < 9.5, edema in almost all parts of the body, a fever of 38 degrees Celsius and above, blood coagulation anomalies and senility.
It is also not recommended for children under five years, pregnant women, psychotic patients, epileptics, patients in critical health conditions, patients with contagious diseases such as HIV or leprosy and those with severe skin problems.
What specific diseases can bekam help cure?
Private interviews with doctors and patients reveal that bekam can “aid”, in a natural sense, thyroid problems, early stages of cancer (such as lymphoma, leukemia), gall bladder problems, gastritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, impotence, premature ejaculation, arthritis, gout, malaria, asthma, bronchitis, fatty liver and several types of allergies.
However, there is very little information available on bekam in published medical research journals, although there are plenty of websites on the topic.
– Vennilla Rajaguru
Written by Abu Hana El-Firdan
February 13, 2009 at 06:01
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