The Need to Develop a Regulatory Body for the Practice of Al-Hijama

J Law Med. 2016;24(1):35-40.


Al-Hijama is a traditional therapy which has been extensively used in the Middle East. It has an Islamic basis but is used in many cultures in the form of wet cupping. There has been a significant growth in its availability in most Western countries during the last decade. In none is it subject to statutory regulation and the training and quality of practitioners is variable. It has both a preventive and therapeutic element and so there are appropriate concerns about the potential for incorrect diagnoses and delays in other effective treatments. In the past, the apprenticeship model in which a trainee worked for some years with an experienced ijazah ensured such problems did not arise. However, there is now an urgent need to recognise the widespread practice of this therapy and ensure that it has the benefits of statutory regulation, be this through specific regulatory bodies or a negative licensing model.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Bloodletting*
  • Complementary Therapies / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Unani*
  • United Kingdom