When I was young, my late grandma (may God bless her soul – miss you Nini) used to rub hot ointment on me every time I had headache. (Don’t know why I have headache at that age, maybe puberty?). Carefully and gently with her shaking, skinny fingers, she would rub around my head while reciting verses from the Holy-Quran (which later I found out later was the Al-Fatihah, the first verse of the holy Quran and the Selawat or praises to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).
That was very calming and soothing. I grew up liking the scents of hot oil, like Minyak Zarafah, Minyak Kapak or Minyak Kayu Putih. Now that I have grown up (like, a lot) I came to know that all these ointments have one basic ingredient, the eucalyptus oil. Read more here on this miracle oil.
Which lead me to my topic on traditional healing. Traditional healing have been around for thousand of years. The Chinese claimed that they have their acupuncture for more two thousand years now, that’s like 0 B.C. Check it here.
The Hindus said their Ayurveda (meaning knowledge of life), was originally a Hindu medical system and had its beginnings more than two and half thousand years ago! Ayurveda soon developed outside of the strictly Hindu community and was taken up and adapted by Buddhists and other religious groups. It has survived until the present day and is in fact undergoing a renaissance both in India and throughout the western world, which sees it as a necessary compliment to the clinical model. More here.
So what do Muslims have? Of course we have ours. We have the good old bekam or cupping. Bekam is a treatment in which a cup is attached to the skin surface, usually on the back, and the air within the cup is evacuated to suck the skin in and increase local blood flow. The practice has numerous variations including burning alcohol or another substance (eucalyptus oil can be used) within the cup to create the vacuum and increase the heat.
I had mine done a couple of months ago. It’s a bit difficult to get a good one here in Brunei. So far I found out at least two places, in Batu Besurat and busy-Kiulap as the best so far. The former is operated by a husband and wife team and the latter by an older woman.
My experience with both, it hurt when the practitioner made small cuts on my back on the specified area to be cupped. After some painful minutes, the suction cups were removed as some thick blood clots oozed from the cuts. I usually have a good look at the clots. Yes, such clots gave you pain like headache and muscular pain.
I don’t mind feeling the pain from the cuts as I feel refresh and have that pink glow on my skin for days. I think its time to have another one soon. I will show pics here next. (Not pics of me of course, adele). Also, just for info, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) advised his umah to do the bekam as he also did it. 72 types of disease may be healed through it, God willing.
Read here from the State Mufti’s Office on berbekam.