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Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 13, 2015   Issue 6,  Pages: 391–399

DOI: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60197-2
Research Article
Effects of wet-cupping on blood pressure in hypertensive patients: a randomized controlled trial
1. Nouran A. Aleyeidi (Public Health Administration, Ministry of Health, Jeddah 21333, Saudi Arabia )
2. Khaled S. Aseri (Community and Preventive Medicine Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah 21523, Saudi Arabia )
3. Shadia M. Matbouli (General Practice Department, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah 21411, Saudi Arabia )
4. Albaraa A. Sulaiamani (Aviation Medicine Department, Medical Services Directorate of Security Aviation Command, Jeddah 21333, Saudi Arabia )
5. Sumayyah A. Kobeisy (Paediatric Department, Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia )


BACKGROUND: Although cupping remains a popular treatment modality worldwide, its efficacy for most diseases, including hypertension, has not been scientifically evaluated.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the efficacy of wet-cupping for high blood pressure, and the incidence of the procedure’s side effects in the intervention group.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS: This is a randomized controlled trial conducted in the General Practice Department at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between May 2013 and February 2014. There were two groups (40 participants each): intervention group undergoing wet-cupping (hijama) in addition to conventional hypertension treatment, and a control group undergoing only conventional hypertension treatment. Three wet-cupping sessions were performed every other day.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured using a validated automatic sphygmomanometer. The follow-up period was 8 weeks.

RESULTS: Wet-cupping provided an immediate reduction of systolic blood pressure. After 4 weeks of follow-up, the mean systolic blood pressure in the intervention group was 8.4 mmHg less than in the control group (P = 0.046). After 8 weeks, there were no significant differences in blood pressures between the intervention and control groups. In this study, wet-cupping did not result in any serious side effects.

CONCLUSION: Wet-cupping therapy is effective for reducing systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients for up to 4 weeks, without serious side effects. Wet-cupping should be considered as a complementary hypertension treatment, and further studies are needed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01987583.

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Please cite this article as:
Aleyeidi NA, Aseri KS, Matbouli SM, Sulaiamani AA, Kobeisy SA. Effects of wet-cupping on blood pressure in hypertensive patients: a randomized controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2015; 13(6): 391–399.
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