Regimenal Therapy (‘Ilāj bi’l-Tadbīr)

Cupping (Ḥijāmat)

Ḥijāmat is literally derived from an Arabic word ‘ḥajm’ which stands for volume but technically used for “to suck”. It is a technique in which a cup is applied over the surface of the skin by creating a vacuum, and it is known as dry cupping (Ḥijāmat bilā Shar). Sometimes, scarification is done at the location of cupping to draw blood from the body part to relieve internal congestion, and this process is known as wet cupping (Ḥijāmat bi’l-Shar\).

The objectives of Cupping are as follows:

  • To eliminate/divert the morbid material

  • To enhance the blood supply and correct cold temperament or to rectify the temperament of a particular organ

  • To achieve the antispasmodic and detoxifying effect

  • To evacuate waste products through skin

Leeching (Ta‘līq)

Leeching (Ta‘līq) (Figure 20) is a method of elimination of morbid matter (Mawād Fāsida) from the body. In this procedure, Leeches are applied on the affected part to suck the blood from deeper tissues. During this process, the leeches also infuse their saliva into the blood, which is a complex mixture of different biologically and pharmacologically active substances. Recently, various studies have been conducted to validate these methods in various diseases, e.g. Arthritis, Hypertension, Skin disorders etc.

Venesection (Faṣd)

Venesection (Faṣd) is a method of absolute elimination (Istifrāgh Kullī), used to remove the excess of humours or to get rid of morbid matter (Mawād Fāsida) from the body. In this procedure, an incision is given to the superficial veins and blood is allowed to flow. The objectives of the procedure are as follows:

  • To remove excess of humours

  • To prevent toxicity and accumulation of waste material in blood

  • To excrete the waste material from various parts of the body

  • To stimulate metabolic processes

  • To correct the altered temperament

Diuresis (Idrār-i Bawl)

Diuresis (Idrār-i Bawl) is a process in which the formation and excretion of urine are increased for the management of bodily ailments. It is one of the important processes adopted for evacuation of morbid matter from the body through urine. Diuresis can be induced by adopting specific methods like exposure to cold, drinking of cold water and intake of plenty of fluids. It can also be induced with the help of certain drugs that have been mentioned in classical Unani literature under the heading of Diuretics (Mudirr-i Bawl). The objectives of Diuresis are as follows:

  • To excrete waste products and excess of humors through urine

  • To purify blood and evacuate morbid humors

  • To manage diseases of the heart, kidney, and liver

Concoctive and Purgative (Munḍij-o-Mushil) therapy

 

It is the main method of treatment for the chronic diseases in Unani System of Medicine. It is actually meant for evacuation or elimination (Istifrāgh) of morbid humours from the body. Morbid humours are mainly responsible for aggravating the disease process if they remain stagnant in the body. Abnormal humours are evacuated from the body by a method known as Istifrāgh. Sometimes the matter is too thick or too thin to be eliminated properly. Therefore, some drugs are used that change the consistency of the morbid humour and make it suitable for elimination. Such drugs are known as concoctives (Munḍijāt). For each humour, specific concoctive drugs are used to make the morbid humour able to be evacuated. For example, in phlegmatic diseases Lavandula stoechas (Us\ūkhūdūs) is used as a concoctive. Once the features of ‘Nuḍj’ are established in the respective humour, it is followed by purgation (Ishāl).

Purgation (Ishāl)

Purgation (Ishāl) is a method of elimination of waste and morbid matter from the body through rectum. During this process, the frequency of stool is increased by decreasing the absorption of water in the intestines, by increasing the peristaltic movement or both.

Emesis (Qay’)

Emesis (Qay’) is the evacuation of gastric contents through mouth. The main purpose of emesis is to eliminate toxic/morbid material from the upper gastro-intestinal tract. The objectives of emesis are as follows:

  • To manage gastro-intestinal diseases

  • To manage diseases like Headache, Migraine, Melancholia etc.

Diaphoresis (Ta‘rīq)

Diaphoresis (Ta‘rīq) is a process of induced sweating. It is instrumental in liquifying the sticky and adherent humors lodged in the peripheral tissues. The objectives of diaphoresis are as follows:

  • To excrete the waste matter from the skin

  • To reduce the excessive heat

  • To divert the morbid material from kidney to the skin

  • To purify blood

  • To improve dermal nutrition and enhance body texture

Cauterization (Kayy)

Cauterization (Kayy) is an effective method of treating several conditions e.g. destructive lesions, removal of putrefactive matter, stoppage of bleeding etc. Unani physicians have been using this method over the centuries. The instrument used for cauterization is called as cautery (Mikwā), preferably made up of gold.

Psychiatric treatment (‘Ilāj Nafsānī)

​​​​​​Psychiatric treatment (‘Ilāj Nafsānī): Unani System of Medicine has emphasized the importance of psychiatric and psychological factors including spiritual values in the management of various diseases. The therapy compliments conventional medicine by treating the whole person - mind, body and spirit. This therapy has been described under the heading of Psychiatric Treatment (‘Ilāj Nafsānī). The benefits of the therapy may be felt on physical and emotional level. Unani physicians have described the psychiatric treatment for various psychotic and psychosomatic disorders such as Anxiety neurosis. However, Unani System of Medicine uses drugs very effectively in Psychiatric Diseases. This is so because the Unani counterpart of Mind is Psychic Pneuma (Rūḥ Nafsānī) which is made up of subtle matter and possesses Temperament. Therefore, the psychiatric diseases are characterized by various pathological Temperaments and can be easily treated by drugs of opposite Temperament.

Turkish Bath (Ḥammām)

Ḥammām is derived from the word “Ḥamm”, which means “to bathe”. In fact, Ḥammām is a place used for bathing, consisting of several rooms with one room leading to the other with specific provisions and conditions customized according to the disease to be treated. The objectives of Turkish Bath are as follows:

  • To reduce viscosity of the humours

  • To improve health in the debilitated individuals

  • To increase innate heat of the body

  • To improve metabolism

  • To evacuate waste products through skin

  • To treat the paralysis and muscular wasting

  • To strengthen the body

  • To cure obesity

Massage (Dalk)

Massage (Dalk) is a manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissues using various techniques, to enhance body functions, the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. Various types of Dalk have been recommended in Unani System of Medicine for the management of various disorders e.g. Dalk Ṣulb, Dalk Layyin, Dalk Kathīr, Dalk Qalīl, Dalk Mu‘tadil, Dalk Khashin, Dalk Amlas etc. The objectives of Dalk are as follows:

  • To increase weight

  • To relieve psychosomatic disorders

  • To relieve a backache, headache, and muscular pain

Physical exercise (Riyāḍat)

Physical exercise (Riyāḍat) is any voluntary movement of the body or its part that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. It plays an important role not only in maintaining good health and prevention of diseases but also in curing certain ailments. The objectives of physical exercise are as follows:

To improve metabolism

  • To tone up the organs/systems

  • To maintain or improve flexibility, coordination, and balance of the musculoskeletal system

  • To strengthen the body as a whole

  • To relieve anxiety, insomnia, and depression

  • To remove waste products from the body

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