A Muslim young lady in Hyderabad who takes challenges and overcomes all obstacles in her path, starting the process of delivering the greatest ‘hijama or cupping therapy’ at a doorstep requires commitment, fervour, and loads of courage. She is Fatima Khader, a lady torch-bearer for young talent. Continue reading our exclusive interview with a modern-day brilliant crusader.

This is the story of a Hyderabad-based talented lady envisaged the new trend of Hijama or Cupping therapy service at  the doorstep of a needy. The lady entrepreneur is an engineering student in Hyderabad and committed to serve the nation by providing the healthy medical assistance at all times to women.

How frequently do women encounter obstacles when trying to receive a certain treatment? This specific query inspired Fatima Khadar, a student entrepreneur from the city, to create the Cupping website application that brings cupping therapy services to your door.

Fatima is a third-year student at Lords Institute of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad studying computer science. She also has an Arabic language diploma from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University.

Speaking to #KhabarLive, Fatima said, “I came with the initiative to provide cupping therapy to people at their doorstep at an affordable price and in the comfort of their homes,” while adding that it is an alternative medicine to Allopathy.

Asked if the service is exclusively for women, she said, “No, I am trying to make cupping accessible for everyone irrespective of their gender or faith.”

The student entrepreneur went on to say that she noticed certain irregularities in the health centres providing therapy in Hyderabad.

Sharing her experience at one such centre, Fatima said, “I noticed that not all steps, such as checking the patient’s Body Mass Index (BMI), among others were followed before the cupping procedure.”

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine. The therapy, which has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine and the unani system, involves placing small cups, often heated, on the body part that needs healing.

A partial vacuum is created inside the cups and when these are lifted after a few minutes, it sucks out disease-causing fluids and energy (qi), resulting in localized healing.

Cupping is a form of alternative medicine wherein suction is created on the skin with the application of heated cups. Practitioners attempt to use cupping therapy for a wide array of medical conditions including fevers, chronic 
rehabilitation, and nasal congestion.

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The therapy’s origins are associated with Egypt and China. It is to be noted that cupping fell out of fashion during the 17 and 18 centuries. However, it is one of the most sort-after therapies.

She went on to add that in the Middle East, cupping is a common phenomenon that was used to help people get rid of spirits. “In olden times people with such issues were taken to medicinal experts, who performed cupping therapy with the Ruqqaya (Duas) recited in the background.”

Speaking of the initiative Fatima said, “I wanted to break the myth that cupping is specific to the Muslim community,” adding that she wants people to realise the benefits of the therapy.

Addressing the challenges in approaching non-Muslims regarding the concept, the entrepreneur said, “At first it was a bit challenging to explain the concept to them, but then I showed them pictures of American swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps who opted for cupping.”

There’s no scientific proof on the efficacy of cupping but that hardly gets in the way of its popularity.

Cupping therapists claim it’s an effective pain reliever and also improves overall wellbeing and energy levels.

And now therapists recommend it for anti-ageing. Facial cupping is said to be a natural face lift, resulting in greater blood flow to the face, reduced puffiness and tightened skin.

The suction effect of the cups also helps in decreasing cellulite. Cosmetic cupping services are available in India.

Addressing some of the challenges she faced in the initial days, Fatima said, “I was looking to connect with experienced doctors, who wished to work for a cause.” Initially, she interviewed 70 doctors out of which only two were onboarded.

The company began operations on January 22, 2021, and currently has 10 specialised doctors who take up cases in their localities.

Throwing light on quality assurance, the entrepreneur said, “Initially I used to accompany doctors to make sure the procedure was followed correctly. I have now built a team of medical experts who track cases to ensure the correct procedure is followed.”

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Despite its popularity, cupping remains controversial. In June, a Chinese man in Chengdu suffering from frozen shoulder had to be hospitalized after a faulty cupping session at a massage parlour.

The therapist did the procedure too many times and on the same locations, severely infecting those areas.

When we asked about any challenges faced by women during ‘cupping therapy’ procedure? “As I have mentioned above, privacy has been one of the major reasons that women are afraid to try cupping therapy,  housemakers of our country always prefer to get it done at their home for which this model of providing services at the doorstep works.” She admits.

On a strong reply to #Khabarlive question, being a Muslim lady do you face challenges in your work? “As a  woman yes I did face challenges but because I am a Muslim. Precisely, on professional front I haven’t faced such disparities yet. Maybe because I have been incubated at EdVenture park and that space is community friendly so I  have not been into that situation.” She added with confidence.

When we asked about the goals you set for your entrepreneurship, she strongly felt that “eradicating all the shortcomings of the current conventional method and then expanding the services from Hyderabad to all over India and then all over the world.” She added.

In a reply to our question – what your organization work for, she described “we work to help patients to cure diseases/complaints  and bring a change in their lifestyles through cupping therapy.”

With regards to the success rate of the therapy, Fatima explained, “honestly, it can only cure 70 percent of the disease and the patient must take necessary precautions along with proper diet to keep the ailment in check.”

Fatima also shed light on the process of her startup and how one can avail of its services. “When a person visits the website, there are a set of questions which need to be answered following which a telephonic interview is set up with the doctor based on the patient’s history the doctor decides whether the person is fit for cupping or not,” she said.

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When #KhabarLive asked what made to discover the Cupping therapy doorstep initiative? She answered with a smile, “I have been familiar with cupping therapy since my childhood as I was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia. Now, that I am here in India, I realize there are a lot of shortcomings in the conventional that is provided at the clinic  some of them are:

  • Privacy  has also been one of the contributing factors
  • Driving back home after the cupping therapy might lead to dizziness leading to accidents, and leaving behind deeper scars on the body 
  • Once the patient enters the clinic eventually the staff performs cupping therapy without prior diagnosis and a checkup leading not to achieving desired results and sometimes also getting the patient into danger.
  • And most importantly people running this business across Hyderabad  are just therapists and not doctors and lack an understanding of the patient’s condition.”

She explained about the types of therapies are mentioned as:

  • Dry cupping: Cups that have been heated or have an attached pump are placed on the affected part. Vacuum created by heat or manually by the pump, lifts the skin, expands blood vessels and creates a bright red mark.
  • Wet cupping: Suction created like dry cupping but after 3 min cup is removed to reveal swollen, red patch of skin. Small incisions are made on this patch to draw out ‘diseased’ blood.
  • Massage cupping: Skin is oiled and the cups are then moved over the skin in a gliding motion. This removes knots and provides relief from inflammation.

Before beginning the procedure, the number of sessions is discussed with the patient once it has been determined that they are a candidate for cupping therapy, she continued.

Lastly but not the least, we requested to give a message to budding Hyderabadi talent, she continued with a broad smile as she felt about her ‘just startup’ and answered, “explore different areas in life during your teens and early 20’s it allows you to have a clear picture as to which field to be chosen and never give up easily.” #KhabarLive #hyderabadlive #hydnews

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.