Warning: An alternative therapy in UAE homes is on the radar

The Ministry of Health has cautioned against cupping treatment and buying herbal medicines at home

15:54 March 6, 2018
Cupping practices

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP) has urged residents not to opt for cupping therapy in their homes or purchasing herbs from ‘therapists’.

Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the MoHP, warned that people who visit resident’s homes to carry out cupping therapy are not licensed, and advised that any such types of therapy should always be carried out at authorised medical centres and directly supervised by a medical team.

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At times, therapists who visit people’s homes also take the opportunity to sell herbs and food items while claiming that the items hold medicinal properties.

Cupping therapy approved as alternative medicine in the UAE since 2016.

Dr Al Amiri stressed that residents should obtain information from health authorities and licenced health practitioners in order to avoid spreading rumours and confusion.

Since the end of 2017, the ministry has approved 53 doctors, nurses and health practitioners to carry out cupping treatment in the UAE. 

"Cupping therapy enhances the treatment of simple diseases. It does not treat diseases like cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, blood lymph cells or other viral diseases but supports the traditional treatment techniques through modern medicine,” said Dr Al Amiri.

When is cupping therapy a risk?

The ministry of health explained that cupping treatment should not be used in certain cases, such as when a patient has anaemia, high fever or was a recent blood donor.   

Dr Al Amiri also warned of the possible transmission of diseases through contaminated blood if the tools are not sterilised.