Sonny Bill Williams tries traditional treatment after head knock.


Not for the first time, Sonny Bill Williams has resorted to hijama, an ancient Middle Eastern treatment to fix his rugby wounds.

Hijama has been around for millennia. It was recommended by the Prophet Muhammad.

Williams left the field just before halftime in the Blues Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night for a head injury assessment, and never returned.

“The doctors did a great job, I passed the test at halftime but they said because I still felt a bit foggy it was better for me to sit down,” said Williams.

Williams underwent hijama after the 2015 Rugby World Cup final and it is believed to help alleviate aches and pains.

The technique, which some describe as form of acupuncture, is done by lighting flammable liquid in a glass cup.

The flame burns away the oxygen in the cup, which creates a vacuum. Once the flame goes out, the vacuum creates suction which sticks the cup to the body.

Along with the drop in temperature, this sucks the skin away from the body and draws blood to the surface.

The red spots, which typically last for three or four days, are caused by ruptured capillaries beneath the skin.

Hijama shot to prominence in 2004, when actor Gwyneth Paltrow attended a film premier with the tell-tale circular marks on her skin.

At the Rio Olympics a number of the athletes used hijama.

US swimmer Michael Phelps’s skin showed the circular welts that are produced by the treatment, as did that of his his compatriot, the gymnast Alex Naddour.

Practitioners of Hijama, say it is “used to remove harmful blood and toxins from the body.’

“The toxic blood is taken out of circulation, by making small incisions on the skin and extracting it using a vacuum pump.”

An Auckland practitioner of Hijama Mohammad Almasri says, “Hijama therapy is part of prophetic medicine (Sunnah Medicine), and is capable of treating a wide range of diseases and physical issues.”


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