If you fancy an alternative healing method ...

  • Have pump, will travel: Siraj Grant with the cup and pump machine which he uses for his cupping treatment. Siraj does not have a clinic, so right now he has a mobile service ( Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Have pump, will travel: Siraj Grant with the cup and pump machine which he uses for his cupping treatment. Siraj does not have a clinic, so right now he has a mobile service ( Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Siraj Grant ( Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Siraj Grant ( Photograph by Akil Simmons)

While studying law in England, Siraj Grant developed a minor infection. His back hurt and his lymph nodes were swollen.

After seeing his doctor, he turned to an alternative therapy called cupping to detox his body.

“I kept hearing a lot about it and reading about it on Instagram,” the 22-year-old said.

And he had been interested when swimmer Michael Phelps used it at the 2016 Olympics in Rio to help with muscle soreness.

“I’d always wanted to try it, but hadn’t made the time for it,” he said.

Cupping is an alternative healing method where cups usually made of glass or bamboo, are placed on the skin. Heat or a pump is applied to the cups to create suction on the skin.

Proponents of cupping claim the suction and negative pressure can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and calm the nervous system, helping with everything from stiff muscles to anxiety, fatigue and even cellulite. Dry cupping involves only the suction.

“The suction in dry cupping draws all the blood to the surface,” Mr Grant said. “But the blood mainly comes from the capillaries, not the veins. It does cause some bruising, but that is mainly superficial. It doesn’t really hurt. It is just like a suction mark. That is basically what creates the immune response in the body.”

With wet cupping, scratches are created around the cups to create a tiny amount of bleeding to release toxins from the body.

Living in Birmingham, friends told him about a clinic in the area that did the treatment.

“I was a little scared the first time I tried it,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

But his cupping therapist explained the procedure as he went along.

“They started off with dry cupping and then went onto the wet cupping,” he said. “What surprised me was how painless it was.”

He said the scratches “tickle” at the most.

He felt much calmer after the treatment and noticed a gradual reduction in the discomfort caused by his swollen lymph nodes.

He was so impressed, he wanted to try cupping to help other people.

A friend told him about a place in London, The Suuk, that would train him.

“I said I might as well,” he said. “If I wanted cupping done then I am sure other people wanted it done.”

He did a three-day intensive course, doing theoretical assessments and a practical.

“We had two assessments and then we were graded,” he said. “In the end we were given a certificate.”

He has since used the technique to help friends and family with their ailments.

In 2018 he returned to Bermuda.

“I am taking a break from law school, at the moment,” he said. “I’m not sure if I am done with it. I might take a different career path.” In the meantime, he has formed his own business Cupping Therapy Bermuda.

This summer he took part in an eight-week student entrepreneurship programme with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation to help him build up his business.

“My uncle, Neville Grant, recommended that I get involved with the BEDC,” Mr Grant said.

At first, Mr Grant wasn’t sure if he wanted to do that.

“I thought I might want to keep it to myself,” he said. “But then this year I thought that might be a good idea. I thought I might as well. My uncle sent me a link and I applied to the BEDC.”

The student entrepreneurship programme began in July and was designed to develop the next way of local entrepreneurs. It started in July and gave participants, ages 16 to 23, the opportunity to learn practical business skills such as, earning revenue, creating a business plan, conducting SWOT analysis and more.

The programme encouraged Mr Grant to think differently about business, particularly when it came to investing.

“A lot of the time we spend money, but we are not really thinking about long-term investing,” he said.

He has had a couple of clients, so far.

“I had this one client who had problems with his knees and mobility,” Mr Grant said. “He had been to get stem cell treatment for his knees. Basically, his knees were worn down.”

Mr Grant did dry cupping with him.

“He noticed a big difference,” Mr Grant said. “I had another client who had a lot of pain in his shoulder. After the treatment, he said it didn’t feel it right away, but felt it in the next two to three days. There was a lot more mobility and not as much pain.”

But he cautioned that cupping is meant to complement traditional medicine not replace it.

“I always say that you should see a doctor first,” he said.

Mr Grant does not yet have an office, but goes to a client’s home to help them.

“In the future I would probably open a clinic or studio,” he said. “But at the moment I am just doing mobile cupping. I have a table so the people can get comfortable, gloves, all of the safety equipment, disinfectant. We have this spray that we use, that is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is a pre-op spray.”

What he likes most about doing the cupping is helping people.

“That is the main thing and seeing the different reactions that people have,” he said. “I like to see the relief that they find. It is relaxing for me and the client.”

He charges $100 for a dry cupping session and $150 for a wet cupping session.

“We take infection control measures,” he said. “You basically do a risk assessment and then we go from there.”

Eventually, he’d like to expand on the alternative treatments he offers.

“I have been interested in homeopathy and alternative medicine since I was 14 when I started to read about it,” Mr Grant said.

“You look at some of the prescription drugs and the compounds they contain. I was thinking there has to be some kind of natural alternative.”

For more information see him on Instagram @hrtb441 or hrtb441@gmail.com

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Published Aug 27, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 27, 2020 at 7:50 am)

If you fancy an alternative healing method ...

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