He is an alternative medicine practitioner well known in North Eastern Nigeria for the potency of his treatment and prescriptions.Now he is advocating acupuncture for serious and less serious health situations among Nigerians. Dr Kaka Kyari Abba ,the CEO of Dagira Alternative Medical Care Limited speaks on healing kidney and other health situations with acupuncture ,cupping and others alternative procedure .Excerpts.
Can you give you a little peep into your background?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: I was born on 11th January 1975, graduated in BSc Botany from University of Maiduguri in 2002, did my final year project in ‘Medicinal Plants’ which pave the way for the development of interest in natural medicine. I made various research especially on locally available plants and started offering a part time herbal treatments in the year 2001 privately at home. In 2015 July I secured an office and started a full time herbal practice.
In other to diversify the business, I developed interest in acupuncture and got admission at the prestigious Open International University of Alternative medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka, where I received training in Acupuncture between 2017 and 2018. I also received six months certification training in Unani Medicine with Hakeem Ajmal Khan Memorial Foundation in Delhi India. During the past 3 years of my clinical practice of Acupuncture, Unani and herbal medicine, I attended various workshops on acupuncture and cupping therapies.
I achieved excellent curative results in the treatment of conditions like spondylosis, backaches, arthritis, asthma, skin diseases, gynae disorders, eye diseases including optic nerve atrophy, glaucoma and retinal degeneration, cigarette de-addiction, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, facial paralysis, stroke, diabetes, etc. I attended to and treated over 4000 patients in the past years.
I am basically a socio-medical worker. On the basis of whatever knowledge and experiences I have gathered till date – as a social worker and acupuncture physician, trainer and researcher – I want to share them with the broad masses of people and sow among them the ideals of selfless service to the people and natural way of living. With this aim in mind I have been working for establishing the approach of integrative medicine putting emphasis on the use of traditional Chinese medicine, unani and Herbal medicines for the benefit of the common people of Nigeria, specially the deprived & under privileged.
I am the founder and Physician in-Chief, Dagira Alternative Medical Care Ltd, I also serve as National vice president research and development of Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine NCPNM.
What exactly is Acupuncture?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involved pricking certain points of the body with fine needles to enhance the body’s self healing capacity.
Basically advance practioners define acupuncture as ‘a resonance modulation treatment system that transforms life forces (qi) moving along body surfaces (channels), by touch, prick, warming, cupping, pinching & photo stimulation.
Acupuncture is a philosophy, practising acupuncture is an art, it is a unique means of treating diseases in Chinese medicine. Its core philosophy is “inside disease and external treatment.” That is to say, through the conduction of meridians, acupoints, and the application of certain methods of operation to treat systemic diseases.
How does Acupuncture works?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Acupuncture is truly a treatment modality where modern science meets ancient art! Acupuncture works by stimulation of specific points (acu-points) on the body, which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve a healing effect.
Ancient Chinese medical philosophy believes that disease is a result of an imbalance of energy (qi) in the body. Acupuncture is believed to balance this energy, and thereby assist the body in healing disease. In Western terms, acupuncture can assist the body’s efforts to heal itself by causing certain physiological changes.
Acupuncture works by stimulating nerve endings that are below an acupuncture point. This results in the release of messengers such as endogenous opioids, endorphins and serotonin that cause analgesia (pain relief) via the nervous system. In addition to the release of cortisol – the body’s natural steroid hormone that aids in reducing inflammation.
You are running an acupuncture clinic in Maiduguri.Tell us what kind of conditions can be treated with Acupuncture?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Every disease can be either prevented or treated through acupuncture. It is an affordable and accessible medical practice. It also has no side effects. The use of this method is increasing rapidly in the world over.
It has been demonstrated by the World Health Organization that acupuncture can treat more than 200 symptoms and diseases like: low back pain, headaches, nausea/vomiting, depression/anxiety, tendinitis, arthritis, headaches, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory disorders, skin problems, dysmmenorhea and digestive disorders.
Acupuncture has proven to be successful in reducing stress, muscle tension, chronic pain (including headaches) and helping normalize menstrual irregularities. If the symptom is a result of an energy blockage within the body, acupuncture can encourage the body’s natural healing response. Acupuncturist can treat more complicated issues like digestive disorders, infertility, menstrual irregularities, skin problems as well as pain and stress relief.
Acupuncture is a complete medical system that has been developed and refined over three thousand years. It treats the body and mind as one, not just symptoms. It involves inserting very fine needles into acu-points in the body to bring about physiological changes.Acupuncture triggers different healing mechanisms in the body to treat a wide variety of pain conditions and internal diseases.
- It stimulates the release of powerful pain-killing and anti-inflammatory substances from the brain.
- It changes the way your brain responds to pain, and can modify internal organ function to treat many complex diseases.
- It has many local effects; including the relaxing of tight muscles and increase of blood and oxygen circulation.
What is the level of awareness among the local community on the effectiveness of Acupuncture?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Their response is quite impressive, Acupuncture is waxing across Borno and Yobe states in geometrical progression on daily basis.This is partly connected to my famous weekly radio awareness program in our local language on Wednesdays and Hausa language on Thursdays where I offer lectures on the therapeutic values of certain fruits and vegetables and sometimes emphasis on acupuncture (medication without drugs) and partly to the thousands of patients who benefited from dividend of acupuncture treatment within the last 3yrs.
How many needles do you use, how long do you leave the needles in and how much do you manipulate the needles?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: It often produces remarkable results with just a few needles and usually brings about immediate improvements. We usually use 4-20 needles. The retention of needles is 30-45 minutes. We manipulate every 10 minutes for 2-3 minutes. We apply moxa and also stimulate the needles with micro electric stimulators. This process is repeated for few sessions.
How many treatments are usually necessary and what about the treatment frequency?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Most patients (90%) whom we treated showed improvements within initial 3 sessions, and many of them showed improvement at the first session. At the beginning of treatments, we treat patients 2-3 times per week, then reduce to once a week after they have major improvements.
Conditions like kidney disorder is on the rise. What is your experience with this condition and how well can you treat it?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: We have treated many kidney patients and had good results. Acupuncture lowers creatinine level more and more kidney disease patients tend to choose Acupuncture (Traditional Chinese Medicine) to lower creatinine levels. Acupuncture and Hijama (wet cupping) can eliminate thrombus, promote blood circulation and increase the blood flow to kidneys, so it can help improve the hypoxic-ischemic state in kidneys greatly, thus relieving renal damage, providing essential nutrients and repairing damaged kidney inherent cells.-Kidney Disease patients usually experience fatigue and poor appetite because of the accumulation of wastes and toxins in the blood. However, acupuncture can help relieve these symptoms. Acupuncture can lower creatinine level to a certain degree. When we use acupuncture points to treat kidney disease, the acupuncture points used mainly include are Dazhui (GV 14), lienal Yu,Zhangmen (Liv 13), shenshu, Qihai (CV6), Zusanli, Taixi (K 3), etc.
What is cupping and how does it work ?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Cupping therapy is taught both in acupuncture and Unani medicine, in Traditional Chinese practice cupping is of three types.
Cupping (hijama) is of three types:
1- Dry cupping – This is the process of using a vacuum on different areas of the body in order to gather the blood in that area without incisions (small, light scratches using a sterile surgical blade or).
2- Dry massage cupping – This is similar to dry cupping but olive oil is applied to the skin (before applying the cups) in order to allow easy movement of the cups.
3- Wet cupping (hijama) – This is the process of using a vacuum at different points on the body but with small incisions in order to remove ‘harmful’ blood which lies just beneath the surface of the skin. (It is recommended that wet cupping (hijama) is only administered by a cupping therapist).
Only the third type of cupping is practiced in Unani and is considerd as SUNNA. The Messenger r said, “Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping (hijama)…” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5371)]
Today, cupping is a form of alternative therapy by which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. There is a saying in Chinese medicine: ‘Where there is a flow there is health, and where there is stagnation there is disease.’ The feeling of wellbeing, the looseness of the body and higher levels of energy makes it a favoured healing method to treat and prevent diseases.
In some cases is a very useful tool for internal conditions such as headaches, cough, asthma, stroke, facial paralysis, arthritis, stress, fibromyalgia and infertility.
What are the benefits of cupping?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Many benefits as follows :
- Draining excess fluid
- Releasing rigid soft tissues
- Delivering blood flow to
blocked muscles and skin
- Draining toxins and pathogens
- Lifting connective tissue
- Loosening adhesions
- Relief from short and long
- Promotion of lymphatic circulation
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Muscle and connective
tissues are stretched
- Benefit Arthritis, joint pain,
muscle pain and stiffness
- Releases stress
- Deep tissue relief
- Breaking up and expelling congestion
- Stimulation of qi and blood
movement systemically and
- Cleans the blood and lymph
- Helping to balance pH levels
- Nervous system sedation
- Directs blood to the skin
Where is cupping done ?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba: Usually applied on the cervical area (Neck), shoulders, middle and lower back. Various sized cups can also be placed on the acupuncture points such as the chest, the abdomen (very good for digestive problems), bowel movement, and buttocks (Sciatic pain), inner and outer thighs (cellulite or varicose veins).
The places selected are treated with additional acupuncture according to the severity of the problem. A sliding cupping massage is applied all over the back and abdomen using herbal oils and massage manipulation.
But you are in Maiduguri. How will people outside the area reach you ?
Dr Kaka Kyari Abba:We offer treatment all over Nigeria.We are regularly in Abuja. What we offer is validated the WHO and other international bodies.