Health Traditions with Bruce Bentley, Cupping


Master Class in Traditional East-West  Cupping and Modern Cupping


Cupping has become one of the most sought after therapies because it achieves excellent results and is very enjoyable to receive.  For the practitioner it is time efficient, has many interesting methods and applications, allows the therapist to concentrate on more than one part of the body when the cups are stationary and

  • Takes the hard work away from practice
  • Saves your hands from strain, injury and fatigue
  • Feels great to receive and gets excellent results

Cupping is a specialised method of treatment that requires expert instruction, backed by the kind of deep interest and decades of research and practice that inspired us to present the first cupping workshops anywhere in the world.

In our two cupping workshops – our Master Class in Traditional East-West Cupping and in our Modern Cupping Workshops, you will discover a whole world of cupping. From the wonderful Russian cupping massage to the diverse ways the Chinese use cups to promote health and alleviate many forms of discomfort – these are only a part of what you will learn in our Traditional cupping workshops. In our new Remedial Cupping Workshop, we have developed superb treatments for myofascial release and deep chronic muscular pain, and even methods for cosmetic facial rejuvenation - made possible by a new generation of cuppining struments. We cover all these all applications of cupping and much more, in our unique and comprehensive classes.

When you have completed both cupping workshops we will present you with an additional award – an Advanced Certificate in Integrated Cupping Therapy, in recognition of the depth and knowledge you have attained.

Cupping is a traditional therapy that remains favoured by millions of people throughout the world because it is a time-honoured, safe, comfortable and effective treatment for many health disorders. For practitioners, cupping requires only simple and inexpensive instruments, is relatively easy to learn, is time and energy efficient and achieves excellent results. Cupping is usually performed by introducing heat into a glass cup or similar object and placing it immediately on the skin. The vacuum created produces a suction effect that increases blood circulation to the local area, relaxes muscle tissue and releases the factors causing pain. Another popular method is to withdraw the air from inside the cup with a suction pump.

Traditional practice and experience recognises the ability of cupping to move vital energy and correct internal imbalances, as well as to clear the effects of external injury and climatic influences such as wind and cold. This therapeutic method has been practised by both medically trained and household practitioners in most parts of the world for thousands of years. Cupping is a universal therapy. It has been and continues to be practiced in every culture throughout the world.

Cupping in CambodiaNorth American natives and Africans used buffalo horns as cupping vessels and women healers in villages throughout Europe and Russie continue the practice of cupping on relatives and neighbours and pass down their knowledge as a family tradition. In present day Vietnam, cupping is commonly seen in clinics, in homes and at roadside stops, while in China much research has been carried out on cupping and the practice is a mainstay of government-sponsored hospitals of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

'There is no doubt that Bruce Bentley is the foremost international expert on the history and practice of cupping in different cultures around the world.' Introduction to an interview with Bruce for The Lantern, an international journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2007, and translated into French for the Journal De Medicine Traditionnelle Chinoise. read this interview

Therapists at all levels will gain skills that are effective, time and energy efficient, interesting to practice and allow the practitioner to focus less on their hands when appropriate.

'The first class I did with Bruce was the Western Tradition Cupping Workshop and had such outstanding results in conjunction with massage on the elite athletes I treat, that I then did the Eastern Tradition and the Gua Sha Day. Bruce’s vast knowledge on these subjects is second to none and I highly recommend his courses. Cupping and Gua Sha have both been fantastic on the athletes. They are completely sold on both!! It saves my hands as well.' Heather Deller, official massage therapist for the Great Britain Olympic Cycling Team, US, T- Mobile, the Women’s Professional Cycling Team and Chinese, Giant Bicycles, Women’s Professional Cycling Team.

Dear Bruce - just a short note to let you know how much I enjoyed your Western cupping workshop. I've had wonderful results with my clients. One person, an ex-rugby player who's come back four weeks in a row said he feels like a new person. Another is a farmer whose body was locked -up with years of injuries. He said 'I feel great with the cupping treatments'. Instead of me working really hard, I'm getting even better results and with the cups I can get so much done in a treatment session. I reckon the cupping therapy is just great. Please put me down for the upcoming Eastern tradition. Many thanks!' - correspondence from Carol Lyons, remedial massage therapist.

The Discolourations/Marks left by the Cups

or 'When a 'Bruise' is not a Bruise!' What do they represent?

A common and unfortunate misconception concerning cupping is the misinterpretation of the marks - those round circles you can see in the above photo taken at a temple in Vietnam - that often appear during and after a cupping treatment. These are not satisfactorily explained as bruises, and therefore should not be referred to as 'cupping bruises'.

Rather they are 'discolourations' or 'marks' which only occur when the therapeutic cupping process has successfully drawn pathogenic factors to the skin surface. Usually also, within 24 hours, there is a very noticeable change and they are typically resolved in a few days. 'Bruising' is incorrect because it gives the impression that they result from a traumatic procedure. A handful of good explanations why they are not bruises include:

  1. When we have a bruise (due to trauma), experience tells us that it is tender to touch. After proper cupping there is no such accompanying tenderness.
  2. By definition, a bruise is the result of trauma cause by the impact of a flat surfaced object. This is certainly not the case with a hollow cupping vessel.
  3. Many times cupping does not produce a show of discolouration.
  4. Let us imagine a case where a cup has been placed on a part of the body and has produced a strong discolouration (maybe even a deep dark circle - inevitably when there is a long term problem). After that has resolved and another cup is reapplied at the same spot, the marking is typically only a half as 'ferocious' as the former time. Then again another application at that same location brings only a faint and barely coloured showing. Usually by the fourth treatment, no skin colour change is likely - even though each time the cup has been focussed on the same spot for the the same duration and with the same force. Clearly a case where the internal unwanted pathogens/toxins have systematically been resolved.
  5. In those parts of the world where cupping is a part of the national culture, and in those traditional medical systems and folk medical practices in which cupping is valued, the colourations have never been interpreted in a negative way. The same can be said for the practice of gua sha - another method that can produce colouration to the skin surface - though the kind of pathologic factor that gua sha releases to the surface is a different kind of disturbance known as sha.

Enrolment requirements for the traditional cupping workshops:

Accredited health professionals such as massage therapists, acupuncturists, doctors, nurses, naturopaths, osteopaths and physiotherapists. Students from an accredited course of study, who have completed a minimum of 50 hours in anatomy and physiology.

Note: Women who are pregnant should contact Bruce.

ADVANCED CERTIFICATE OF INTEGRATED CUPPING THERAPY: Upon satisfactory completion of the three cupping workshops ie. the Eastern Traditional Cupping Workshop, the Western Traditional Cupping Workshop and the Remedial Cupping, an ADVANCED CERTIFICATE OF INTEGRATED CUPPING THERAPY will be awarded.

Cupping workshops: Eastern Tradition | Western Tradition |

Dates and locations

A history of cupping

Read an interview with Bruce on cupping published in The Lantern - A Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine