Holistic Massage School Talks About A Growing Trend – Working in Sports Massage

“According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), more and more athletes are integrating massage therapy services into their regular training programs” announced Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “As a result, our Graduates who specialize in Sports Massage work with sports teams, in sports medicine facilities and with professional athletes.   What’s more, Sports Massage Therapists (SMTs) working in athletic and/or sports facilities earn on average, $54.50 per hour (including tip) as opposed to 39.01 per hour for MTs working at a Spa or Chiropractic clinic,” she added.

A survey of Healing Hands graduates also reported a high job satisfaction rating in this sector and SMTs said the rewards aren’t just monetary.  Most athlete/clients are well tuned in to their bodies, and eager to make the life-style changes necessary to keep themselves in tip top shape.  When they do get injured, they usually seek help immediately, making it easier for SMTs to pin-point the cause and affect positive change.  As one therapist put it, “Locating an area of dysfunction, facilitating improvement, then watching the athlete go out and perform well is very uplifting”. 

That’s not the only good news for SMTs.  According to the Dept. of Labor, job opportunities for Massage Therapists will continue to grow at a rate of 22% through 2022 – faster than any other industry segment.  Additional Massage Therapy statistics reported by the AMTA in 2014 are as follows:

  • Roughly 34.9 million people received a total of 143 million massages in 2013
  • 88% of consumers see massage as effective in reducing pain
  • 88 % of consumers believe that massage can be beneficial to overall health and wellness
  • 43% of massage consumers got a massage for medical reasons In 2013, a significant increase from 2010.
  • Consumers who received massage for medical reasons cited using it to relieve pain, alleviate soreness and stiffness, and recover from injury.

For students considering specializing in Sports Massage, Paula offers the following advice:sports marathon with Brandon

“If you’re really serious about working with Athletes it won’t be enough to have a strong understanding of Anatomy and mastery of basic massage therapy techniques.  To succeed in this enviable arena, you will need to develop competency in certain advanced techniques specific to Sports Massage.  The following is a list of our faculty’s Top Sports Massage Therapy Courses:   

  1.  Advanced Circulatory and Sports Massage, 
  2. Sports Injuries & Neuro Muscular Therapy (2 classes)
  3. Therapeutic Stretching 
  4. Triggerpoint Therapy  (2 classes)
  5. Myofascial Meridians of Pain Relief 
  6. Principles of Structural Integration
  7. Structural Integration

Complimentary electives such as Deep Tissue Therapies, Nutritional Superfoods and Holistic Nutrition can also be taken to help athlete/clients optimize their physical health as well as performance.”

To learn more about a career in Sports Massage Therapy, or to find out more about the 60+ Massage and Holistic Health courses offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, please visit us online at www.HealilngHandsSchool.com or call us at (760) 746-9364 in Escondido, or (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.   

Holistic Massage School Shares Fun Facts On Nutrition – Ginger

“At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH), our Holistic Health Practitioner Program includes several classes on Diet, Nutrition and Superfoods”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director.  By design, these classes include information on a variety of superfoods (which include spices) that recent medical research has investigated for its healing properties.  Ginger, for example, has been recognized for at least 2,000 years in India, the Middle East, Africa, and other regions of our world, as a valuable natural remedy.  Recent studies on ginger have shown it to provide more than 40 health benefiting pharmacological actions*.    Below is a list of just some of the ‘evidence-based’ benefits noted from these studies.tumeric

  • Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants
  • It acts as a broad-spectrum antibacterial
  • Ginger has Anti-inflammatory properties
  • It offers antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties
  • Ginger reduces indigestion and is an antispasmodic agent (stops stomach cramping)
  • Provides relief from morning sickness
  • Fights bacterial diarrhea
  • Reduces the severity of chemotherapy-induced nausea
  • Reduces vomiting and other symptoms of motion sickness
  • Inhibits H. pylori, which may help prevent ulcers
  • Provides protection against respiratory viruses
  • Reduces symptoms of vertigo
  • Enhances fat digestion and absorption
  • Protects against toxic effects of environmental chemicals, such as parabens
  • Provides relief from arthritis pain*
  • Helps prevent heart attacks
  • Reduces drug-resistant bacterial and fungal infections
  • Reduces damage and memory loss associated with small stroke
  • Protects against the DNA-damaging effects of radiation exposure
  • Helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effects
  • Improved cognitive function in middle-aged women
  • Temporarily increases thermogenesis (fat-burning) in your body by up to 16 percent

One of the simplest ways to enjoy ginger on a regular basis is to make a fresh ginger tea.  Simply chop up about 2 inches of ginger root and steep in hot water for 2 minutes. You can also slice, grate, or mince ginger to add it to beverages, soups, stir-fries, salads or casseroles. 

To learn more about HHSHH classes on Nutrition, or to browse a full list of Course offerings,  please visit us on-line at www.healinghandsschool.com or call us at (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.

NOTE:  Citation for the above mentioned therapeutic benefits:


Holistic Massage School Reveals Research Study Findings on the Benefits of Massage

“One of the most frequently asked questions of faculty at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health is; What exactly are the latest research findings on the benefits of massage” said Founding Director, Ms. Paula Curtiss.  “To answer their questions, I often refer them to The University of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute’s (TRI) website – www.miami.edu/touch-research .   TRI has conducted over 100 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy.  Below is a summary of general findings, plus a table describing the impact of massage on patients with specific medical conditions.  As you’ll see, the impact of massage is both undeniable and substantial, two reasons why Massage Therapy is now recognized as an important part of any holistic medical or wellness program,” she added.shutterstock_131745701

General findings by TRI on the benefits of massage include:

  • Enhanced growth in preterm infants
  • Diminished pain (e.g. fibromyalgia)
  • Decreased autoimmune problems (e.g. increased pulmonary function in asthma and decreased glucose levels in diabetes)
  • Enhanced immune function (increased natural killer cells in HIV and Cancer)
  • Enhanced alertness and performance (EEG pattern of alertness and better performance on math computations).
  • Decreased stress hormones (e.g. Cortisol)

Specific findings by TRI on massage benefits for individuals with common ailments include:



[Cit: Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., & Theakston, H. (2001). Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 106, 131-145.]


Massage therapy was compared to relaxation for chronic low back pain. By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported less pain, depression and anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.


[Cit: Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., Nawrocki, T.,Goncalves, A., Burman, I. , Pickens, J., Fox, N., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1996). Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 197-205.]


Adults were given a chair massage, and control group adults were asked to relax in a chair for 15 minutes, two times a week for five weeks. Frontal delta power increased for both groups, suggesting relaxation. The massage group showed decreased alpha and beta power, and increased speed and accuracy on math computations. At the end of the five-week period depression scores were lower for both groups but job stress scores were only, for the massage group.


[Cit: Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J. & Theakston, H.(2000). High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 4, 31-38.]


High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamines. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and these associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30 min massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group). Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study. Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression & hostility and showed decreased cortisol.


[Cit: Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Massage and relaxation therapies’ effects on depressed adolescent mothers. Adolescence, 31, 903-911.]


32 depressed adolescent mothers received ten 30-minute sessions of massage therapy or relaxation therapy over a five-week period. Subjects were randomly assigned to each group. Although both groups reported lower anxiety following their first and final sessions, although only the massage therapy group showed behavioral and stress hormone changes, including a decrease in anxious behavior, heart rate and cortisol levels.


Sunshine, W., Field, T.M., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., [Cit: Kuhn, C., Burman, I. & Schanberg, S. (1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 2, 18-22.]

Adult fibromyalgia syndrome subjects were randomly assigned to a massage therapy, a transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), or a transcutaneous electrical stimulation no-current group for 30-minute treatment sessions two times per week for 5 weeks. The massage therapy subjects reported lower anxiety and depression, and their cortisol levels were lower immediately after the therapy sessions on the first and last days of the study. The TENS group showed similar changes, but only after therapy on the last day of the study.


[Cit: Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor , S., Quintino, O., & Burman, I. (1997). Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 18, 286-291.]

28 women were recruited from prenatal classes and randomly assigned to receive massage in addition to coaching in breathing from their partners during labor, or to receive coaching in breathing alone. The massaged mothers reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain, and showed less agitated activity and anxiety and more positive affect following the first massage during labor. In addition the massaged mothers had shorter labors, a shorter hospital stay and less postpartum depression.