Holistic Massage School Reveals Self-Care Tips for Massage Therapists

“There’s a big difference between performing two hours of massage twice a week and working a six- hour shift daily”, warns Paula Curtiss, Founding Director of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.  “That’s why our introductory massage course, Circulatory Massage, stresses the importance of ‘body-mechanics’, or how one moves when performing a massage.  Proper body mechanics have been proven to minimize pain, strain, over-use injury and ‘body-burn-out’ so many massage therapists experience within the first five years of practice.  It’s also one of the reasons Healing Hands students have remained in high demand for the past two decades”, she added proudly.


Theracane is a self-massage tool used by many therapists

“Massage Therapists dedicate themselves to a career of facilitating healing and wellness in their clients” says Harmony Curtiss, Manager of Healing Hands Laguna Hills location.  “To be most successful, they need to set a good example.  That’s why we offer over 80 massage therapy and related holistic health courses.  At Healing Hands students are educated about holistic wellness and encouraged to practice it daily.  Below are just a few of the self-care tips our students learn”, she added

Circulatory Massage Tai Chi Routine

  • Nutrition – A wellness plan wouldn’t be complete without providing the body the necessary nutrients to keep it energized, healthy and strong. Students can learn about Dietary Practices as well as Nutritional Super-foods to help them achieve optimal health.
  • Exercise – The benefits of regular exercise to bones, muscles and body systems are well-known and essential to massage therapy professionals who must maintain strength, flexibility and good health to perform their job.
  • Relaxation – Caring for others and delivering therapeutic massage can be just as emotionally taxing as it is physical. Massage Therapist, like all care-givers need time to relax and re-charge.
  • Self-massage with TheraCane – A self-massager used to apply deep pressure to specific points of the body, a TheraCane makes it easy to address common tension areas ie: the top of the shoulders, neck, legs and low back. It is a ‘must-have’ product for massage therapists or anyone who suffers from tight muscles or painful trigger points.
  • Tai-Chi – All students attending HHSHH are required to learn a series of Tai Chi movements to use in the delivery of a Swedish or Circulatory massage.
  • Yoga/Stretching – Various massage classes require students to practice Yoga, Chi Gong, facilitated stretching and self-massage.
    Circulatory Massage Tai Chi Routine

    Circulatory Massage Tai Chi Routine

  • Meditation – Taking time for daily meditation will prevent stress from getting into the system and releases accumulated stress already there. With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change in which every cell in the body is recharged.  Regular meditation increases joy, optimism, mental clarity, enthusiasm and boosts the immune system.
  • Ergonomics – It’s important to be able to adjust the massage table (or chair) to accommodate a client’ size or to gain the leverage needed to deliver a Deep Tissue.  
  • Self-acupressure – Applying pressure to trigger points or acupressure points can restore balance and facilitate healing.  At Healing Hands our instructors teach self-maintenance techniques through the use of a Lacrosse or Tennis ball.  These self-acupressure methods empower students to relieve their own tight muscles and improve over-all body comfort and balance.

To learn more about holistic health and wellness courses offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com  or call us at 760-746-9364 in Escondido or at 949-305-2722 in Laguna Hills.

Massage School Posts: Need a Quick and Easy Lunch that Packs a Nutritional Punch?

Here’s a one that combines lean protein and veggies topped with a light, lemony dressing.  It’s low in calories yet high in taste-bud satisfaction!

Total Calories – 310, Fat – 8g., Sodium – 600mg, Fiber – 3g.

 Greek Tuna Salad Pita Sandwiches


  • 2 cans (5 oz each) of Tuna in water, drained, and flaked
  • 6 pita pocket breads (6 inch), cut in half to form 2 pockets
  • 12 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato – seeded and diced
  • 1 medium cucumber – seeded, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup of celery – finely chopped
  • ½ cup of feta cheese – crumbled
  • ¼ cup of large ripe olives – pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper to create a dressing.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, celery, cheese, olives and Tuna.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until mixed.
  4. Place 1 lettuce leaf half in each pita pocket
  5. Fill each pita pocket with approximately ½ cup of tuna salad
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Founder of Holistic Massage School Answers FAQ’s on Pre-Natal Massage

“When discussing contraindications for massage, one of the most frequently asked questions our instructors hear is…  “Is it safe to give a massage to a pregnant woman during her first trimester “, said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. “Our answer for the last 24 years has been a resounding YES!  Massage therapy for women in their first trimester of pregnancy is not only safe, but according to numerous studies conducted by Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine (TRI), it offers many substantial benefits throughout the pregnancy as well”, she added.

“The key to assuring massage safety during pregnancy is finding a certified pregnancy massage therapist who understands positioning, as well as the areas to accommodate during each trimester” said Harmony Curtiss, Branch Manager for the school’s Laguna Hills location.   “For example, during the first trimester a massage can be done with the patient lying on their back and the only area to avoid would be directly over the lower pelvic area above the uterus.  In later months, the massage therapist will need to position the client on their side with supportive pillows to maximize comfort.  In addition, they must understand how to address contraindicated areas.  Only Students who complete a Pre-natal Massage course receive the specialized training to assure a completely safe and deeply therapeutic pre-natal massage”, concluded Harmony.  

The bottom line, women with normal, low-risk pregnancy can benefit greatly by adding regular massage therapy sessions to their pre-natal wellness program.    Below is a list of some of the more substantial benefits of pregnancy massage as reported by Touch Research Institute.Pre-Natal Massage

  • reduced anxiety
  • improved mood
  • better sleep
  • less back pain
  • less leg pain
  • decrease in depression
  • decrease in anxiety
  • decrease in cortisol levels (stress hormone)
  • increased expression
  • increased relatedness during group therapy sessions
  • decreased leg and back pain
  • decrease in excessive fetal activity
  • decreased rate of premature delivery
  • significantly less pain during delivery
  • delivery labors were on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.

Citations: (Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C. & Burman, I. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 20, 31-38.)(Field, T., Deed, O., Diego, M., Gualer, A., Sullivan, S., Wilson, D. & Nearing, G. (2009).

Benefits of combining massage therapy with group interpersonal psychotherapy in prenatally depressed women. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therpies, 13, 297-303.) Field, T. (2010). Pregnancy and labor massage therapy. Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 177-181.

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH) offers a comprehensive Pre-Natal MassageTherapy course that focuses on how to work with the rapidly changing female body during pregnancy.  To find out more about this or any of the  other 80+ Massage Therapy and Holistic Health classes offered at HHSHH, please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at 760.746.9364 in Escondido, or 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills.

Massage School Answers: What should I wear as a Massage Therapist?

Massage Therapists can work in a wide variety of settings: a busy loud gym or sporting event, a quiet spa or wellness center.  But no matter the place of work, all therapists want to be comfortable and make a good impression on their clientele while they are working.  Here’s a few tips for your various situations:

  • What do I wear to a massage interview?  An interview almost always includes doing practical massage.  That means it can be confusing as to what to wear.  Do you wear clothes you can do massage in?  Or do you wear clothes to impress? 
    1. Dress to Impress, but bring a change of clothes or scrubs to switch into.  This way you don’t need to worry about getting your nice clothes oily.  You would never go to an interview in scrubs… but you can absolutely change into them when the interview part is over and you need to do a practical
    2. If you want to wear a combination, something you can wear to the interview AND massage in. We suggest wearing a nice crisp polo shirt.  You can always purchase our wrinkle free athletic polo from Healing Hands School.  This shirt allows you to breath, move, look good, and feel good when you walk into any massage situation.
      Harmony Curtiss sporting the polo shirt at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health

      Harmony Curtiss sporting the polo shirt at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health

  • What do I wear to a sporting event?
    1. Often a sporting event will provide a t-shirt for you to wear at the event. However if you do not receive a t-shirt try to wear something that will allow you to breath, at the same time be concealing.  A polo shirt is highly recommended, however make sure it’s a fabric that you will be comfortable moving in for long hours. 
    2. Long shorts for men is recommended for summer months, and capris for women is a great compromise between shorts that are too revealing and pants.
  • What do I wear to a clients house?
    1. Wear something unobtrusive. You want to fit in with your clients surrounds and make them feel comfortable in your presence.  Black slacks, and a nice polo are highly recommended.  Bring shoes you can massage in, but also be prepared to take off your shoes when you enter the house.  Ask the client if shoes are permitted inside.   
  • Some absolute DO NOT’s
    1. Do NOT show your stomach,
    2. Do NOT show your cleavage,
    3. Do NOT wear short shorts, skirt or anything revealing
    4. Do NOT have long fingernails,
    5. Do NOT wear cologne or perfume that can be smelled more than 6 inches from your body

To learn more about the holistic health courses offered at HHSHH, call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com .