Holistic Massage School Announces New Course Offerings in 2015

Ms. Paula Curtiss, Founder of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health recently announced the addition of 8 new holistic health classes to be offered to students in 2015.  “At Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, we believe that certified Massage Therapists and Holistic health Practitioners should have a variety of bodywork modalities at their disposal”, said Paula.  “We also believe therapist should have an understanding of the structure and function of the body as well as holistic health practices known to optimize health.  Just as importantly, our students need opportunity to fine-tune their skills with hours of practical, hands-on experience.  We believe these new classes will help students do just that”, Paula concluded. 

Advanced Herbal Formulations: Herbal plantsThis class takes the introductory herbal experience and goes much deeper. In this course students learn the benefits of various herbal preparations and their powerful role in healing. They will explore formulations that facilitate systemic balancing and are based on client’s individual constitutions or body types, as opposed to just addressing symptoms. They will also experience a variety of solvents for making advanced herbal preparations. By the end of this course, students will be able to assess typical nutritional deficiencies and prepare a variety of effective nutritional and herbal remedies to address our most common health issues like colds and flus, sinusitis/ bronchitis, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, etc.

Community Service Internship:  24 hour to be scheduled with approved facility. Healing Hands Interns work in the student clinic, with specific population groups, and in facilities which partner with Healing Hands. Our interns work with Veterans recovery from hospitalization, peri and pre-natal patients, with disabled adults, the elderly, and in the spa industry. You will schedule your practical hours with your placement facility. Interns commit to working a minimum of 4 hours each week for 6 consecutive weeks. This course may be taken more than once.  Prerequisite: On Site Therapy for Career Development 

Herbs for the Massage Therapist:  This class covers how herbs affect the physical/emotional body and how to introduce their impact through massage. Herbal “products” can be relaxing-to-invigorating and balancing-to-rejuvenating. There are “herbal preparations” that detoxify and others that relieve stress. What appeals to you? Learn what herbs to select and blend for the right healing.

On-Site Therapy for Career Development: Learn how to give massage therapy in any environment. Learn the massage techniques that allow you to adjust body mechanic needs,

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

as well as effective protocol adjustment. We will examine the needs of several population groups and the facilities which serve them including: spa and beauty, chiropractor, physical therapy, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, Pre-Natal Clinic, office/professional workplace, sports events, fundraiser events, and social settings. Each lecture topic includes hands-on massage techniques for hands, feet, neck and shoulders. Topics Include: job interview skills, preparation of resume/business card, state CAMTC certification, job placement support, geriatric massage; working with homeless veterans, protocol adjustment for pre-natal massage; oncology massage, hospice care massage, and massage for job interview preparation. Upon completion, you are eligible to enroll in the Community Service internship program.

Standardized Test Practice Review: As of January 1, 2015 the California Massage Therapy Council requires state certified Massage Therapist to complete 500 hours of training and pass the Massage Therapy exam. This review class is designed to help you practice your information to prepare for the MBLx exam. We will review important anatomical terms and system functions, as well as reviewing modality specific information. We will work with study aids and practice tests designed to assure your success. This course is a ‘review’, we suggest you take this course after you have already completed at least 4 of the Massage Therapy courses including Anatomy for Bodyworkers.

Therapeutic Mobilizations: Mobilizations are a highly effective method to treat joint pain and restrictions within joints. These are well controlled passive movements which are performed slowly and with the therapist focusing his/her intention on the joints. The student learns how to handle joints effectively and with confidence. Mobilizations are most useful for synovial joints, but can also be performed on cartilaginous and fibrous joints. During these passive motions the therapist moves the joint to resemble the gliding motion between the two joint surfaces. Students are advised to re-visit anatomy prior to the class, such as classification of synovial joints, as the joint type will determine both anatomical and accessory movements possible within the joint. Mobilizations are a great addition to the tool box providing the therapist with the ability to work on a wider range of conditions and joint problems.shutterstock_130090013

Visceral Manipulation: Many people that suffer from IBS [Irritable Bowel syndrome], heartburn, constipation, bloating, internal scar tissue, and healing from pregnancy; live in constant pain. Learn to use the most effective Visceral manipulation techniques to relieve this pain.

Yoga Therapy:  Yoga Therapy is an adaptation of yoga techniques and practices that are personalized to help individuals with specific health challenges. This introductory Yoga Therapy class will address topics that you can take and use as tools in your massage or personal yoga practice. It will include yoga sequences, meditation techniques and breathe-work for various ailments. We will explore how certain poses can create space between the vertebrae, within the joints, and around the internal organs; other poses feel like they lift the heart and open space between the neck and shoulders. By improving circulation and reducing muscle tension, Yoga Therapy can become a valuable addition to any therapist’s practice.

To learn more about the 80+ massage therapy and holistic health classes offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us on-line at healinghandsschool.com or call us at (760) 746.9374 in Escondido, or at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.

Holistic Massage School Shares Holistic Help for Hay Fever Sufferers

In order for allergy sufferers to survive Hay-Fever season, it’s important for them to take a wider, holistic view of their health” says Ms. Paula Curtiss, Founding Director and Instructor for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “While seasonal changes can make one more prone to respiratory infections and Catarrh (irritation of nose & throat membranes), there are also many internal factors that impact our ability to resist infection.  These include diet, exercise, stress & anxiety levels, poor posture, poor general health and even a lack of fresh air! The more we pay attention to these internal factors, the healthier we will be.  That said, there is still much one can do to prevent or clear respiratory problems more quickly.  With Spring just around the corner, I’ll dedicate this blog to holistic approaches for addressing a respiratory issue that affects millions annually; Hay Fever,”  she added.

Hay-Fever is an allergic reaction that can be triggered by grass, flower or tree pollens and often co-exists with other allergic reactions such as Asthma or Eczema.  Hay-Fever symptoms include:  irritation of the membranes lining the nose causing a runny nose or congestion, and is often accompanied by sneezing that does not relieve the irritation.   It is also common for the eyes and throat to become inflamed as well.  Below are several “self-help” approaches one can take to minimize these symptoms.

Herbal remedies include: the use of an infusion of Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), and Eyebright (Euphrasia), Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) which reduce excess mucus and dry out the secretions, and Ribwort (Plantago Ianceolata) to help heal the membranes.  This can be done by placing the herbs in a teapot with a close fitting lid.  Pour in the boiling water and leave to infuse for up to 10 minutes.  Pour the herbal mixture through a strainer and refrigerate. The mixture can then be used in two ways.  First, you may drink thHerbal plantse infusion as a tea – 2 to 3 times daily.  This will greatly reduce the inflammation and excess mucus.  Second,  you may soak a couple of cotton pads in the cooled infusion and place them on eye-lids to soothe sore, irritated eyes.  

Aromatherapy remedies for Hay-Fever  include creating steam  ‘inhalations’ of powerful essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Melissa, and Pine.  To create an aromatherapy ‘inhalation’ simply fill a large bowl with boiling water and add 2-3 drops of essential oil.  As the oil vaporizes, inhale the steam as deeply as possible.  You may hold a towel over your head to delay the effects of evaporation.  You may need to vary the oils used as they can become less effective if used for too long.  

Homeopathic remedies include mixing pollens to make a homeopathic dilution before symptoms start. One of the common scales for measuring the dilution is centesimal scale – a ratio of 1 to 100.  For a liquid this means one part of the remedy is mixed with 99 parts of a diluent such as alcohol or water.  If symptoms are already active you can choose from the following: Euphrasia -to counter a profusely runny nose, sore eyes with burning tears;  Allium Cepa – for a burning nasal discharge, and;  Arsen Alb if your eyes are tearing and  feel hot and sneezing gives no relief to the nasal  irritation you are experiencing.

HHSHH has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 23 years.  With more than 80 Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs to offer, HHSHH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California.  To date, we’ve prepared more than 6,000 students for rewarding careers as Massage Therapists or Holistic Health Practitioners. To learn more about Herbal  Studies, Aromatherapy, or Homeopathic classes offered at HHSHH please visit us on-line at www.healinghandsschool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722/Laguna Hills, or (760) 746-9364/Escondido.    

Holistic Massage School Recipe for Chicken & Quinoa Stir-fry

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 12 oz of chicken tenders (cut to bite-size pieces)
  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • ½ cup of sweet peas
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 tsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine quinoa with 1 cup water and cook per package instructions– set aside.
  2. Cut the sweet-potato into bite-size cubes, cover with 2” water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes or until tender – set aside.
  3. Heat 3 tsp oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add in chicken pieces, stir and toss until starting to brown (5minutes) – transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add remaining oil to skillet and add onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper and stir until vegetables start to soften.
  5. Add the chicken, quinoa, sweet potato and peas, and stir until heated thoroughly (2-3 minutes)
  6. Transfer to a serving platter, top with cilantro and enjoy!

Nutrition: 311 calories, 25 g protein, 34 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 9 g fat

With locations in Escondido and Laguna Hills, HHSHH has successfully prepared more than 6,000 students for CAMTC certification and enrollment continues to rise!   Boasting two academic Programs and 80+ Massage & Holistic Health classes offered during the day, evenings and on weekends, HHSHH helps students enjoy a satisfying and rewarding career in less than a year!  To learn more about HHSHH, call 760.746.9364 in Escondido or 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills.

Holistic Massage School Reviews Recent Research on Massage and the Immune System

“While the relaxation benefits of massage have been known for decades, new studies are showing that its effects go much deeper” said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.   “In fact, studies at both Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles, and Touch Research Institute at University of Miami’s School of Medicine support the same conclusion: the immune system can be effectively strengthened by massage from as little as one session!   This is great news for the massage industry, as it demonstrates its essential role in any rehabilitative or wellness program”, she added.

One study refer was conducted at Cedars-Sinai and measured a substantial increase in the number of white blood cells in subjects who received just one forty-five-minute massage.  White blood cells play an important part in defending the body from disease.   Massage positively impacted hormone levels also; reducing the stress-hormone Cortisol and increasing ‘good hormones’ Serotonin and Dopamine.  Massage also lowered levels of ‘cytokines’ which contshutterstock_42359824ribute to inflammation.  Chronic inflammation breeds a wide range of ills including: cardiovascular disease, depression, and conditions like asthma and arthritis. 

Another study by Touch Research Institute on female patients with Fibromyalgia found similar evidence of a boost to the immune system.    In that study, subjects reported lower anxiety and depression, which was supported by lowered Cortisol levels immediately following their therapy sessions.

 A third study involving HIV+ gay men who received massage regularly for 1 month further supported the conclusion.  At the end of the month, all men reported feeling more relaxed with a reduction in anxiety levels.  Their blood work also revealed a substantial decrease in the stress hormone, Cortisol.  Once again, these benefits correlated with an increase in white blood cells and enhanced immune function.  

 Today, many of the acute and chronic conditions we experience are stress-induced, which is why massage therapy makes such a positive impact.  More and more studies are showing it not only relieves stress, but can reverse its deteriorating effects on the body as well.   Below is a partial list of some additional benefits found by other massage studies conducted by TRI:

  •  reducing depressive symptoms
  • diminishing pain
  • lowering stress hormones 
  • alleviating insomnia
  • increasing attentiveness/clarity
  • weight gain in pre-term infants   
  • shorter labors and less post-partum depression in pregnant women 
  • reducing high blood-pressure 

shutterstock_131745701To find out more about the study of massage and its application in science and medicine, visit Touch Research Institute online at: http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/About.html or Cedars-Sinai research at: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Research.

To learn more about the 80+ massage therapy and holistic health classes offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, visit us on-line at healinghandsschool.com or call us at (760) 746.9374 in Escondido, or at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills

(Cit http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Research/Research-Areas/Immunology-Infectious-Disease/index.aspx)

(Cit: Ironson, G., Field, T.M., Scafidi, F., Hashimoto, M., Kumar, M., Kumar, A., Price, A., Goncalves, A., Burman, I. , Tetenman, C., Patarca, R. & Fletcher, M.A. (1996). Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. International Journal of Neuroscience, 84, 205-21

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