Holistic Massage School Teaches Students About Essential Self-care

When Paula believes a skill is worth developing, she makes it part of the School’s curriculum.  That’s why the Circulatory Massage and Deep Tissue Manipulation classes at HHSHH include an introduction to the Thera-cane (a plastic, cane-like instrument with strategically placed handles & bumps) used as a therapeutic tool to self-release Trigger Points and apply pressure to the body’s acupressure points.  One of the class’s instructors, James (JR), also leads students through the practice of releasing tension in one area of the body by using another body part to apply pressure or to stretch it.   Paula’s Shiatsu class instructors, Raina and David, dedicate a portion of class time to demonstrate and have students practice using a tennis ball to increase circulation and reduce tension in their body by applying pressure to various energy meridians of the body.   

Regardless of the class, a portion of class time is reserved for students to stretch-out, get their circulation going and warm-up their muscles prior to delivering any modality of body-work.  Simple, yet effective self-massage techniques are also taught.  As in the examples shown below, self-massage can diminish aches and pains and restore optimal function to muscles and soft tissues of the body.  By incorporating self-massage into their holisitic, self-care program, students of Massage Therapy can ensure their ability to work in their chosen profession for years to come.

Self Massage for Shoulders & Neck:selfmassage1

  1. Sitting upright in a comfortable chair, start from the base of the neck and press down with your fingers along the top of the shoulders.  When you reach the bony part of the shoulder, slide your hand back to the base of the neck and repeat the pressing at least three more times.  Finish by stroking firmly from the top of the neck down to the shoulder on both sides.


  1. Using the fingertips of both hands, place them at the base of your neck (where it meets the shoulder) and make small, circular movements using medium pressure to work your way up the back of the neck to the hair-line. These circular movements will ease muscular tightness selfmassage2more effectively than direct, static pressure on the area.  Continue these circular movements up and around the base of the skull until you feel the tightness or soreness diminish.
  2. Using one hand at a time, knead each shoulder with a firm, squeezing motion, moving between the neck and the bony part of your shoulder. Repeat several times each side, or until the any soreness is diminished.
  3. Placing your right hand over your head to the left temple, apply steady pressure to stretch yourselfmassage3 neck – right ear to the right shoulder and hold for the count of 5. Next, place your left hand on the right temple, applying steady pressure to stretch your neck the opposite way – left ear to the left shoulder and hold for the count of 5. 

Founded in 1992, by Paula and Neha Curtiss, HHSHH has successfully prepared more than 6,000 students for satisfying careers as a Massage Therapist or Holistic Health Practitioner.  With campuses in both Escondido and Laguna Hills, HHSHH boasts two academic Programs and 80+ Massage & Holistic Health classes.  Offering day, evening and weekend schedules, interested students can train for a financially viable and rewarding career in less than a year!  To learn more about HHSHH, please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

Holistic Massage School Discusses Benefits of Yoga

Have you ever watched a dog as it wakes from a nap?  They usually will yawn, then stretch their front paws out in front of them and move their upper body to the floor stretching into an upside down “V”.  Once they have stretched to their limit, they release the stretch then end it with a full body shake, before happily trotting off on their way.  It’s as if dogs instinctively know the benefits of stretching to relieve accumulated tension, align their spine and energize their bodies. HealingHands-LagunaNiguel_048

“A well-rounded, daily practice of Yoga, can go a long way to relieve muscle and joint pain and stiffness caused by excess tension held in the body”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “In addition to improving circulation to the muscles; regular Yoga exercise helps you become stronger, more flexible and can enhance your over-all posture, ease of movement and mental clarity.  Because Yoga is such an important and effective self-care tool, we encourage all students to practice it regularly.  In fact, we include Yoga stretches as part of the warm-up exercises for many of our massage classes”, she added.

The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language and is considered an ancient Hindu spiritual discipline.  This spiritual science offers a direct means of stilling the natural turbulence of thoughts.  Yoga’s purpose is said to be “the uniting of the mind, body and spirit.

While there are many different versions of Yoga practiced today, most session will include breath control, simple meditation, and the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits.  Practiced regularly, Yoga’s been proven to enhance overall health by creating balance in the body and by inducing both physical and emotional relaxation.  Depending on the yoga tradition, the poses may be done in quick succession, creating heat in the body through movement; or, when done slowly they can increase strength, stamina and help to align the spine.

To find out more about Holistic Health or the 80+ Massage and Holistic Health classes offered at HHSHH, please visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.

Healthy and Delicious Greek Salad

Here’s a tasty salad recipe that’s sure to make your taste buds feel like they took a trip to Greece! 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

greek salad



  • 8 cups of mixed greens (romaine, kale, butter lettuce, and escarole)
  • 1 chopped and seeded cucumber
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 can 15oz chick-peas (drained)
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sliced purple onion
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 8 kalamata olives (pitted & sliced)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper





  1. In a large salad bowl, combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper – mix thoroughly
  2. Add in the cucumber, tomatoes, chick-peas, purple onion
  3. Toss combined ingredients to mix well and let marinate for 15 minutes
  4. Add lettuces and crumbled feta cheese and toss againgreek masons


Tip: For a healthy and portable lunch layer all ingredients in a mason jar starting with the dressing at the bottom and lettuce at the top for a portable and healthy lunch.




Nutrition: 290 calories, 12 g protein, 26 g carbs, 8g fiber, 8 g sugar, 17 g fat

Holistic Massage School Offers Simple Solutions for Getting the Exercise You Need!

“The American Heart Association recommends that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day”, says Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH).  “Regular physical activity is one of the simplest ways to effectively improve your health, mood, energy level, sex-life, and over-all sense of well-being.  With so many holistic health benefits, it’s alarming that a recent survey by the American Heart Association revealed that 80% of Americans still do not make regular exercise a habit.   While there may be many reasons for this alarming statistic, today I’m offering one simple solution….Start Walking! ” she added.   


Studies show that the benefits of a 30 minute walk 7 days a week is enough to make several substantial health changes.  Below is a list of those benefits as reported by The American Heart Association:

  • lower one’s risk of coronary heart disease
  • diminishes the chances of developing Osteoporosiswalking
  • positively impacts blood sugar & blood pressure levels
  • lowers the risk of Colon & Breast Cancer
  • helps one maintain a healthy body weight
  • enhances one’s mental outlook /emotional well being
  • lessens the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Still unsure of how you can get your 30 minutes of walking in each day?  Then, consider these opportunities: 

  • Invite a spouse or friend to an after-dinner walk and talk
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible
  • Invite a co-worker to a lunch-time walk around your business park
  • Take an early morning walk with your dog
  • Stop off at a park for a quick walk on your way home from work
  • Meet a neighbor for a walk around your neighborhood park or lake

With locations in Escondido and Laguna Hills, HHSHH has successfully prepared more than 6,000 students for Certification as Massage Therapists or Holistic Health Practitioners.   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, visit us ne at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call 949.305.2722 in Laguna Hills.

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:

sports massage

  • 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:


“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 6 Sports Massage Therapy Courses:   1) Advanced Circulatory and Sports Massage, 2) Sports Injuries & Neuro Muscular Therapy, 3) Therapeutic Stretching 4) Triggerpoint Therapy  5) Myofascial Meridians of Pain Relief 6) Principles of Structural Integration and 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 80+ 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 Discusses Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic health practice that uses essential oils and aromatic plant compounds to improve a person’s physical health and emotional/mental well being.  Used by most ancient civilizations, Aromatherapy dates back at least 6000 years when ancient Egyptians used essential oils with massage to treat a wide array of common illnesses and conditions. rosemary

Essential oils are the aromatic compounds extracted from fragrant, medicinal flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, resins and barks of plants.  These plant oils are concentrated and smell much stronger than the plant from which it was derived. Believed to stimulate brain function, hundreds of essential oils are used today to positively impact one’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. 

Clinical studies on Aromatherapy revealed that when essential oils are inhaled, they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied topically to the skin, they activate thermal receptors and destroy microbes and fungi.  Studies on various internal applications (usually in prescription form) found that they help to stimulate the immune system thereby promoting whole-body healing.  Below is a list of ten common physical and emotional complaints along with the essential oils used for their treatment.

  1. Energy and focus: Peppermint and Eucalyptus will energize you and increase attentiveness.
  2. Depression and anxiety: You can improve your mood and diminish anxiety using Chamomile, Lavender, Basil and citrus scents.
  3. Digestive problems: Fennel, Ginger, Basil, Coriander can improve the digestive process and serve as mild laxatives.
  4. Insomnia: Lavender, Geranium, Frankincense, Ylang-Ylang can help calm and relax you.
  5. Menstrual or leg/body cramps: Lavender, Chamomile and Rose Geranium are a popular trio used to relax muscles, and reduce bruises and sprains.
  6. Sore Joints: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove and Cinnamon create a sensation of heat that promotes pain relief and facilitates ease of movement. 
  7. Sinus Congestion: Eucalyptus can effectively decongest the sinuses and Rosemary is used to open the nasal cavities and treat any blockage or inflammation.
  8. Damaged skin: Lavender, Rosemary, and Rose Geranium destroy bacteria, viral and fungal infections thereby reducing Acne, Eczema and Psoriasis. 
  9. Infections: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Tea Tree and Cinnamon are powerful botanical products that will kill bacteria without promoting resistance or causing negative side effects.
  10. Nervousness: Frequently used alongside massage, Lavender’s sedative and tonic effects make it a great balancer of the nervous and emotional systems of the body.

To learn more about Aromatherapy or any of the other 80+ Massage and Holistic Health classes offered at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health visit us at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at 949 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or 760-746-9364 in Escondido.

Holistic Massage School Hosts a VIP Tour and Discovery Fair

Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH), recently announced the success of the school’s 2015 VIP Tour and Discovery Fair.  The event, that targeted Massage Therapist recruiters in the OC area, took place IMG_1471on Tuesday, September 15th from 3pm until 5pm at the school’s Laguna Hills campus located at 23022 La Cadena, just a mile SW of the 5 Freeway & Lake Forest Drive. 

“The VIP Tour and Discovery Fair provided an opportunity for our staff and attendees to share information on our Massage Partnership Initiative and new ideas to boost enrollment and facilitate job placement for our graduates”, said Paula.  “With about 30 representatives from the area’s finest luxury spas, day spas and massage clinics attending, we are very pleased with the turn-out and even more excited about what these new Partnerships may bring.  By giving Massage Therapist recruiters incentives to promote HHSHH to their networks of clients and employees, they will help us boost enrollment, and ensure their pick of qualified graduates in the future”, she added.

The tour portion of the event highlighted HHSHH’s newly expanded offices, classrooms, on-site student massage clinic and bookstore.  It also included a presentation about the school’s history, its many accreditations, and the over 80 Massage and Holistic Health classes offered.  During the presentation guests were treated to free chair-massages, healthy appetizers and door-prize Give-aways.  All attendees who display Healing Hands Massage Partnership materials in their Reception rooms, received a VIP Pass for 3 months of Free Massages at the school’s on-site Student Massage Clinic.  The incentive was devised to give potential employers opportunity to meet andIMG_1472 support Students during their learning process.  It also allows employers to promote their facility as a potential place of employment; a win/win strategy for all..

Healing Hands Financial Aid Advisor and Manager of the Laguna campus, Harmony Curtiss, provided attendees with insight to the needs, desires and concerns of newly certified Massage Therapists.  She also summarized information about Healing Hands two certification Programs, and the flexible payment plans, and government sponsored tuition programs for which new HH students may be eligible. Just as importantly, Harmony offered tips to Employers for getting their job opportunities noticed and filled in a timely manner. 

IMG_1470Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 23 years.  Considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health Education in Southern California, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To learn more about Healing Hands Massage Partnership Initiative, or to explore if a career in massage therapy may be right for you, please visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com  or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.